Just because your field sales reps are not working in a central office alongside you, doesn’t mean you can’t keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening each day, allowing you to make improvements where needed.
For a long time, field sales has been somewhat of a black box. Many sales leaders are not sure exactly what their team is doing every day. This is because the only data they are receiving is when deals are closed. But, you can’t improve on things that you are not tracking. According to Salesforce, 49% of sales organizations have limited or no means to measure productivity.
For truly effective sales team management that will allow you to step out of that black box, you and your team have to start utilizing the power of data. This includes sales data, data around activities, etc. Doing so will help you level up all areas of your management efforts and empower your team to be more successful.
High-performing sales teams use nearly 3x the amount of sales technology compared to underperforming teams.
So, if you are wondering where to begin when it comes to improving how you are managing your field sales team, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve broken down exactly what you can start implementing today.
Transform Your Sales Team Through Optimized Management
There are some specific steps you can take to upgrade your performance management for your sales team and work data and technology into the mix.
Double Down on the Power of Sales Data
Consistently gathering and evaluating your team’s sales data will provide you a roadmap of where adjustments may need to be made now and in the future.
Make sure you are looking deeper than just how many deals your reps are closing. You want to evaluate a variety of different metrics and KPIs. This will give you a good idea of exactly where in the sales process each rep may be having difficulties. Then, changes can be made to help increase sales effectiveness accordingly.
The Map My Customers Weekly Scorecard feature updates leaders on their team’s sales performance in their inbox. Every Monday, leaders receive a weekly email with their teams’ key sales stats. The Scorecard can be customized to see activities completed, companies added, pipeline created, and more. The Team Leaderboard shows who is the MVP and who needs more coaching.
Data is also a powerful tool for your reps to be utilizing daily. They should have access to not only relevant internal sales data but also valuable data points about their customers and prospects. This will enable them to focus on high-value prospects and offer more customized solutions.
Set Informed Sales Goals
Ambitious but realistic sales goals are a crucial part of performance management for sales teams. This is another place your historical sales data comes in. Use your data to help you set sales goals that will successfully motivate your reps. Then, with everyone on the same page in regards to what is expected of them, you will have more success in managing your field sales team.
The most effective goals are going to be S.M.A.R.T goals. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. These types of goals will drive your reps to reach for success without feeling like they’ll never meet quotas.
You also want to use goal-setting as an opportunity to make your reps feel like they are part of something bigger. To do this, set an exciting team-wide goal. For example, breaking a company or industry-wide goal. Share your vision regularly and communicate progress towards the goal to your reps regularly.
Utilize Sales Technology for Activity Tracking
Sure, just using a pen and paper is one way to track sales activity and other data. But, this takes a lot more time, which you and your reps don’t have to waste. It also significantly increases the chances of things being forgotten, critical information being lost, and follow-ups being missed, leading to potentially valuable prospects falling through the cracks.
There are a significant number of benefits that come with using sales technology to organize and automate much of you and your reps' activity tracking process. Having everything in one central location is vital to keeping everyone on the same page consistently and will significantly increase accountability. You and your reps can also easily check-in and monitor progress towards the goals you have set.
So, if you are not utilizing powerful sales technology to track exactly what your reps are doing each day, it’s time to start now.
With a field sales team management app (like Map My Customers), it will usually enable you to not only track sales activity and other sales data in one central platform, but also streamline and automate much of your team’s customer management, even on the go.
Aggregate the Sales Activity Data
Once you have each of your reps’ sales activities being tracked in one central location, bring all that data together to give you a big-picture view. This will enable you to see what exactly is driving sales, what is working, and where improvements may need to be made.
It’s important to also make sure that activities can be viewed not only by individual rep and as a team overall but also by individual location/territory. If you can see what locations are bringing in higher revenue numbers and what activities are leading to those numbers, you can make corresponding adjustments in the under-performing territories as needed. You may discover that some parts of your territory management need to be tweaked.
Optimize Your Territory Assignments and Management
Smart territory assignment and management is another crucial field sales team management skill. When assigning your reps to particular sales territories, you need to be sure that each rep has enough customers and prospects, that one rep doesn’t end up with way too many, that territories don’t overlap, and that your top-performing reps are assigned the areas with the highest potential revenue.
This is another area where field sales technology can be the key to unlocking optimized performance. A platform with territory management capabilities will enable you to effectively map and assign territories and ensure your team’s territories are always working for your business.
