At the end of every month, sales managers may be left asking themselves a single question: why is their team falling short of their selling quota?
Your sales reps are trying hard and hustling in the field, yet they’re still not pulling the numbers they need to hit their targets. When looking at how effective sales management is, a Harvard Business Review study found leaders consider 300+ different metrics to determine sales success.
But here’s the kicker: only 17% of those metrics can be directly influenced.
The good news is influencing that 17% can be done through sales activities. In other words, what sales reps are spending their time on and how many deals they’re closing. A survey by Salesforce found that 75% of sales leaders are now either investing in (or planning on) sales activity management software to understand what sales activities are working, and which ones aren’t.
Managing sales activities allows team leaders to have a clearer view of what sales methods work for the business and encourages their reps to use them.
In this guide, we’re going to look at:
What is Sales Activity Management?
Why is Activity Management Crucial to Any Sales Organization?
8 Ways to Implement Sales Activity Management for Your Team?
Let’s dive in.
What is Sales Activity Management?
Sales activity management is when specific activities that lead to sales are recognized, and culture is built around them.
Let’s get this out of the way early on. Sales activity management is not an excuse for team leaders to micromanage their sales reps. Instead, it’s a way to find leaks in a sales pipeline and reflect on a rep’s sales activities to sell smarter and close more deals.
As Salesforce found, the majority of sales leaders are now looking to technology to help them embrace sales activity management. As our selling activities become more intertwined with tech, it makes sense that team leaders are seeking out ways to track, monitor and motivate their team on the ground. In turn, tightening up a team’s sales process, from prospecting to contract signings, can boost overall sales.
At its core, sales activity management is a way for sales leaders to create goals based on the activities that are bringing in the most results.
Why is Activity Management Crucial to Any Sales Organization?
Managing sales activity is a relatively new priority for sales leaders.
By utilizing sales activity management, team leaders can build competition amongst sales reps, create equal selling territories, and make their overall goals more transparent. But most importantly, sales activity management gives team leaders the tools to help their reps be more successful in the field.
With the help of a sales activity management system, managers can keep their team motivated and manage the sales goals, increasing the sales team’s efficiency and ultimately add more revenue to their company’s bottom line.
The reason activity management can give sales leaders this amount of power is it provides a real understanding of selling achievements using data. Having access to data such as call attempts, territory maps and forecasts enables managers to make smarter sales moves using cold hard numbers.
8 Ways to Implement Sales Activity Management for Your Team
1. Discover Which Sales Activities Matter Most to Your Business
To take full advantage of sales activity management, it’s essential to look at what activities are actually helping to close deals.
- How are your sales reps contacting prospects?
- How many touchpoints did they need to move the prospect along in the pipeline?
- How many leads are they hitting in their assigned territories?
- How many demos are they booking?
By analyzing the numbers and results of your failed deals, it’s easier to spot where your team has gone wrong. Sales activity management can pinpoint when a deal stopped progressing, what the obstacle was, and how your sales rep tried to overcome it.
Using software takes the pain out of figuring out what these roadblocks were, and when they were hit. For example, sales managers can use SPOTIO’s lead management capabilities to track and manage leads by tagging them as:
- A “Not Interested” lead: If a lead isn’t interested, sales leaders can run a report six months or so down the road and create a list of prospects to re-engage.
- A “Future” lead: To help sales reps flag up “hot” prospects to come back to in a particular territory and contact them first.
- A “Re-assigned” lead: Sales leaders can re-assign a lead from one rep to another based on their territories or lead management strategy.
All of this happens inside SPOTIO’s lead management software and its dedicated app, so reps have access to lead-specific information even when they’re out pounding the pavement.
2. Assign “Balanced” Sales Territories
Maximizing sales productivity means having your field reps selling in the right places. Building a sales territory plan and assigning reps a balanced workload can help boost your team’s sales efforts.
Sales territories are a way for team leaders to define customer segmentation for each rep using clear cut boundaries. Territories can be broken down using geography and other optics such as sales potential, referral source, or product type.
An example of a sales territory in SPOTIO
With clearly defined territories, sales leaders can spread the workload while strategically addressing the needs of their assigned markets.
3. Track Your Field Reps in Real-Time
Have you ever been in the office while your reps are out selling and wondered… what are they up to and how many deals are they closing?
Sales activity management can help team leaders track their reps in the field—in real-time. By using location verification tags, each of your sales reps and their location are dropped on a map using pins, so you know where they are.
Tracking reps in real-time makes it easier to schedule and plan what areas they should target and allows managers to change up their strategy from afar.
Using SPOTIO, sales leaders can track the exact position of a sales rep in the field and access other information such as their:
- Location: Is the rep in the territory they are supposed to be in?
- Status: Are they interacting with a prospect or en-route to chase up another lead?
- Date and time-stamped data: To see exactly what day/time a pin was dropped.
