Sales Process/ Activity Management22nd November 2020
Sales activity management is simply supervising your sales team around those behaviors, activities and milestones. It’s not micromanaging, but rather teaching reps how to take control of the sales process.
Sales activity management is an “inputs drive outputs” kind of mentality. Although the word “activity” might make people think of just hitting the phones, this method can be applied to any different type of sales team.
With the help of sales activity management system, managers can keep their team motivated and manage the sales goals, effectively increasing the sales team’s efficiency; hence leading to revenue generation.
- Managers who use sales activity management system spot crucial sales activities that are closing the business deals and based on that they create the targets for their sales team.
- With the real-time data from the system manager check the sales team performance, rewarding the top performers, appreciating those who are showing efforts and coaching those who are lacking behind.
- The sales activity management system helps the managers in creating a competitive environment that is friendly and progressive in nature.
The study points out that:
- 25% of sales leaders around the world are not using sales activity management.
- Only 33% of inside sales rep time is spent actively in selling.
- 71% of sales reps say they spend too much time on data entry.
- Lost sales productivity and wasted marketing budget costs companies at least $1 trillion a year.
Once you understand the key activities in your sales process, the key is to make them happen more often, whether that’s through investing in more people or better technology. For example, if you’ve identified that having conversations with a certain type of buyer is the biggest trigger or indicator of future success, you can either hire more people to perform that specific activity, or you can invest in technology that allows your current reps to have more of those conversations, such as a dialer system.
Sales Activity Management Will Only Continue to Grow
Bob isn’t alone in his quest to embrace this modern sales methodology. According to the 2015 State of Sales report from Salesforce, 75 percent of sales leaders are either currently investing in or plan to invest in sales activity management software.
The use of CRM systems has become ubiquitous, and companies are realizing that the technology and systems they’ve put in place allow them to track all of the sales activities in a single database.
With sales activity management, companies can finally start achieving what they always intended when they bought a CRM system: to have the knowledge that if your team can make a certain number of calls, they will turn those into a certain number of conversations, which turn into a certain number of opportunities, which turn into a certain number of proposals and so on throughout the entire sales process. It’s never quite that simple, and it’s unique to every different company. But the point is that this cascading chain of behaviors or activities leads to an outcome, which is closing business.
“All the systems are there. The data is there. And if you can get some of this organized properly, suddenly forecasting can start being driven by how many calls did me make? How many meetings did we have this month? I think it’s going to take a while, but that’s where forecasting in sales is going, where a company can truly see: ‘Are we really spending our time on what matters?’
To put it in perspective, think about your sales organization. Let’s just say there are 100 people in it. That means you’re probably spending somewhere around $10 million on all those people, and you’re spending maybe another $500,000 on CRM and sales technology. But really it’s the people that matter, because if you can keep them truly focused on the right activities, you maximize output.
Implement Sales Activity Management
The Key Selling Activities.
’’Share the key selling techniques and strategies, while setting key activities of your sales team’’
Lay down a deal winning moment, note down the selling roles and fit them in the sales proposal; mapping it down.
After you have mapped out your sales team structure define the key activity for each role.
- For a sales representative, it can be sales accepted opportunities, scheduled meeting, and conversations.
- For your field sales representative, it might be meetings-in-person, proposals sent, VP conversations and discovered opportunities.
Have meeting with your sales team and get their perspective on the “key’’ activities. To get detailed insights ask your top performer regarding his daily activities that help him in achieving his goals.
Use all this information and develop a series of activities that help in your sales process.
Analyze the best practices and educate your team regarding the same so that they become more confident and have a clear understanding of how they are supposed to achieve their sales goals.
Provide a personal scorecard to individual representatives, so they can keep track of their own metrics. This step will help them in making informed decisions about how they spend their time cracking the deals.
Monitor the Metrics and Planning Rectifications
Monitor the activity metrics proactively and review them in the weekly meetings.
Sales activity management system helps a lot in this scenario with features such as pacing calculations, alerts for sales leaders and automated tracking. This data is used for determining the areas where the deals get delayed; hence making it easy to take swift actions and enhance your overall sales process.
Sales Activity Management Generates Desired Revenue
- Ryerson saw a 60 percent increase in profit per month by getting their sales team to focus on the behaviors that would lead to sales
- Staples increased its key selling activities by 182%.
