How to solve the problem of scarce sales people resource?
Recently I've been interviewing HR managers, team leaders and employees about current practices used to improve employee engagement and satisfaction. And problems related to that. One problem that keeps being mentioned - salespeople is a very scarce resource, with the highest employee turnover and causing most urgencies to the hiring and onboarding team.
I'd like to share some thoughts on what to do about that problem. I will group them into two parts - process and people.
Someone once said that the quality of life we live directly depends on the quality of questions we ask. I think we can apply this principle to work as well.
The first question that would come to my mind is - how to improve the process so that salespeople like it more and thus have higher engagement and satisfaction and stay longer, and work more productively?
But let us leave it for a second and ask ourselves a different question - how to change the process so that we need fewer salespeople for the same results?
Now, it turns our thinking in a completely different direction, right? We can now think about automation, process optimization, delegation, batching, better tools, effectivity, etc. Some ideas that I've used and some that might also help:
Implement a tool that automatically sends reminder emails to prospects. It will increase conversion and save people's time. They're called drip campaigns. Overview here: zapier.com/learn/email-marketing/best-drip-email-marketing-apps/
Hire interns or outsource virtual assistants and delegate mundane tasks to them. E.g.: finding initial contacts online and creating the initial prospect profile in the CRM, getting decision maker's contacts, arranging the meeting time, finding background data, filling in details in forms and agreements and much more time consuming, but simple and standardisable tasks. Overview here: https://www.virtualassistantassistant.com/virtual-assistant-companies
Implement a CRM that fully integrates with phone and email so that salespeople would not have to spend extra time on manual entering of the data. www.pipedrive.com is good at that.
Allow people to use audio notes for the CRM instead of written ones. Some prefer writing, some - talking. Implement a tool for that so that employees can record the notes on their phone and send via email to the CRM or upload as an attachment. Overview here: www.pcmag.com/feature/346474/9-voice-recorder-apps-that-won-t-miss-a-second
Implement great online conferencing software and hardware so that employees can save the commute time. But train how to use it properly in terms of soft skills, there's a different set of etiquette for online meetings. Tips for online meetings here: www.captechconsulting.com/blogs/virtual-meeting-etiquette-101. Software overview here: www.g2crowd.com/categories/video-conferencing
Implement a tool for meeting scheduling (if you don't delegate it to an assistant) - e.g., I use Calendly.com
Automate prospect list building. Overview: www.tenfold.com/sales-prospecting/big-list-40-prospecting-tools-modern-salesperson/
If the taxi is in reasonable pricing in your city and there's no metro, let your sales reps travel by taxi instead of busses/trams - it will save loads of time for them.
Help with ordinary personal chores - house cleaning, dry cleaning, car servicing and other staff can be done by assistants, not your scarce sales reps. It's both employee benefit and productivity optimisation method.
I leave it here to you - think about methods to optimise, automate, improve and invest in the process so that more can be done with less.
The second part is people. I think it's obvious you can't compete forever with increasing salaries and headhunting people. The salaries carousel always stops at some moment. We need to think about another method how to retain salespeople longer - non-financial ones. It relates to the company culture which is our theme - Motivio's second product is company culture app Motivio Culture. I will talk about motivating salespeople in another blog post.
P.S. Our first product is Motivio Meals - it automates the process to subsidise employees' meals and business meals. It's a mobile app for employees and web portal for management that automates the whole process - set and control meals and business meals budget, pay for meals with the app, get reports, invoices and automatically prepared tax reports for the business meals. Find out more at www.motivio.eu.
Motivio is an HR tech company. We help companies to attract, engage and retain employees: Motivio Meals - stand out in the job market with great employee benefits. Deliver employee benefits, especially subsidised meals, via the mobile app. Motivio Culture - build magnetic company culture to engage and retain employees better.