How would it affect your bottom line if your salespeople spent 10 percent more time closing deals rather than carrying out clerical duties? According to Salary.com, the median annual income for a salesperson with one to four years’ experience is $57,150 ($27/hour). And salespeople can cost a whole lot more depending on industry, location, experience and performance.
How do you get the greatest return on that investment? Where do salespeople provide the highest value? The answer is pretty obvious. It is when they are working with a qualified prospect to close a deal.
Unfortunately, there is an enormous laundry list of other tasks that companies typically require a salesperson to perform including receptionist, qualifier, data entry clerk, and appointment scheduler. At $27+ per hour, that’s mighty pricy!
What if you had those administrative tasks performed for a whole lot less than $27/hour? To make that happen, sales process mapping is the key.
First, list all of the tasks that must be performed to move a prospect through the sales funnel. Then start delegating, outsourcing and automating to maximize the salesperson’s time to focus on their highest value – actually selling.
A good example of this concept is the task of initial lead capture and qualifying. These are not duties that have to be performed by a salesperson. In fact, there are three reasons that outsourcing lead qualifying might actually get you superior results:
- In the 24×7 world of on-line marketing, it is next to impossible to guarantee that a salesperson will always be available to immediately respond to a lead. An experienced, outsourced, 24-hour lead response service can ensure an immediate response to both telephone and email leads.
- Leads have a very short shelf life. If prospects don’t get an immediate response, they simply move on to one of your competitors. A lead that was initially worth thousands of dollars can be rendered worthless in only a few minutes.
- Consistency is the key to accurately measure your sales process. You can get extremely valuable reporting if every lead is captured, its source is documented, and each prospect goes through the same qualifying processes. Marketing venues and messages can be compared, and so can salespeople. For the first time, you can determine how well salespeople performed when they worked with “qualified” leads.
The biggest impact can come from rolling this concept out to your strongest performers first. They are the most qualified to share best practices that can then be performed by other non-sales people. They are also the strong closers who could benefit the most from gaining more time.
What specific steps could you take this week to free-up more “closing” time?
This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.