- Procore increased their SDR-originated revenue by 55% and year-over-year new business pipeline by 400%.
- Veritas experienced 130% more contacts created, 105% more proposals sent and 8 times more meetings scheduled.
- Staples’ key selling activities increased by 182% (as part of this, they doubled their number of opportunities created).
- HubSpot saw a 35% increase in the right sales activities and a 31% increase in qualified prospect meetings.
- Paycor grew its number of meetings by 45% and number of key account meetings by 55%.
- Ryerson brought in $27,000 more in profit and 2.5 times more qualified calls per month.
- Fibernetics saw a 30% increase in calls during the time-frames when their sales team is usually at its lowest energy levels.
3 Steps to Implementing Sales Activity Management
1) Determine key selling activities.
First, define the sales activities that lead to won deals. Start by laying out the structure of your sales organization. Note each selling role and where it fits into the sales process. Do you have sales development reps who generate leads and then distribute those leads to account executives? Or are your field sales reps handling deals from start to finish within their assigned territories?
Once you’ve mapped out the structure of your sales team, define the key activities for each role. For a sales development rep, those could be conversations, meetings scheduled, and sales accepted opportunities. For a field sales rep on the other hand, those key activities might be opportunities discovered, VP-level conversations, face-to-face meetings, and proposals sent.
Next, interview your sales managers and reps to get their perspective on key activities. Ask top performers what they do on a day-to-day basis that makes them successful. Because salespeople aren’t always completely aware of what’s working, you should also speak to other reps and managers about what they see top performers doing every day.
Use this information to develop the series of activities that make up the steps of your sales process. Then share the results with your team and get their feedback. Not only will involving them increase buy-in across the team, but they may point out crucial points you’ve overlooked.
Don’t forget to analyze best practices as well. Two salespeople might contact the same number of prospects in a day, but if only one of those reps is researching her prospects, writing personalized emails, incorporating trigger events and buyer behavior, and crafting individual value propositions, she’ll be far more successful than her peer.
When you set key activities with your sales team, you should share key selling techniques and strategies at the same time.
2) Reverse-engineer your sales process.
Next, determine the amount of each activity you need to reach your goal. Start with your highest-level goal: Revenue.
Let’s say your annual target is $70 million in bookings, and your average deal size is $35,000.
$70 million (revenue needed) ÷ $35,000 (average deal size) = 2,000 deals
If you have a 25% proposal-to-deal conversion rate, your salespeople will need to send out 8,000 proposals. That, in turn, requires 2,000 meetings. For those meetings to occur, your reps must have 128,000 conversations.
Now break down the activity metrics by timeframe.
- 2,000 deals ÷ year = 167 deals per month
- 8,000 proposals ÷ year = 667 proposals per month
- 32,000 meetings ÷ year = 640 meetings per week
- 64,000 calls ÷ year = 256 calls per day
Assign a corresponding number of activities to each salesperson. Let’s assume you have 100 reps on your team.
- 167 deals per month ÷ 100 reps = 2 deals per month
- 667 proposals per month ÷ 100 reps = 7 proposals per month
- 640 meetings per week ÷ 100 reps = 7 meetings per week
- 256 conversations per day ÷ 100 reps = 3 calls per day
Now you can track activity by individual sales rep. Give each one a personal scorecard so they can keep track of their own metrics and make informed decisions about how they spend their time.
3) Monitor metrics and course-correct performance.
Proactively manage these activity metrics by monitoring them daily and reviewing them in your weekly one-on-ones and team meetings. It’s helpful to use a sales activity management system, which automates tracking, calculates pacing, and alerts sales leaders when metrics fall behind.
Use the data to determine where deals get stuck in your sales process and the areas your reps need more coaching. Do you notice that reps are sending the right number of proposals but not winning enough deals? They might need help writing proposals. Is your team making the right number of calls but not getting enough meetings? Train them to accurately identify your ideal customers.
If your team starts to fall behind on their activity goals, try rallying them around specific metrics. Use personalized scorecards and stack rankings to inspire focus and collaboration. With the activity data you gather, you can uncover best practices and recognize top performers for each activity.
Sales activities are the only metrics we can control, so we must manage our teams around them. This approach is called activity-based selling, and it’s being adopted by modern sales leaders everywhere.