How to get the best ROI from your sales team
Who Are You?
This white paper is written for sales team managers. Typically you would be responsible for
the sales budget, hiring, deployment and management of sales resource, preparing sales reports
and ensuring that every effort is made to deliver maximum ROI from your sales budget.
We have prepared this white Paper to offer you some practical tips on obtaining maximum ROI from your sales
Our goal is simple: To supply your Sales team with their greatest asset.
Offering an elite team of Salesman’s PA’s who will take away all the tasks that
prevent them from smashing their targets month on month, year on year.
Consequently, your team will deliver maximum productivity and results in
the form of boosted sales wins, making them super-efficient, super
How will this boost your business?
Throughout this White Paper you will notice that the emphasis is always on
keeping the salesman in front of your customers, pitching closing and winning
business. We focus strongly on “tuning out the noise” and any distractions that
can easily clutter up their job specs if allowed to. Thus transforming your sales
team into an elite team of focused sellers.
It is a fact that decent sales resource does not come cheap. As the “first
voice of the company” Sales people also need to be well trained and
versed in your company, and product before they can truly evangelise
your message, all of this takes time and significant investment. We
therefore strongly encourage you to stop thinking of your sales team as
an “army of soldiers on the battlefield” and start thinking of them as an
elite team of navy seals to be strategically deployed when necessary. In fact, by harnessing some of the
methods we suggest here it may even be possible to have a smaller but more efficient sales team.
Stop making sellers do admin and tasks that sap morale.
Sales people in general tend to have the same bug bears about their
No surprises here but if you take a senior level salesman and make him
do cold calls all day long and nothing else pretty soon he will leave. It
makes good sense to analyse their role and try to minimise or spread
out the unpleasant parts. There are many excellent lead generation
options available that will reduce cold calling for example.
Diary Management & Travel
Travel can also be challenging. Many sales people for example hate having to
wait 3 hours in an airport for a meeting in another airport that takes just half an
hour. A dedicated diary management resource could be one option. Also being
sympathetic to their needs when asking them to travel and trying to minimise
travel times etc. Offering access to video conference equipment is also a great
Put the sales cycle on speed
Many businesses have long slow complex sales cycles that can die a death half way
through. What is the best way to keep your seller motivated during this long sales
Set the expectations. Sellers do not often see much further than the commission
cheque and if they expect it sooner than it comes, disappoint sets in. Avoid this by
setting the expectations accordingly.
Do everything you can to speed up the sales cycle, for example, cut down on the
lead gen phase by fast forwarding some leads through the door.
If the value of each sale is very high try to insert project milestone incentives
along the way at agreed success points, this gives them something tangible to work towards. Like this:
Example of Sales Timeline
Preparation is key Give them all the tools they need for selling
When leads come in do your sellers have everything they need to respond
to them? It is the role of the marketing function to ensure that the sellers
are equipped with tailored proposals that are up to date and fully support
the sellers. Do they have up to date business cards? If your company uses
printed materials like brochures, do they have a ready supply? Time kills all
deals, so if the sellers have to wait for information to be prepared they run
the risk of the hard won lead going cold.
Contacts Fuel the Fire
So you hired a super sales guy with tonnes of contacts, so he should be able
to generate his own leads and contacts? Right?? Wrong!!
What normally happens is that you seller will join the company and merrily
skip through their own network and approach everyone with your
opportunity. After a while these contacts will run out and they will need a
fresh stack of contacts.
It is important that you do not look upon this negatively, and have a strategy in place ready to deliver
these leads when the time comes.
This is the time when you need to fuel the fire and keep more fresh contacts coming into your seller.
This ensures that the sales cycle does not slow down or fall flat. Your Salesman’s PA can conduct data
mining and market segmentation to ensure that there is always a steady stream of contacts for them to
Strategic deployment ~ minimise admin
It does not make sense to interview, hire, train and pay sellers a premium
wage and then constantly make them do simple admin work which is
equivalent to the minimum wage.
If you pay a sales person £100k per annum, (and the same again in
commissions) then keep him focused on doing what you pay him for. Give
him as much marketing and admin support he needs to do his job well.
Strip out his job spec as much as possible to keep him focused on selling.
It is a well-known fact that most sellers salivate at the mouth when given the opportunity to close
warm leads. In fact they positively live for it. So motivate them by keeping them focused on that and
not making them do any admin. The golden rule ~ Keep sellers in front of the customer.
Recruit the right people
This is an obvious one but many people miss it. Start thinking of your sellers as a supremely trained,
elite fighting force. When recruiting sellers many people request “some-one young and hungry” only to
find that the spotty kid does not have the senior contacts, lacks impact and credibility in front of
clients and just does not cut it.
It sounds cliché but for the most part successful selling really is all in the rolodex. What are their
contacts like? At what level are their contacts? Are they just name dropping or do they really know
these people enough to leverage a sales relationship?
How to interview a slippery seller
Now is also the time to scrutinise those resumes. Have your HR guy or a trusted
recruiter do it. Under close scrutiny a career expert will always find the blemishes
on the “flawless” CV.
Performing the exercise above will allow you to walk into the interview
room poised and 100% ready to ask the difficult questions. Every
experienced seller will have their “skeletons in the closet” and “can open,
worms everywhere subjects” so make sure you ask those up front and
get them out of the way.
Interview like a HR Pro
The usual sticky subjects are reasons for leaving, why
they didn’t hit their sales target etc. Your objective is
always to get under their skin, catch them off guard
and let the dirty secrets pop out. Try to leave long
gaps in the dialogue, speak less, and listen more. Try
smiling and nodding a lot so they feel more at ease.
