Four tips for a better seller experience
A Gartner research report reveals that 20% of all B2B transactions are terminated due to overly complicated rules and procedures. B2B companies have made significant efforts to offer better customer service by introducing marketing automation, among other things. Despite all these efforts, one key link seems to have been overlooked: the impact that the 'salesperson experience' has on the customer experience.
Sales is a dog's work
Sales teams have never had the resources, data, knowledge and support they have today: lead generation software, CRM, ABM software, LinkedIn, marketing automation, Showpad. The list is growing all the time. But despite this, the entire sales team is still struggling to function even better and be more productive. At this stage, it's no longer about new ways to buy or stronger competition, but about the company's internal organization, which often proves to be the biggest obstacle in the sales process.
Sales representatives spend 36.6% of their time on sales. Only 18.0% of their time is spent on CRM - insidesales.com
If you're aware that sales reps use an average of one-third of their time doing what they do best and are paid for it, then a good solution would be to look at seller experience, wouldn't it? Have you ever wondered how sales reps perceive their workplaces? How do they feel about them? To what extent do they feel connected to their jobs? What might be the consequences of negative workplace perceptions and low levels of engagement? Frankly, there are only a handful of B2B companies that put the same effort into improving this area as they do into improving customer service. How sales reps feel about the company is often the least of these companies' concerns. The question is whether rightly so.
In fact, it is surprising that this is not widely recognized as a problem: after all, sales is the face of the company, and reps have daily contact with target groups and customers. There is also evidence to suggest that an engaged and enthusiastic salesperson offers better customer service than someone who is not. It's time to do something about it - but how?
How do we want to increase sales?
If you want to improve the salesperson's experience, it's best to start by removing internal obstacles. I can recommend four tips for you:
1. Reduce distractions
Fewer 'distractions' means that you should try to limit non-sales-related questions and tasks to an absolute minimum. This includes such tasks as internal surveys, internal projects, financial reporting, HR administration, general requests, etc. Of course, many of these questions cannot be skipped altogether, especially if they also involve the sales team, but they can be definitely limited. Others, on the other hand, can be marked as "non-negotiable", which are mandatory for all sales representatives. In this way, you can remove a number of tasks that have nothing to do with their most important area of a sales rep. It seems simple. And it is: for any issue unrelated to sales, ask yourself whether it's worth the sales team spending hours of their time on it.
2. Streamline internal workflow
Streamlining workflows means that a sales person has to spend less time and effort gathering information about people and systems and getting approvals from different departments. This makes using sales tools as easy as possible. This is an important factor because support teams (HR, IT, finance, etc.) often - with the best of intentions - buy their own tools that address their specific needs, but these tools often overlap with those from other departments and are not always properly integrated. The resulting loss of time, frustration and effort (not to mention cost) associated with moving from one system to another is often overlooked.
3. Ease of data retrieval
This means supporting sales in doing their job by making it as easy as possible for them to access information. Who do I need to talk to? What does the potential customer already know? What is the potential customer's profile? What kind of presentation should I make? Where can I find the potential customer's address? Do I have an interesting case study for the potential customer's industry? In many cases, this is a time-consuming task, as the information is often scattered across different systems and sources. This is a very frustrating and time-consuming task for most salespeople because they do not feel supported by the rest of the organization.
4. Sales-focused support
Sales-focused support means that you help salespeople make better decisions by pointing out which tools and activities are best used in sales processes. You also provide a system that offers additional support during 'peak hours' (e.g., trade shows, responses related to specifications, presentations, etc.). In effect, you are freeing salespeople from certain tasks during very busy periods so they can focus on what they are good at, which is selling. To achieve this, you must first know exactly what the situation is and what the needs of your salespeople are, and you must establish a clear process so that the support provided is realistic, predictable and executable.
Using these four tips, you can try to remove as many of the disruptors to your sales force as possible. Currently, they are likely to consume about two-thirds of salespeople's time. This task will, of course, affect the entire organization and will require time, resources and technology support. Effective and integrated use of HubSpot CRM, HubSpot marketing automation, Showpad and the right leads will take you a long way. GROW helps B2B companies increase sales effectiveness.