In the era of coronavirus, we have faced with a huge challenge, which has consisted in and consists in shifting from a classic model of work to a so-called remote mode of work. Many organisations have never operated in this model before, which makes it a real challenge for them.
In the certain departments the Work in the Home Office model seems to be simple and natural, however in the others it can be associated with many challenges. From a logistics perspective switching a team towards the remote sales does not require taking extraordinary actions. Nevertheless, the real challenge here consists in monitoring and maintaining an appropriate efficiency level of the sales department. Therefore, the challenge faced by the sales directors is primarily to maintain the most effective sales team that will be able to achieve sales results at the same level as formerly, when working in the classic mode.
1. Sales Process
The basis of each well-functioning sales department is a well-designed and planned sales process.
The role of the sales process in the organisation is to set standards and automate operations, which is to result in the increased efficiency of the Salesmen, as well as, the higher systematics in their operations. The sales process should consider all key stages that take place beginning from an acquisition of a lead ending up with the signing of the contract. When designing the sales process, you should analyse insightfully how this relationship with the customer/client has looked like hitherto, as well as what elements of this process have a key impact on its final result.
Designing the sales process need not necessarily be linked to very extensive and analytical work. The simplest sales process can be presented in the form of a plain Sales Funnel divided into the various components. Beginning with this model, it is enough to itemise and design the individual stages of the Sales Funnel to have the basis for the further work. The sales process has to be consulted with the whole team. It must actually be the same as the operations of the sales team. Unfortunately, otherwise the sales team will not follow the process. The benefits of having the sales process in an organisation are essentially the standardisation of the entire process, as well as an ability to refer to it as part of the provided reporting or supervising of the sales team members. In the absence of a pronounced sales process in the sales department, we expose ourselves to a situation, in which each Salesman has a quite different attitude to the process, which will most often affect the respective final results. Within a period of the remote work, such a standardised process will enable us to manage the team in the easy and effective manner.
- Sales process = work standardisation
- Sales process = easier implementation of the team and efficiency monitoring
- Sales process = more efficient work of the sales team in the remote mode
2. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The second issue of the great significance in the management of the sales department, in particular within a period of the remote work and remote sales, is an implementation of the specific KPIs. This is nothing else, but the implementation of the various types of the metrics and principles as a part of which the sales team works.
The role of KPI is to maintain adequate effectiveness in the sales department. The Salesmen are fond of being in competition. Every day they experience a very high level of stress, actively working with customers/clients. As part of their daily work, it is necessary to perform the same repetitive actions such as making calls, holding meetings, and now as part of the remote work – conducting multiple teleconferences. The fact that these are repetitive actions frequently threatens the risk of falling into sameness, which then generates a decrease in effectiveness.
Due to the implementation of the appropriate KPIs, we can both easily monitor and motivate the team to maintain the quality and effectivity of the work planned by us. While working remotely, we are not able to monitor the activity of the workmates. It is certain that reliance is a basis in the sales department, but in this case the work model remains heavily a football team.
The trainer, in spite of putting great trust in the employees, personnel and the whole team, conducts monitoring and measuring and introduces the individual development paths for each of the players on the continuous basis. In case of the sales department, it is similar. The implementation of KPIs fails only to serve to monitor its work, but above all to improve effectiveness and those elements that prevent it from using its full potential. In case when the sales team works remotely, the implementation of these principles enables to manage easily the department and maintain its effectiveness without the need to have a direct contact.
The most commonly used KPIs are as follows:
– a number of the outgoing and incoming calls,
– a call duration,
– a number of the meetings held,
– a number of the new leads converted into the opportunities,
– a number of the submitted offers and the Offer to Deal conversion level.
3. CRM System
The third very important element of the sales culture is a possession of the proper infrastructure, as a part of which it is possible to measure and reflect the sales process. Such a natural environment in the sales department is certainly the CRM system. The implementation of such a system is one of the essential actions to be carried out when you assume developing the sales department. In the sales department, all information concerning sales, Salesmen activity, communication with the customer/client, notes and any additional commercial information should be recorded in the CRM system.
The Salesmen who do not work with the CRM system should bear the consequences of this fact. The actions not reflected in the system are then recognised as not actually carried out. The sales teams that are forced to perform their work remotely should observe these principles even more strictly. As it is a difficult challenge for a manager to supervise the sales department without basic information about its operating. It is just for this purpose that you need the CRM system and one, which not only shows the sales result itself, but first and foremost allows you to monitor the whole process. There is a great deal of the very interesting CRM solutions on the market, and we encourage you to use our system – InStream.io.
Many interesting materials about how to efficiently implement a CRM system in your organisation can be found on the Internet, too. We also encourage you to familiarise yourself with those available on our web site.
4. Communication Standards
The fourth, very important element of the effective sales department is a consistent commercial communication. In particular when the sales department operates remotely, it is of importance for the company to maintain the consistent communication. The customer/client that visits the web sites and then contacts the sales team should receive one consistent message, properly presenting the benefits and value of the services and products offered. Unfortunately, many sales departments approach this subject with leniency. This frequently means that the commercial communication strongly deviates from a value the company actually delivers.
When onboarding the new employees in the sales department, you should prepare an appropriate communication that is a standard for the company. Only in this manner is it possible to effectively and quickly teach the team to conduct communication at the level that the company desires.
When developing a consistent communication, it is worth taking into account the following:
– knowledge base for Salesmen,
– materials such as the scripts, recorded conversations, exercises,
– templates of the e-mails, contracts, presentations
Apart from all materials, an onboarding path for a new person should be designed, where on the implementation of the proper commercial communication for the new person should be put a huge emphasis.
The last very important element that will certainly be useful within the period when the team works remotely is to monitor the results at the level of the sales process. We denote what is worth monitoring in many of our articles. Obviously, we monitor to respond in advance to the situation in the sales department. A good sales director is able to measure what percentage of the leads passed along to the team converts on average to the sales opportunities, how many sales opportunities converts into the satisfied customers/clients.
Furthermore, in each sales department you should monitor the average time spent on a given sales process, how many actions a given Salesman performs to close the sale, or how many sales opportunities are closed on average and for what reason. An organisation that fails to measure anything as part of the sales process has no reason to develop and improve its effectiveness. In particular, while working remotely, when we have no possibility of conducting a direct cooperation, presenting results at least once a week has a huge impact on the sales team. The entire team should take part in this process.