Sales Optimisation or Sales Force Optimisation are part and parcel of Transaction Marketing.
The Situation As It Now Stands
We know from surveys conducted by the Management Consultancy Group PLC that external field based sales forces are ,on average, only engaged in actual selling for 10% of their work time. This equates to little more than 1/2 day per week.
We also know from American research that external sales people rarely consistently hit their targets and that those that do regularly amount to 1 sales person in 250.
The UK and European figures taking a representative cross section of all industries are no better.
Within call and contact centres engaged in telephone selling, it is possible to get to a situation in which for 45 minutes in a telephone hour, staff are engaged in proactive telephoning activity.
However 75% of such call centres fall well short of this optimum figure.
For Finance Directors this represents a massive underutilisation of what should be the locomotive power of a business and in the case of a field sales person ,represents a 67% reduction on the ROI that should be possible even before actual skill levels are taken into account.
With a call/contact centre operative the difference in actual versus possible ROI is around 50% with more available from looking at layout, seating ,environmental, ergonomic and additional factors which most people are unaware of.
Often training is put forward as a panacaea but since many Finance Directors see people as a cost not as a resource they view training with skepticism.
Whilst we at Transaction Focus would not necessarily agree with this viewpoint there is a strong element of truth in it.
For years training companies have effectively been “sheep dipping” salespeople and call/contact centre operatives to achieve at best a 10% improvement in sales performance, only to see it evaporate within a matter of weeks and in many cases to leave the overall performance worse than it was when the sales training initiative was proposed in the first place!
Why is this?
Essentially what happens is that during a Board meeting the Sales Director will be challenged by other Board members about lack of sales.
A sales training company will be hurriedly appointed and the entire sales force will be taken off the road to be subjected to the required “medicine”.
Since some sales persons will be more advanced than the proposed training they will be bored by it and will probably end up even worse than they started.
For the poorer performers, the concepts may be too advanced for their current state of development and they may forget what they have learnt, so no improvement there either.
For those in the middle, there may be some improvement but not long lasting enough to achieve the expected ROI that a reasonable lay person ,let alone a professional Finance Director would demand.
So in most cases, unless sales training is specifically tailored to each individual and reinforced by in field or in call centre live practice and critique, it can fail miserably.
Sometimes sales training does succeed but it can then create a new problem by making sales people so competitive in the job market that they are enticed away by competitors who can afford to pay more than your business and financial model can stand.
At Transaction Focus, we examine these issues so that this sort of expensive error is much less likely to happen.
The Optimum Solution
Transaction Focus believes that the major part of the solution is based on making the sales force or call centre operation more efficient and productive by removing the constraints on available time and where necessary reorganising the sales/branch or customer engagement structure.
Without sales force automation and the application of technology it is possible using our methodology to double or even triple the amount of face to face selling time per salesperson and to do so more efficiently than might be the case if we were not involved.
This means that provided their activity levels do not make them tired, even average performers can double and triple their sales production without training and without having to be paid extra money over and above the existing commission, bonus or incentive arrangements.
Once this is done, tailored training initiatives can be applied, if desired, to lift performance further and to the point where sales automation technologies can be implemented out of additional profit rather than existing marketing budgets.
The Second Optimum Solution
For those organisations who wish to concentrate on
their core expertise and who would prefer not to operate in house sales
forces, contact /call centres or who wish to effect overseas market
entry into the Americas, Australasia, Africa, Europe, South Asia, The
Far East or The Middle East but do not have the “feet on the ground”,
Transaction Focus and their overseas partners can create a tailor made,
seamless and dedicated operation which will achieve your sales and
profit objectives and enhance the integrity of your brand.
We always aim to sustain long term profitable business for our customers. We call it the success cycle.
Our approach eliminates the management headaches and involvement caused by working in unfamiliar jurisdictions and increases your global footprint at lower cost than you could have achieved without us.
SALESFORCE OPTIMISATION USING TECHNOLOGY
Transaction Focus can optimise sales performance by eliminating time constraints and improving efficiency within external and internal teams using Eastern,Western and bespoke methods/tools.
To go beyond the barriers imposed by travel and a person’s inability to be in two places at once technology can provide a solution.
Making a good business case for CRM/CDI as a tool to aid prospect identification, selection by common attributes and characteristics, sales forecasting and optimum pipeline tracking is part of what Transaction Focus can do and does and narrowing the options down for subsequent candidate package selection by your systems people is another.
Furthermore, Salesforce Automation and geomapping software can maximise utilisation per salesperson and enable you to see in real time how their days are broken down, who is most /least effective and where they are physically located.
At Transaction Focus, we are not tied to any particular supplier and can assist you with the initial business case and the short listing process until such time as you are ready to actively engage with vendors.