Have you noticed that something funny is going on in the way people are selling today? It’s puzzling, because . . .
1) Selling is better. Salespeople today are smarter about selling today than they ever have been before. The days of the “hard sell” are gone and salespeople are acting like consultants and colleagues to their customers.
2) Selling is worse. Yet at the same time,most companies are still not selling enough. Yes, customers are loyal, but it seems to take time before sales volumes ramp up and contribute enough to company profits.
What Is Keeping Salespeople from Selling at Top Levels?
Many companies think they know the solution. They reason that if they increase sales quotas, hire more salespeople or hire high-powered motivational sales trainers, the situation will turn around.
Those solutions might work . . . or they might not, because the following structural issues are limiting sales in many organizations.
Problem One: Salespeople Have to Report to Headquarters Before They Enter Sales into the System
They spend a big chunk of their time making sales calls, but can only get those sales into the system when they show up in headquarters and log in. Until they can do that, they carry around paperwork and orders and the entire sales process becomes unresponsive and stalls.
Maybe you have equipped your sales reps with tablets and apps that let them log sales orders on the fly, from wherever they are. That can help, but another strategy can work even better, which is to set up multiple drop-in company locations where your salespeople can visit conveniently in and around the sales calls they make. They can make a few sales, drop into one of your locations, log in their reports, then get back out there visiting customers and continue to sell. The result can be an increase of 40%, 50% or more in actual selling time – and even more if you have a sales force that is serving customers in a number of different cities, states, or other regions that are far from company offices.
Problem Two: Communications Stop and Start between You and Your Salespeople
You have critical information to deliver to your sales people in real time. Maybe you want to tell them about a discount offer that you would like them to make to customers. Or maybe one of your products has just been back ordered and you want them to know right away so they can keep customers informed.
It is difficult to communicate efficiently with sales people if they are out in the field making sales calls and prospecting new accounts.You send them emails and texts, but they are too busy to read them or respond in a timely way. And when they do find time to check your communications, they do so from a coffee bar, a hotel lobby, or another location where they are distracted or rushed.
The entire communications process simply works better when your salespeople can go to one of your drop-in work locations, sit down, focus and respond. The entire process of communication can be improved, and made faster, by a factor of 25%, 50% or more. You won’t know how much more efficient your communications can be until you try drop-in locations for yourself.
Problem Three: Lack of Execution
This happens when salespeople are so busy juggling multiple tasks that they don’t finalize orders, follow-up on sales, or take other steps that carry the ball across the goal line. Let’s face it. Most sales are closed when salespeople have the time and space to call clients to say, “Can I place that order for you?” or, “What questions can I answer for you before you try us out?”
Execution is more likely when salespeople can work from a place they call their own, not from a Starbucks, a train or another distracting location. In our experience more sales are closed from KettleSpace’s drop-in locations than are made by salespeople who are dashing around a city from one public place to another.
Problem Four: Lack of Team Functioning
Sales teams sell more when they function as teams, because events like these happen . . .
- Sharing solutions and knowledge. One sales person turns to another and says, “This client has a problem that I know we can solve, but he won’t listen to me. Have you faced a similar problem . . . what would you suggest?”
- Teaming up at key times. A salesperson can say to another, “Would you come with me to visit a client and help me close the sale? If two of us visit, I think we can make it happen.” That kind of teaming-up cannot happen if your salespeople never see each other . . . if they are scattered all around a city or a region and never lay eyes on each other. Again, a drop-in work location that is shared by your entire sales team can be the catalyst for teamsmanship that closes sales.
A Shared Drop-In Workspace Solves those Problems and More
If you would like to know more about transforming your selling by allowing your salespeople to use shared work spaces, contact KettleSpace to get started today.