We all know what happens at SKO every year:
- President Club Awards are given
- New Product Launches are announced
- Product Training sessions are conducted
- The New 2013 sales strategies are presented
- Sales Quota and Sales Compensation Plans are passed out
And your AEs likely do some grumbling. Why are they grumbling? Because they know they won’t have time for your “new” sales strategies. In fact, they probably feel like there isn’t time for the current sales strategies.
The only commodity more precious to an AE than money, is time. There are roughly 240 selling days per year, and when one goes by, it never comes back. Want to drive overall AE productivity and revenue? Then help focus your reps on where they should spend their time and on what.
Use the time between today and SKO to discover where you can give AEs back one of those precious commodities – TIME.
How do you Get your AEs to Stop Grumbling about 2013?
Before requiring AEs to do new tasks and use new tools, you need to eliminate the old ones. Don’t make your AEs spend hours on the tasks that don’t align with new age sales tactics. Not only will this improve the efficiency of your sales team, but your AEs will love you for it.
The best way to do this is to undertake a comprehensive time management / time optimization plan. Get your AEs off the projects that don’t add value. Get them into efficient and modern sales procedures that save time and make money.
Time Optimization Part 1 – Determining Selling vs. Non-Selling Time
Achieving world class AE time management is a process. Step 1 in this process is getting your AEs to track their time.
The best way to do this is:
- Split everyday tasks into 3-5 main “buckets”
- Within these “buckets,” you should create a total 15-25 subcategories (essentially 15-25 everyday tasks to track)
- Record these tasks for each 15-minute increment of time
- Do the actual recording every 30-60 minutes (so you should be filling out 2-4 slots each time)
- Compile this data for 4 weeks
This is the entirety of Step 1.
How do you convince your AEs that tracking this data is worth it? Step 2 (to be covered more extensively in my next blog) will shift / remove the non-selling and no-value-add tasks off their plate. So they will have more time to sell and bring in money.
Perhaps you need to whet their appetite. Below is a chart of some of the common “Silent Sales Productivity Killers.” Proper implementation of the Time Optimization Plan will help to eliminate some of these tasks.
Moving Towards World Class in 2013
Step 2 in this process will include benchmarking. Discover how your AEs daily tasks compare to world-class organizations. Learn what needs to be tweaked for your sales team to reach that level.
What concrete changes can you anticipate with more efficient time usage?
- Example: Are your AEs conducting meetings that don’t create advances? (AEs should never exit a meeting at the same point in the buyer’s journey as when they went in.) Eliminate this time wasting activity.
- Dig into the buyer’s journey. Align each prospect with that journey, as well as your own sales strategy. Always capitalize on the best sales opportunities.
- SBI can help create a customized sales process that will make these alignments. This will eliminate meetings that just act as “continuations” or “touching base.” In turn, this will shorten that sales cycle freeing up time to generate more business.
This process as a whole will do the following:
- Bring your sales strategy up to speed with world class organizations
- Increase the efficiency and time management of your sales team
- Drive your AEs job satisfaction and reduce turn-over
- Increase revenue year over year for the AE and your company
Are your AEs maximizing their time for each of those 240 selling days? Do you have questions about which sales strategies you should add or drop? Or have you had success / failure with this type of change in strategy? What activities have you eliminated from your AE’s plate? Contact SBI.