SiriusDecisions recently published an infographic highlighting the top five sales challenges they uncovered via interviews of sales leaders in companies with revenues of $50 million to $2 billion. We recently wrote about challenge #2 and offered our perspective on getting new reps ramped up quickly. But that’s not the only issue we see regularly in the field; in fact, we work with Clients to help address all five challenges and #3 is a big one:
How do I improve sales rep productivity so I can get more business out of my existing reps, and how do I retain my best reps so I can hit my quota?
According to SiriusDecisions, reps spend over one-third of their time on non-core activities. That puts a massive dent in productivity – and in your pipeline potential. Our own research shows that on average, inside sales teams are responsible for two or more primary duties; in fact, 28% of respondents noted three or more primary duties for their inside sales team. This can have a negative impact on productivity.
Improving Sales Rep Productivity
The question posed in the SiriusDecisions infographic is actually two separate, but related, challenges. First, how do you improve rep productivity to get more business out of your sales force? Your reps’ time is best spent on activities that have a direct path to revenue: sales meetings with real potential and relationship-building. All other tasks, no matter how important they are, take away from time spent on these activities – and that comes with a steep opportunity cost.
One such activity is cold-calling. There’s no doubt that cold calling is incredibly important, but it’s also incredibly time-consuming. Our research reveals that 52% of inside sales reps are tasked with cold calling. And our experience tells us that it takes 130 dials on average to get one meeting. Offloading cold calling to the experts lets your reps focus on nurturing relationships and closing deals. Appointment Setting is where we started and we’re still the best in the industry.
We’ve set more than 350,000 appointments to-date, enabling our Clients’ reps to spend more time on activities with direct revenue impact.
Research is another onerous task. Gathering account intelligence is important – and becoming ever more so as organizations embrace account-based marketing. Having up-to-date details about your target accounts means that reps are better positioned to navigate decision makers and position your organization for sales success. BAO’s Account Maps provide a detailed, strategic snapshot of the companies that matter to your business. We’ve taken care of all the research legwork, providing you with information about corporate structure, divisional profiles, current technology infrastructure and data center environment, recent news, and financial information (for public companies). We even deliver 60-75 IT and line-of-business contacts. In short, you get key account info without requiring hours of time spent researching.
As for part two of the challenge, when you let reps focus on what they do best, and you give them the support (such as Appointment Setting) and resources (such as Account Maps) to maximize their ability to hit – and exceed – their quotas, they’ll want to stick around.