You also want to keep in mind that your territories are not/should not be set in stone. The size of your sales team, your company’s product or service offerings, and industry regulations are all things that may change over time. So, don’t be afraid to readjust territories if needed to help maintain sales effectiveness.
Follow-Up With Your Reps Regularly in One-on-Ones
Regularly meeting with your reps one-on-one can sometimes feel like less than a necessity when things are especially busy. But, these follow-ups are the last thing you want to put off. It’s not unusual for field sales reps to start to feel like they are off on their own island when there are no open lines of communication being maintained. In fact, according to a Globoforce study, 65% of employees wish they received more feedback from leadership, even if it’s negative.
You want your reps to consistently feel supported, empowered, and motivated, while also feeling free to share feedback with you. So, to optimize your sales team management efforts, maintain a schedule of weekly individual follow-ups.
These meetings will allow you to check in and find out the latest wins and losses each rep is experiencing, provide constructive feedback and coaching on an ongoing basis, gain new insights that can help improve the sales process, get a feel for team morale, and build solid relationships overall with your reps.
Hire and Focus on the Right Sales Reps
If you want to have a great field sales team you have to have great sales reps on the team. So, if you are building out your team further and hiring more reps make sure that you are looking for top-quality field sales reps. Look for reps who are clear on what you expect of them in terms of performance and meeting the goals you have established, are team players who can communicate well, and are happy with a little competition. Then, have an onboarding strategy in place to get them rolling quickly.
When looking at the reps that are currently on your team you want to focus on coaching the right reps. Spending a lot of time on reps who are consistently underperforming and not improving will not be effective. More than likely, field sales is not a fit for these reps and they may be better suited in another position.
Alternatively, your top reps are usually limited to how much more they can improve. Sure, they can benefit from a continued refinement of their skills on their own (even through obtaining additional sales certifications) but intensive coaching just because it’s easy with them can also take a lot of time.
So, the best place for you to focus your time when it comes to sales coaching is with your middle-of-the-road reps. This is where coaching and continued sales training is going to be the most effective and profitable. These reps are still a good fit for your team but have room for further growth and sales improvement.
Always Be Looking For Ways to Improve the Sales Process
The success of your reps’ efforts largely comes down to the sales process that is being followed. The best field sales teams utilize a strategically planned process that is consistently communicated to every member of the team and tweaked as needed. Though there may be room for deviation occasionally, overall, your reps should always be clear on the set steps that should be followed from first contacting a lead to converting them into a customer.
It is also important to understand that once you build a sales process that is effective, it is not a set it and forget it thing. The needs of your customers and prospects are always changing. So, it’s important to continue to adapt and refine your team’s sales process to ensure it aligns with the current business environment. This adaptation should include staying informed on the latest sales tools on the market, and how to get your sales team fully engaged with a CRM system or new sales tool.
Utilizing a sales team management software will also give you a broad view of your team’s current sales process through the sales pipeline. You will be able to proactively make tweaks to continually improve the process and supercharge sales effectiveness.
Empower your reps to plan more intelligently and quickly with the Map My Customers Smart Planner functionality. Reps can get smart recommendations for how to build their plan for the day/week, and then easily turn those plans into action. Smart Planner suggests certain sales activities for reps to add to their calendar, preventing accounts from falling through the cracks and reps from having gaps in their day. Daily agendas can be turned into an optimized route with just a tap, putting reps on the road in minutes.
Important Takeaways to Remember:
- Use the power of sales data to your advantage to pinpoint exactly where improvements can be made, which reps might need more guidance, and optimize your team’s performance and sales effectiveness.
- Set and communicate ambitious, realistic, and motivating sales goals to keep your team driven and successful.
- Get rid of manual methods and utilize sales technology to gain insights into your sales data, effectively track and manage activities, level up your territory management, and make proactive improvements to elevate sales success.
- Use a broad, bird’s-eye-view of the state of your team’s sales efforts and pinpoint what activities are working and where improvements can be made.
- Utilize the power of consistent one-on-one follow-ups with your field sales reps.
- Be open to what changes can and should be made in your sales process to continue to enable your team to be successful in their sales efforts.
Boost Your Sales Team Management For Success
Effectively managing a field sales team can feel tough. But, when you have the insight provided by in-depth sales data and activity tracking, things can be a lot easier. This is especially true if you are utilizing sales technology that can automate a lot of the management, tracking, and admin processes for both you and your reps.
By following the steps outlined above, you can significantly improve your sales team management efforts. Start enabling your team to consistently meet and exceed their sales goals today!