CMO: You’re Killing the Sales Team’s Selling Time!


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silent sales productivity killerLet’s recap the time you have sucked out of the sales rep’s day. Perhaps you implemented a new CRM, Marketing Automation or Enterprise based social network. The goal is improved efficiency and sales rep effectiveness. The statistics support the majority of automation implementations fail. You’re trying to help but you’re killing the sales teams’ selling time in the process. And you wonder why the sales team is a reluctant participant in the new initiatives.

So What’s the Solution?

Adding value to your sales team starts with understanding your buyer. Best-in-class sales organizations start with understanding where the buyer spends their time.

Sales Rep Time Study Template

You are spending millions on the solutions meant to enable the sales team. So why is the internal buyer’ treated any differently than the external buyer? Yes, the sales team is the buyer for your solutions. If they were a prospect you would know how to treat them. You would leverage; buyer personas, buyer process maps, a custom sales process, assign the right people and build a marketing campaign.

Sign up for SBI’s 7th annual research tour: “How to Make Your Number in 2014: A Sales Strategy You Can Execute.” Participate and learn what top companies are doing to make the number in 2014. You will get a copy of the Time Study Template plus dozens of more tools.

Four Key Areas to Impact

SBI’s annual research contains 4 key areas impacting B2B buyer trends. How do these 4 areas relate to your internal initiatives? Not understanding the environment your buyer is working in means you don’t understand your buyer. Let’s contrast external buyer changes with your internal buyer and the associated impact.

External B2B Trends:

  1. Buying Process Map (BPMs) – a BPM includes the macro and micro questions your buyer is asking during the purchasing decision timeline. Mapping your external buyer’s decision making process from “not in the market” to “implementation”.
  2. Social selling – how to sell and prospect by leveraging social networks and generate meetings with decision makers. Even in best in class marketing organizations you’re only supplying 30% of rep generated opportunities. Your sales team needs to generate the other 70%.
  3. Custom sales process – a custom sales process or processes mapped to each buyer process map you have. Many of the old off the shelf sales methodologies have not adapted to the changes in buyer behavior.
  4. The new “A” player sales rep – the capabilities your sales team needs to compete in 2014 and beyond. Fundamental sales capabilities still apply. The new A player also requires Social; Branding, Reach, and Referrals to name a few. A sales reps ability to keep pace with the buyer has never been more important.

Internal Buyer Trends:

  1. Internal Buying Process Map (BPMs) – the sales team is time starved. The demands on them continue to increase with the number of enablement tools being provided. Just think about the change management side of it for the rep. They need to learn more tools to increase selling efficiency. We know with change management, you have a dip in productivity first. Knowing your internal buyer well will increase your adoption success. Work with your peer in sales and start with a time study.
  2. Social selling – this is a new capability requirement of the sales team. The tenure of the sales team can impact the ability for you to gain adoption. The “use cases” in this area need to increase closure rates and reduce sales cycle length. For the sales rep, how can you help provide more meetings with decision makers? Knowing where time is being wasted allows you to help.
  3. Custom sales process – assuming you have a customized external sales process. Are you still selling to the internal buyer in the same old way? If you think about your own time starved days. Do you really buy in the same way you use too? How can you adjust your internal sales process to the demands on your buyers (sales reps)?
  4. New “A” player sales rep – has any job changed as radically has the sales rep’s? Let’s use an example for your job. You need to meet with your entire marketing team. No one returns calls or emails. They dread the time with you because it’s viewed as a constant sales pitch. Not to mention they think they already know everything. How could you possibly get anything done? Welcome to the world of a sales rep. Knowing where they struggle with time allows you to adapt the initiatives to the buyer. Adoption of the initiative by the sales rep means success for you.

When you are building a world class sales machine, understanding your internal buyer is critical. Failure to understand your internal buyer results in failing to gain adoption of new capabilities. Failing to gain adoption means failure for you.

Download the Sales Rep Time Study Template by signing up here. Walk into the CSO’s office, put it on his/her desk and say, “Let’s do this.” Knowing where the time goes will help both of you.

If you have any questions or concerns contact me at [email protected]. I’ll walk you through the template and spend 30 minutes helping you add value to the sales team in 2014.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

John Staples
John is an industry thought leader with more than 25 years of business experience, including B-to-B field sales, sales management, and sales operations. John has delivered results for companies such as: ConocoPhillips, Ryder, Tekelec, Telcordia Technologies, United Site Services, Sparta Systems and others.


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