Ever wonder what your sales reps across the country are doing at a certain point of the day? Add in the time difference and you’ll start going crazy. Managing a sales team is no simple task, but managing a decentralized team is a completely different story.
With an advent of telecommunication, you certainly aren’t the only one lacking visibility into your team’s sales performance. With more and more businesses embracing mobility, employees are now working remotely and across multiple offices, which means the visibility gap has become even greater.
Of course, there are benefits that come with having a dispersed team, but for a sales manager, enabling mobility also means relinquishing the control and visibility that you once had in a centralized office. Without the right sales management system in place, it could easily turn into your biggest nightmare.
Like most managers with a dispersed sales team, you probably rely on:
- Spreadsheets where your reps record their daily call activity
- Manual CRM updates reporting call results
- Weekly phone check-ins with individual reps
- Monthly in-person team meetings
This process works when you’re overseeing a few reps, but as your team continues to expand, the reliability here is weak and will lead to problems down the road. The good news is that there are a multitude of sales intelligence tools out there today designed specifically for this reason. It’s your job as a sales manager to find the one that best fits your needs, making your day a whole lot easier, while improving your sales performance at the same time.
What a simple sales management tool can do for you:
Provide you with accurate insight instantly
If you’re a manager who swears by your CRM, you’re probably forgetting to account for the 40% of manually entered data in your system that is most likely inaccurate. Your business will only be as successful as the accuracy of your insight, so although you may feel on top of your sales team, you’ll never be 100% certain if your reps are still manually inputting their call data. Tracking what phone conversations your reps had, how effective they were at delivering, and what resulted from the conversation, will give you the factual information needed to make team and individual rep improvements, increase the certainty of sales projections, and make smarter decisions.
Below is a breakdown of 4 key sales activities that will instantly improve with access to accurate insight.
1. Making Better and Faster Decisions
For years, sales decisions have been based on gut instincts—research shows that fewer than 4 out of 10 sales managers use reports to make important decisions. Today, as sales performance solutions and big data flood the market, businesses who lag to adopt analytical technology will find themselves miles behind their competition. With factual information on your team’s daily activity, you will instantly know which direction your dispersed reps are trending. This will enable you to make more informed decisions that could end up saving a business deal in the long run.
2. Targeted Training & Coaching
According to a study conducted by AA-ISP, the top challenge for sales leaders in 2013 and 2014 has been training their reps. Effective sales training is a challenge alone, but hiring and training a new rep in a dispersed environment is double the headache. Without accurate visibility into your reps’ performance, it’s difficult to pinpoint individual weaknesses, and thus, how can you implement efficient and effective training? The cost to hire and train a rep is upwards of $27,000, which could get costly overtime if you aren’t setting your reps up for success from the get-go. Adopting a sales management system will help you identify when and where coaching is most needed in order to fine-tune each of your reps accordingly.
3. Improved Communication
Communication skills are critical in any managerial role, but even more so when leading a dispersed sales team. As a sales manager, it’s your job to convey your expectations, and establish achievable sales goals for your reps to meet. Simplify your job by adopting a sales management system to improve this communication. Set your reps up for success by relying on data-driven numbers to determine and solidify your sales best practices and expectations. No one wants to work under an uncertain manager. Once you’ve successfully defined benchmarks, you’ll in return deliver clear guidelines to your reps at the onset.
4. Improved Forecasting
In 2013, companies spent an average of $20.6B on CRM software, yet only 40% of their forecasted deals were actually won. When making a sales forecast, it’s important to have factual data to back that number up. For instance, if your rep has a deal slated to close at the end of the month with a 90% probability, you can look back over the past month and instantly find clear evidence that supports this claim, such as calls made and dispositions recorded. Sales intelligence software that reports your everyday call activity on a comprehensible sales dashboard will become your best friend. With a click of a button, you’ll have the insight needed to make more accurate sales forecasts.
Armed with insightful sales KPIs, sales managers can not only manage their dispersed teams more effectively, but they can make themselves stand out as innovative leaders. Whether you are looking to maintain a disposable income, solidify your standing among executive peers, or further advance your sales career, consider a sales management system that you can easily master to manage your team of reps.