An example of field rep tracking using SPOTIO. Tracking a field rep’s activity allows sales managers to make smarter decisions in real-time.
Between prospecting, meetings, and closing deals, sales reps have a lot of plates to juggle when they leave the office. Using software like SPOTIO gives field sales reps and managers the information they need to make decisions about where the rep should be and what move they should make next.
4. Empower Reps to Sign Contracts While On-The-Go
Equipping your sales reps in the field with sales activity management software allows them to sign contracts anywhere, even at a prospect’s door.
If your reps are still emailing back-and-forth to get a contract signed, it can take up a lot of their time. Instead, specialized software gives your reps immediate access to the files they need to close a deal on the spot. Using e-Contract functionality, reps can access files like product spec sheets and presentations and even sign contracts right from their mobile devices.
Cutting out the paperwork (literally) allows your reps to instantly move deals along in their sales pipelines without having to wait until they’re back in the office to prepare and send out contracts.
5. Use a Leaderboard to Track Performance (and Motivate Reps)
Every sales rep on your team is eager to hit their quota.
However, some sales leaders are now using leaderboards to encourage healthy competition in their teams. All too often, sales reps are grilled for not reaching their quota, so it’s important that when they hit their goal—they’re rewarded.
Using a leaderboard means when a metric does fall behind, a sales rep’s efforts can be refocused and help them get back on track.
For example, if your reps are falling behind on their number of monthly door knocks, try running a team contest to help unite your team and boost the number for the following month.
Using SPOTIO, teams can build customer leaderboards and measure performance against each other to push towards mutual goals and targets.
Having a team leaderboard that’s visible to the entire team is the perfect way to create some healthy in-house competition amongst your sales reps.
6. Stay in Contact with Your Field Reps
We all know communication is key when it comes to closing deals, especially when you’ve got sales reps out in the field.
Having a way to stay in contact with each rep when they’re out of the office is essential to keeping an open feedback loop with managers.
Creating channels for reps to talk with each other while they’re out in the field selling while communicating information back to the main office, is vital to keeping everyone on the same page.
A group messaging platform is the easiest solution for dispersed teams, and even better if it’s connected to your sales activity management platform.
For example, using SPOTIO’s in-app chat feature, sales managers can split reps into teams (i.e. Chicago southside team), which makes it easier to send information to specific sales territories.
Think of it as a Slack #channel inside your sales activity management software!
7. Use Sales Activity Data to See Where Your Reps Underperform
It’s almost impossible to plug holes in your sales funnels and pinpoint underperforming reps without data.
Collecting and analyzing sales activity data makes it easier for sales managers to find where their reps are struggling and identify if a team member needs help.
More importantly, it gives managers the numbers they need to see which sales reps on their team aren’t getting their activities done.
Let’s imagine a sales rep isn’t booking the number of demos they should be. Are they finding it hard to qualify leads? Or are they struggling to turn prospects into demo opportunities?
By tracking and analyzing real sales data, it makes it easier for managers to see where the rep is struggling and come up with a solution to solve the problem. Once again, using software makes this process a lot easier (not to mention saving a ton of time for sales managers.)
Using SPOTIO, sales managers can create pipeline and activity benchmarks to measure team performance and pinpoint funnel leaks. Sales managers can create custom dashboard reports to track the performance of any data points gathered by their sales team to see where they’re going right and wrong.
At the click of a button, sales managers can use SPOTIO to track how many leads a sales rep has created or how many territories they’ve visited.
8. Forecast Growth
Last but not least, sales activity management makes it easier for teams to forecast their future and preempt failures in their selling processes. Sales forecasting is vital in finding potential problems before they ever happen.
Forecasting is only truly successful when sales activities are monitored along a pipeline—from start to finish. It’s crucial sales managers know the details of every deal, from prospecting to demo to how long it took to sign the deal. The only way to keep track of everything is to feed every piece of data back into a CRM or sales activity management software.
At the end of every month, quarter, or year, sales managers can then access the data quickly to produce accurate sales forecasts and work backwards from their initial goals. Prevention is better than a cure, especially when it comes to forecasting common problems in your future sales processes.
The selling game for field reps has changed—for the better.
The days of door knocking with a clipboard and briefcase are over. Thanks to the rise of tech geared towards field reps, it’s never been easier for sales teams to work together and communicate when they’re on the move. By using software that’s geared towards sales activity management, team leaders can assign sales territories, track their reps and even help them sign contracts on the go.
Never before have reps had tech at their fingertips that allows them to make smarter selling moves in the field. And never before have sales managers had the opportunity to capitalize on that, and make better decisions that can impact their company’s bottom line.
It’s clear that the majority of sales leaders see sales activity management software as the way of the future. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to join them.
Questions or comments? Contact SPOTIO at [email protected] or comment below.
SPOTIO is the #1 field sales acceleration and performance management software that will increase revenue, maximize profitability, and boost sales productivity.
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