Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) was our country’s first “Efficiency Expert.” He was born to a wealthy Quaker family in Germantown, Pennsylvania. His passion was “time study,” which is literally using a stopwatch and doing continuous observation of tasks, in an effort to find the shortest, most efficient method of accomplishing those tasks. For Winslow, it was a cold-hearted, dehumanizing, cut and dry numbers game that was controversial, but no one could dispute the fact that his methods worked. Over time the term “efficiency expert” became synonymous with people losing their jobs because in years past, efficiency meant more work done, with a smaller workforce.
Today’s high-tech way of doing business has already stream-lined the workforce. Now instead of efficiency translating to layoffs, it instead means driving profits higher. Consider the situation from a Sales point of view. For the salesperson, a more efficient process simply means more calls, more conversations, more new business relationships, and more closed deals.
Everyone knows you get more bang for the buck when you buy concentrated products and energy-efficient appliances. So what happens when you increase human efficiency by concentrating effort? Power Hour is born.
Hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign, ignore inbound emails, and don’t answer any incoming calls. Schedule a few hours a week where you are simply unavailable. Next step – use Salesforce’s list building capabilities. Build lists based on status – remembering to add a status field to your contact’s page that is typical of the one you have for your leads. Export the lists into ShadeTree Technology’s Incite2 – and because everything you need is on one page, you get to experience calling momentum at its finest. It’s next to impossible to not triple your call volume. More calls, more conversations, more sales.
It’s time to appreciate the wonders of the technological age by embracing the efficiency it naturally makes possible. Make Power Hours a new Best Practice.
Human nature is complex and at times counterproductive. Take our general resistance to change; our innate fear of stepping out of our comfort zone, even when common sense dictates there are easier ways to do things. We embrace our habits like they are a lifeline. All too often we will go down with the ship, rather than jump in and swim. Interestingly enough, it really isn’t fear of change that paralyzes us; it is fear of the unknown. We get braver with preparation and practice.
One item at a time, or a list packed with purpose?
Consider your sales team. If you turn an introspective eye on them, what do you see? Are they approaching their day with bad habits, or are they practicing common sense? How do they line up their calls? Is it a random, time-consuming hunting and pecking process, or do they build an efficient call list before dialing?
An ounce of preparation nets a wealth of results.
In order to be efficient, you must make it a habit to stay organized. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes a comfort zone. In Salesforce you should be able to easily find any group of Leads or Contacts that you want to call. If you are having trouble organizing Contacts, try adding a custom Status field with values similar to the Lead Statuses. Use the Status fields in conjunction with other relevant information such as Title, Last Activity, or Mailing State. At the minimum, reps should be able to easily get to a list of open tasks, new leads, leads and contacts that need to be followed-up with, and any responses to marketing campaigns that have been passed to sales. The Sales Team can now generate a call list that eliminates the time and effort it takes to figure out who to call.
It’s Called Power Hour
The beauty of a list is that it allows for momentum in the calling process. Imagine what could get accomplished if you scheduled a few hours a week where reps did nothing but focus on call lists. Scheduled hours that are dedicated to call lists – and that avoid phone calls, inbound emails and meetings can bump up production. Something that should be considered a new best practice.
Supercharge the sales process.
ShadeTree Technology’s Incite2 allows sales reps to load any list into the app, see all activities on one page, and with one click they can advance to the next call in seconds. The workload lightens and suddenly call volume triples and company profits increase. Make common sense, common practice – and take it to the bank.
Instead of making calls, are your salespeople making excuses? It might happen to even the best members of your sales team from time to time. According to research from Dudley & Goodson, about 40-percent of all career salespeople experience episodes of call reluctance that are serious enough to threaten their careers.
But you can’t lump all the call reluctance into the same boat. Here are five of the most common personalities that fall to call reluctance, the symptoms, and the potential fix.
1. Polite Polly: Doesn’t want to intrude on others. Feels like their role is invasive in another professional’s space. Read more
Salespeople today face a frustrating dilemma: There are too many balls to keep in the air and only so many hours a day to be making calls. A single meeting might cut into the time needed for 10 outbound calls. The prep time before a call to a C-level exec might eat up an hour or more. Fumbling through Salesforce to find the best target to call next can waste precious minutes.
Incite2 is a tool that enables sales professionals to truly have all the information they need at their fingertips in order to deliver information to a more qualified, targeted audience at up to 40% faster speeds. So while it can’t create more time in a day, it can make your time more productive and profitable. Read more
Most sales organizations will have a goal of increasing the following in 2011:
- Number of qualified leads
- Number of opportunities in the pipeline
- Number of closed deals
All of these goals have one thing in common – increasing current output levels. There are many ways to arrive at making the gains in output – add more people, work longer, etc.
With many organizations using the telephone more and reducing travel, one place to look at in more detail is productivity on the phone.
More Calls = More Results
The wonderful thing about increasing call volumes is that the results of those call tend to track consistently across all of the milestones in your sales cycle. All things equal, a 20% increase in call volume will equate to a 20% increase in: Read more