Outsource Magazine Issue 25 - (Page 73)

feature SaLeS Get Productive Looking for that extra blast of productivity from your sales teams? Take advantage of technology and the right processes and you could see permanent results very quickly, says Chris Bucholtz. Chris Bucholtz Chris Bucholtz is the Editor of SugarCRM’s CRM Outsiders Blog. Formerly the editor of Forecasting Clouds (www.forecastingclouds.com) and InsideCRM (www.insidecrm.com), he has covered a variety of technology topics over a 17-year career. T he benefit of efficiency isn’t that you can do the same as you’re doing right now with fewer employees and less overhead: it’s that you can do better, even after reducing staff and expenses. At least, that’s the idea and the hope that permeates many sales organisations today. As the number of sales pros shrinks, the numbers those sales pros are expected to meet are increasing. At a certain point, no amount of extra hustle from the sales staff is going to work to meet objectives. So how do you enable the sales department to do more with fewer human assets? First, the processes. Just as sales has become leaner, marketing has become leaner, too – in fact, according to numerous studies, marketing feels the pressure to cut the fat far earlier than sales. However, in many companies, there is still an artificial divide between sales and marketing. All too often the two sides work independently of each other, so much so that the definition of a “qualified lead” is different in each department. The result of this is that marketing sends sales leads that aren’t ready to buy. When sales wastes time on these leads, it reinforces sales’ negative view of marketing, and it prompts them to are serious abouT increasing Their sales efficiency should do is To agree on a companywide definiTion of whaT consTiTuTes a qualified sales lead engage in prospecting for their own leads. This takes away from sales’ time spent on selling. The first thing any businesses who are serious about increasing their sales efficiency should do is to agree on a company-wide definition of what constitutes a qualified sales lead. Sales should drive this definition. Marketing should then adjust itself to that definition. The objective should be getting leads to sales that are ready to buy now, thus maximising productivity in the form of closed deals. Marketing has a second important role in lead nurturing and scoring. But to maximise sales’ efficiency, it’s critical to get the right leads in front of sales in a timely and actionable manner. ❛The firsT Thing any businesses who ❜ That brings us to the technology. Today, lead management tools – including those found in many CRM applications – allow users to better manage the flow of leads from marketing to sales (and in the case of leads that don’t close, back to marketing). This should not be seen simply as a way of keeping sales staff occupied with fresh data: it’s really an opportunity to further refine the efficiency of your sales staff. Time is critical to closing sales: according to Gerhard Geschwander, founder of Selling Power magazine, calling within five minutes of an activity by a lead increases the odds of making contact by 100 times and increases the chances of setting an appointment by 21 times over the odds if you wait 30 minutes. Thus, if you can take advantage of the alerting capabilities in your CRM or marketing automation applications and get news of qualifying activities by leads to your sales people, you can boost conversion rates and maximise your sales efficiency. If you use processes to establish who the right leads are and technology to discover the best times to contact them – and then put that data in the hands of our sales staff when they can use them – you will increase your sales productivity, and you can do more with fewer assets in sales. Consendre mod eugait alit luptati sisisisitmiss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because eumsandre ex elit “For every sale you augait num iusti facidunt ipsumsan el eraestrud exerat ad onulla cor ing atetue tet ulla feu feum niamconEm ea you’re not enthusiastic enough.” – Zig Ziglar et, quissi.Volobore m iurero dolobore. commodiam ad tem dolortio Utat lum quisim www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk ● ● ● 73 http://www.forecastingclouds.com http://www.insidecrm.com http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 25

News & Commentary
Making Contact
Taking the Chair
Clinical Outsourcing Strategies
New Worlds
To Share Or Not To Share?
Trends in Outsourcing Governance
The Next Big Idea
Smart Intelligence
Taking the ChairCracking the Wip
NOA Round-Up
Predicting Success
It’s Not The Contract.
Get Productive
Rigorously Agile
Good Relations
Knowledge Sustainability
Racking Up The Wins
Trust Me... I’m an Outsourcer
Top Ten
The Legal view
HfS Round-Up
Online Round-Up
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Magazine Issue 25