In parts I and II of this series, we took a specific look at how several sales leaders in various fields answered this question: What is the number one way to improve the efficiency of your sales team?
Those answers represented many points of view—actions and tactics that proved successful in the experience of individual respondents. In this third and final installment, we'll step back, look at the big picture and try to detect any trends or common threads running through nearly three-dozen responses.
To do so, it is necessary to make some judgments about where to place these very specific answers. It seems logical that even the most specific and detailed of responses can be traced back to one of these general buckets: Motivation, Hiring/Training, Sales Process, and Management/Coaching.
For starters, here's the big picture: All 34 sales leaders' response to "what is the #1 way to improve the efficiency of your sales team?" distilled into a short statement.
- Proper training, reinforcement and observation
- Leverage personality style of each salesperson
- Teach basic concepts of time management and emotional intelligence
- Strict accountability
- Provide better data
- Weekly one-one-one meetings
- Streamline reporting
- Implement a sales management rhythm
- Use behavior profiling to match reps with right roles
- Hire terrific sales reps
- Set specific goals and follow up
- Minimize non-sales activities and be open-minded about technology and software
- Make sure reps are working with useful and productive leads
- Increase customer referrals
- Maintain a 360-degree view of the customer
- Creates a strong sales process that catches mistakes and shortcuts
- Continuous culture improvement in the organization
- Have a CRM system that helps reps track leads and opportunities
- Give constant feedback
- Teach reps to talk less and listen more
- Empowering and incentivizing
- Get them to work as a team
- Assess sales team's sales enablement efforts
- Not more leads, but better leads
- Equip reps with the necessary tools to sell
- Minimize non-sales activities and create a very specific path to follow
- Ensure that reps truly understand their product or service
- Give reps opportunities to win, acknowledge them publicly when they do, pay them accordingly
- Build a team with the right players
- Integrate sales with marketing and customer service
- Ask them to do only one thing—sell.
The next step was to make some judgments about where to place each of the specific responses within our general category framework. This is what that effort yielded.
Sales Process: 11
Management and Coaching: 13
Clearly, judgments about where a given response belonged were arbitrary, and occasionally arguments could be made for placement in either of a couple of categories. Of course, all of this is very informal and unstructured.
Still, nearly 40% of the respondents indicated that management/coaching was the number one way to improve sales efficiency. And 70% of respondents believed the best way to improve sales efficiency is through sales process or management/coaching.
There is no silver bullet here. No insight that answers for all time and in call cases, "What's the number one way to improve the efficiency of your sales team?" But there is within this survey and its findings, perhaps a new starting point—a fresh perspective about what a narrow slice of sales leaders think about sales efficiency and how to get more of it.
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