Over the years working with B2B clients, it has become evident that the sales personnel are often tied up doing other stuff, things that have nothing to do with selling.
Following up unpaid invoices, checking inventory, trying to shuffle production schedules to accommodate something that has already been stuffed up, doing forecasts, filling in annual budget forms, chasing slow paying debtors, the list goes on.
Sales people are employed to sell, and a large percentage of this other stuff is not customer facing, but just admin that somebody thinks may be necessary, and often is, but is not contributing to the next sale.
My answer is to rename the sales function “Revenue Generation” and to ensure that every activity that is not directly related to “RG” is moved elsewhere, automated, or best yet, eliminated. Sales has become just a generic functional term, it no longer carries the urgency and importance so necessary to keep everyone in jobs, and customers coming back. Revenue generation by contrast, seems to communicate that necessary urgency and importance.
When you have done all that, you will have freed up typically 30-50% of a sales persons time, and logically, that enables them to sell more (or perhaps you need less of them).
However, there are 3 further steps to be taken:
- Only have revenue generators who genuinely love what they do, and understand and can articulate the value they and your products can deliver for their customers.
- Only have revenue generators who are committed to doing what they say that will do
- Have everyone in the organisation recognising that irrespective of their role and function on a chart, their real job is to contribute to the process by which revenue is generated, and who will not let any superficial, political or shiny new thing, get in the way.
This is all pretty easy to say, but hard to do in the face of a culture that dictates the way things are done, but clarifying ‘Why” things are done always helps.
Need help? Drop me a line.