Five steps to increase seller productivity in FY17
Sales leaders know that their ability to properly enable their sellers is one of the most important factors in hitting numbers. However—with the proliferation of sales enablement vendors, bloggers, and experts publishing conflicting content on the subject—sales leaders are challenged with knowing where to start and what to focus on.
The reality is that increasing seller productivity is not something that someone will get from reading a whitepaper or buying a tool. It’s an ongoing and agile sales development process that starts with a clear strategy.
Here’s a proven 5-step process to set yourself on a path to increased seller productivity
- Audit your sales performance across the key enablement areas: It helps to start with a framework in which to focus your audit and provide continuity from year to year. Some of the key enablement areas you should consider in the audit are:
- Knowledge/Content Management: Providing sellers with the right content and resources when they need it.
- Sales Intelligence: Providing sellers with insights to have the right conversations with the right contacts at the right time.
- Communication Solutions: Helping sellers effectively engage prospects in any way from the systems where they already work.
- Opportunity Management: Helping sellers identify, prioritize, and perform the most impactful activities. Additionally, talk to your salespeople. What’s working or not working for them? What are increasing their productivity or detracting from it? Look at your data. What is the data telling you in relation to the seller feedback? Map seller feedback to performance data you’ve collected over the last year to uncover insights and trends.
- Outline gaps in your sales enablement function: Outlining gaps in your sales enablement function goes beyond identifying which tools your sellers are requesting. Use the insights from your audit exercise to detail where things are breaking down in the sales process.
- Where are sellers spending the most time on administrative or non-selling related tasks?
- What is preventing them from having productive prospect conversations?
- Identify which enablement drivers are important to your business: The answers to these questions should uncover the areas that would have the most impact on your sales organization moving forward.
- What are your top three goals for FY17?
- How and where do sellers need to improve to hit those goals?
- How can management help enable that performance?
- Prioritize sales enablement opportunities: By now you have an idea of what you are doing well and where you could better enable your sales teams. You also know what areas should have the most impact given your future goals. Look for current opportunities that would have the most impact long-term. Those are areas that you should focus on moving forward. Further prioritize those shortlist opportunities by balancing resources and time/cost to implement, along with the business impact. What would qualify as quick wins? What would require some capability building or technical support?
- Build a roadmap and business case for the top enablement initiatives: Take those top initiatives and map them out over the next upcoming months.
- Which enablement solutions can be implemented in the next couple of months, and which solutions are going to take several quarters to get up and running?
- Which should be done together and in what order?
- What is the resource model needed to land the initiatives?
Answering these questions will help sell these concepts internally as well as help your organization to plan for these investments, leading to better seller productivity.
This is a bit of work for sure, but one way to get a head start on this is to use a planning tool such as PK’s Sales Enablement Optimizer. This evaluation and planning tool that uses a series of frameworks to help sales leaders:
- Audit their sales organization against the sales enablement benchmarks
- Identify the enablement drivers that will have the highest value and impact
- Plan out their 2017 investment strategy
About the Author
Jared Dodson is a Senior Manager at PK with deep expertise in customer acquisition with a focus on B2B marketing and sales. His passion is helping companies leverage technology to create personalized and relevant customer engagements at scale. Working with Fortune companies—such as Adobe, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Johnson Controls—Jared has led large-scale initiatives focused on lead generation & management, account-based marketing, B2B & partner marketing, marketing technology, sales process, and sales enablement. Jared’s experience spans industries including high-tech, software, telecommunications, energy, and insurance.Tags: Sales Enablement, Sales Optimization, Sales Performance, Sales Planning, Sales Strategy