DC predicts that the mobile workforce population will reach 1.3 billion this year. That’s 32 percent of the entire workforce, and the enterprise tech sector has done more than its fair share to accommodate the changing needs of today’s employees. Nowhere is it as evident as in sales, where reps can be dispersed across branches, call centers, at home or on the road.
One of the biggest challenges sales managers face from this mobile shift is knowing what reps are doing, and if their activity is actually driving sales. To tackle this, enterprises are now using technology to automatically capture and analyze sales activity data, regardless of how reps are making their calls, whether it be from the office, home, or mobile device.
Aside from the obvious boost in pipeline management and more insightful customer information, modern sales tools also provide enterprises with “below the surface” information they need to enhance their business from the inside out, from employee training to more accurate forecasting. Let’s take a closer look.
Deeper Insights into Rep Activity
In many enterprises, reps may be required to make standard number of outbound calls each day, week, and/or month. This is typically a manual process whereby reps log into CRM and update activity (aka “office time”.) Managers must rely on this information to ensure their teams are doing their jobs at a minimum. But how does this info actually reflect how well they’re doing, either against expectation or against their peers?
It’s not enough to know that sales reps are simply making the right number of calls per day. Instead of focusing on sheer numbers, managers are increasingly tracking what happens after a sales call is answered, utilizing data from any device a rep uses throughout their day. By honing in on the intelligence that lies in the full sales conversation, managers start to see trends and outcomes based on specific activity.
More Effective Training
From a training perspective, the use of analytics is invaluable. Time is money and any weak link on the team can result in lost revenue opportunities. Also consider a hard-working rep who is seemingly doing everything they need to succeed but hasn’t “broken through.” S/he may be missing just one important step that will get them to hit their stride, and their monthly quotas. By seeing direct correlations between certain activities and outcomes, it’s easier to identify what’s working for top sales reps and, conversely, what’s not.
For example, managers can identify and intervene immediately if an underperforming agent is varying too much from an approved script and can then train them by coaching which words to avoid when speaking with a prospect. In this regard, analytics have the potential to reduce training costs by as much as 30 percent.
Say Goodbye to Hunches
The bottom line is that through the advent of sales technology across mobile devices, sales managers can forget the hunches and manage based on factual data. This not only leads to better trained reps but also more accurate forecasting that will help the business top to bottom.
Human nature has typically infused bias into the sales equation for as long as I can remember. Look no further than a rep who is a little too overconfident about where a deal stands. If your rep indicates that deal X will close this quarter, but their activity shows they have only spoken to the prospect twice over the last three months—the likelihood of that deal closing this quarter seems low, doesn’t it?
Instead, with today’s mobile sales tools, what you’re left with is a more accurate representation of your sales forecast, which affects all facets of a company and its operations – revenues, resource planning and investor relations, to name a few. If the forecast is always off, and there’s no understanding of what’s truly driving ROI, C-level executives don’t know what areas of the business are working and which require attention.
We’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sales “renaissance” as I liked to call it. Now that we have the ability to understand the “how” and “why” behind every closed deal or failed pitch, managers are better equipped to identify patterns of behavior, foster a measurable standard, and help their team succeed at the highest level, which is sure to drive the bottom line and win favor with the C-Suite.
Read the original article here.