The sales force is considered to be one of the most efficient means of engaging the company’s customers. However, it is also the most costly, usually nicking at least a tenth of the business’ profits. Because of this, it is a must that companies obtain maximum yield under this venture.

How Effective is Your Sales Force?

Companies usually evaluate the efficacy of their sales force through their revenues and margins. However, sales organizations use other means and measures in comprehending how effective their sales force is. Examples are as follows:

The Company’s Strategy
This is not entirely about how successful the sales is, but how are the sales achieving the company’s goals. It covers the actions taken by the company on expanding its cash flow and boosting its profitability. In addition, it establishes the goals the business is aiming to achieve and the process involved in fulfilling this plan.

The Time and Efforts of the Sales Representatives
This addresses questions regarding where and how the sales representatives are spending their time. Are they focused on the appropriate activities, opportunities, or customers? In evaluating the individual performance of a sales rep, enterprises correlate the expended time to sales performance in determining and making a distinction between activities that are of low and high values. While in measuring the quality of their efforts, metrics, indicators and customer verifiers are commonly used.

The Enforced Processes
This measure focuses on where exactly the sales representatives should allocate their time. Since there are a lot of ways a company can increase its sales force effectiveness, which of these will have a significant influence on the sales force?

The Selling Approach
Companies must know whether or not the sales force is doing things the right way. It is not solely about the product, but partly on how it is being marketed. Most businesses consider competencies a leading factor in terms of performance reviews, assessments, and developments.

Key Drivers of an Effective Sales Force

Drivers that make an efficient sales force are classified into definers, shapers, enlighteners, exciters, and controllers. Definers need definite functions and domains while shapers require dexterity, competence, and the attitude to triumph, which can be achieved through training, coaching, and incentives. Moreover, enlighteners are expected to have extensive customer knowledge through researching, targeting, and utilization of data and tools whereas exciters need to be stimulated in order to succeed, usually via compensations and incentives. Additionally, controllers should aim for setting goals and gauging sales performance.

Maximizing Sales Force Effectiveness

Maximizing the effectualness of the company’s sales force requires developments on its lead management, pipeline management, channel management, premium mix selling, sales force deployment, and product breadth.

Lead Management
Leads are the heart and soul of every sales organization. For every huge volume of leads the company generates, some will be of high value while others are considered insignificant to the sales process. It is important for businesses to manage their leads successfully, which can be done by understanding their values and curtailing irrelevant leads.

Pipeline Management
Companies handle and organize their leads via the sales pipeline. Common issues that may deter the progression of leads include dissociated benefits and indicators, contending priorities, and inadequate sales instrument. To prevent this, businesses have to distinctly establish their strategies, provide sales training and instrument to their sales force, and create performance metrics.

Channel Management
Being affiliated with the appropriate channel partner is integral to the company’s success. Distributors provide an entry for companies to reach their targeted customers. Basically, there are five steps in selecting the best channel partner. First, create a list of prospect distributors. Next, weigh their strategies versus potential competitive conflicts. Then, identify their strengths and weaknesses and evaluate if they are fit for the team. Next, select the channel partner and discuss the terms of the agreement. Lastly, promote a competition among them by using account plans and pricing policies.

Premium Mix Selling
One can tell if a company is successful or not in terms of its ability to sell a premium mix of its products and services. Conducting performance evaluations and providing training to the sales force will help them achieve success in premium selling.

Sales Force Deployment
The secret for a successful sales organization is the proper deployment of your sales force. In doing this, businesses can apply the concept of market zones. This involves separating the market into three market zones depending on their characteristics: stronghold ( an area where there is a high opportunity), beachhead (are where strategy needs to be focused), and lowland (low strength-area).

Product Breadth
For companies that have an array of product or service lines, it is a must for the sales force to be able to efficiently market all of them. Be that as it may, there are a few challenges that the sales force will have to face. This includes understanding that the comprehensiveness of the product may be beyond the extent of the sales force or that perhaps a different skill set is needed in order to effectively sell the product.