The increasing demand for sales efficiency and sales enablement tools has made organizations highly sensitive to the needs of their sales teams. Marketing departments are taking pains to keep themselves on the same page with sales, while management is doing everything it can to ensure that the sales team is constantly supported with comprehensive training and simpler, more convenient tools.
While sales may love the attention, there comes a point when it can get a bit too much. I mean, no one likes to attend training all the time, nor does anyone like to be given tools that “take care of everything” so much that they lose the leeway to be creative or their professional growth becomes limited.
So how do you stop going overboard and get back to enabling your sales team the healthy way?
1. Do not go overboard with your training
Are your sales reps bombarded with training all the time? Do your recruits have to go through the ordeal of sitting through week after week of classroom training? Well, we suggest you change that. Create a solid on-boarding or training program for sales reps using sales playbooks and give them access to it. This way they can undergo the training whenever they want or wherever they want, at their own pace.
2. Too many tools spoil the sale
Okay, your reps need the tools to keep up with the competition. They need the CRM. They need to make personalized assets (another system?) and they need to track their prospect activity (a third system?) What they don’t need is ten different systems to do all this. Giving them an endless list of tools with distinct features can confuse them. Instead, give them a comprehensive one; a system that embodies the more important tasks like data analysis, prospect tracking, sales-marketing automation and asset management. It is also important that your system be flexible enough to integrate your existing CRM system.
Sales reps are always short of time due to their hectic schedules. Between their countless meetings, squeezing time in for an immediate reply to a prospect’s interest or updating the CRM may not be possible. An automated task means that your sales rep needn’t feel guilty about not being prompt with a reply to every prospect. Brainstorm with your team and decide which tasks can be automated. This will offload a lot of unimportant tasks and let them focus more on selling.
4. Stop flooding them with ready-made collateral
Sales people know what their prospects want better than anyone. So stop handing them the collateral that they do not ask for. Instead give them a smart system that lets them create personalized sales collateral. This will ensure that they do not infringe on your brand’s identity in any way.
5. Paperwork is passé
Well, I don’t really mean paper, but do you still ask them to update your word document? Do you ask them to email you at the end of the day? You should stop that. The last thing a sales rep wants to do after a long day of work is to write a report. Use a system that auto-updates crucial data so that everyone stays updated without tedious paperwork.
Don’t mollycoddle your sales team. Provide them with limited yet useful tools that aid the selling process. Over-supporting will most likely turn your reps into dependent and unproductive workers.
“A rep’s knowledge must continue to be fed over the long term in order for productivity to grow.”
-Jim Ninivaggi, SiriusDecisions