Your sales team is one of your company’s most valuable assets, but their time is often spent completing repetitive mundane administrative tasks. On average, sales reps spend 50 days out of the year doing administrative work. This time drain is costly and leads to two-thirds of sales reps failing to reach their annual sales quota goal. For example, if you have a sales rep with a $60,000 base salary, 50 days adds up to $11,538.46 being spent on administrative tasks. Thus, increasing productivity comes as a byproduct of freeing up your sales team’s time to focus on their core selling initiatives.
So, how do you decrease the sale team’s administrative activities and get them back to driving sales? Here are four tips to get your sales team back to revenue generating activities:
Tip 1: Process Evaluation
To start out, you’ll want to investigate your existing sales process and see where improvements can be made. Just like everything in your business, there is constant evolution and this should include your processes. It can be hard to adjust or completely change a process if it feels like it’s been working, but it’s important to revisit even the best working processes to see if it’s time for an upgrade. This upgrade comes in the form of Business Process Management (BPM). The most important and often overlooked part of BPM is modeling. Skipping straight to automation without spending time on modeling makes you lose the vital steps of mapping your entire process.
Before you can improve and automate your sales process, you need to know and understand each step of it. When reviewing your existing map, you’ll likely find missing steps, extra steps, and better ways to organize the process. The next step is to observe current behavior and see how it correlates with the process map. You’ll find that, without ill intention, most sales reps are actually doing things very differently from the map. This is a great opportunity to survey the sales team and see where they think improvements can be made since they’re the ones adhering to the system. Once you’ve documented your observations, get the whole team back together and upgrade the process map to reflect appointed changes. It’s important to revisit this process at least once a year because, like your company, your process evolves and adapts over time.
Tip 2: Eliminating “Paper”
Over the last decade, many companies have made it a strategic initiative to lessen their dependence on paper. Despite these efforts, in the same decade paper usage has increased by 126% – or 200 million tons. The issue lies in the difference between being a digital company or a paperless company. Most companies today are digital, while embracing a paperless strategy. Digital companies have reduced the amount of times the printers are being used, but they’re still relying on printers for a large portion of work. For example, someone will print documents to get signed and approved. The document is then scanned and attached to an email, which is then printed out and stored somewhere else. Companies that have successfully gone paperless use workflow automation software for electronic signatures, online routing and approvals, and electronic document storage.
In addition, research shows that it costs $20 to file a document, $120 to find a misfiled document and $220 to reproduce a lost document. Eliminating these issues not only speeds up processes, but the savings are pretty hefty too.
Tip 3: Speed Up Closing
As mentioned before, sales reps spend a lot of time doing administrative tasks, such as searching for documents, creating content and updating/reporting on CRM data. Automation frees up a lot of a sales rep’s day that is usually monopolized by repetitive tasks. With OnTask, you can set up automatic email reminders, eliminate the need to scan documents, and track the redlining process for contracts. 84% of electronic agreements are signed and completed within one day. With those tasks taken care of, salespeople have the time to focus on the human element of their job and core selling activities.
Tip 4: Embracing a Culture of Automation
Now that you’ve made all these changes, the biggest challenge you’ll face is people’s natural resistance to change. The key is to get your sales reps to understand how these new tools will benefit them both instantly and in the long run. The transition can be a little rough because even if there is understanding, it’s a process in itself for acceptance and adoption to take place. You will want to be sure to include your sales reps from the start of this operation so you can get their insight and buy-in. Without their adoption, the new culture won’t work to the best of its ability.
Getting your sales team back to core selling activities is of the utmost importance to your company. Follow these tips and implement workflow automation software so you can close more deals faster – and increase revenue.
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