Encourage them to relax and be friendly. Ask open
questions. Let them ramble on when there is silence.
All these tricks usually let Pandora out of the box with
Reading a sellers CV – It’s all about the numbers
Good sellers should always measure themselves in numbers.
Those headline figures of achievement should be there like a common thread weaving the whole CV
together and hitting you in the face with their success.
If the numbers don’t add up, why not? Or if one is missing, why is it
missing? Obviously you are looking for a solid record of success here
that progresses and builds year on year. But the perfect sales CV is a
common fallacy, every seller will miss their numbers during their
career for one reason or another. The usual reasons are, the economy,
unrealistic sales target, mid-year changes to the sales plan etc. The
point is there should be a reason.
Analyse their personality
Most sellers have certain personality traits. They are almost universal
and the true common denominator amongst sellers. When conducting
the hiring process it is easy to uncover people who are literally
“natural born sellers” and those who are sheep in wolves clothing.
The easiest way to do this is to perform personality testing. It is
usually a short 40 question form to fill out answering control
questions that will give you a clear indication of their personality
type. This type of analysis will clearly tell you if they can handle the
rigours of the job. For example, how do they deal with rejection? Do they take offense easily? Are they
tenacious and bounce back easily.
Harness Social Media ~ Personal Rapport building
But you already pay a bunch of money to the marketing guys to promote your
company’s social media, so why invest more in your sales peoples too?
Build personal rapport ~ Simply put, sellers need to be approachable, they need to be
found. Not just within your company, but personally.
“People buy from people. Normally people they
know and like”…………………..
Why is this?
By putting themselves out there into the realm of social media they can make
themselves more personable. They can also start more conversations about
business with greater ease. Also when leads do come in they tend to be
warmer, this is because the person making the enquiry has already taken the
time to look this person up on line and find out a bit about them. So when they
do eventually take the plunge and decide to call them up, they already have some common ground to
As a good starting point it would be good to do a review of all your sales people and
ensure that they are “wired for sound” in social media terms, that would include:
Facebook, (business profile, not personal, with all privacy settings open for contact)
Twitter, set it up to take minimum effort to update it. There are lots of apps
to make it super easy. Set Twitter up to copy over to your sales persons
profile page on your website too. Set Twitter up to update Facebook
automatically and Linked in.
Linked in, an up to date key worded profile is priceless. Also encourage them to use as
many apps as they can to promote the company.
They can add presentations, they can add documents, proposals, white papers, up to 3
company website links etc to their company business profile. Ensure that they are maximising this
“prime real estate”
There are also a number of excellent software programmes that will auto add targeted
Twitter followers. This is basically building a small highly targeted channel that is free to
advertise, network and promote your product. The cost involved in doing this exercise
are small, but the benefits are big. Twitter is a really good way to push up business
enquiries and start meaningful business conversations.
Your Salesman’s PA is trained in all aspects of social media, set up, keywords, optimisation, maintenance,
she is your best asset in creating personal rapport for your sellers.
Your sellers are your company’s prime real estate. They are literally the voice of
your company and the first point of contact for valuable sales enquiries.
Therefore it is important that they are presented in the most approachable way.
I recommend that every seller has their own dedicated profile page on your
company website. Showcasing them in this manner will help in many ways. It
could become their own personal landing page for a senior level B2B
introductions campaign. It could be the link at the bottom of their auto sig. It
adds credibility to be anchored as a solid business reference within your company. It also turns cold
leads into warm leads, because people already feel like they know you before they pick up the phone.
This business profile should also include their current status (from twitter feed) and their personal
contact details, plus any blogs etc if they have that.
Personal Introductions Campaign on Auto Pilot
This is not marketing, and it is not simply an automated e-mail
campaign. This is about leveraging the world’s most powerful business
network to make senior level B2B introductions from one person to
Now let’s not mince words here, but any sales person can use the
Linked in network to do the above, but how many sales people have
time or remember to do it in a structured disciplined way?
We propose a laser targeted introductions campaign that is fully managed by your Salesman’s PA on
auto pilot. Even inbound enquiries can be qualified to save the sales person time.
What could motivate a sales person more than a diary full of
sales appointments? Appointment setting has the added
advantage of being guaranteed lead generation for a set cost. So
you know exactly what you will spend and what you will receive.
Appointment setting is a targeted lead generation campaign
based on the phone. It starts with a contact list and from then on
is called and B2B appointments are set. The diary is managed
and appointments are added to the CRM. Your Salesman’s PA
can also call up warm sales enquiries for you, she can seamlessly convert these into sales meetings for
No-one is 100% available all the time, but a business enquiry that goes call answering to voicemail
has a much reduced conversion rate. Therefore access to a personal or messaging service is highly
recommended. These services are relatively cheap and boost the likelihood of the hard won prospect
enquiry leaving a usable message.
The Salesman’s PA is a new concept, offering
the call answering and B2B appointments
setting service all rolled into one. She is also
available to undertake admin tasks as
necessary. The main benefits are that your
salesperson only focuses on selling and remains
The added sales benefit of having a human answer calls goes way beyond warmth creation and
friendly rapport. The Salesman’s PA is trained to get all relevant contact information out of the caller
and turn them into a valuable sales lead. She does everything possible to turn them into a sales lead.
“Your Salesman’s PA fights to boost your conversion rates
in every conceivable way. She is the Salesman’s best
advocate and secret weapon to smashing their target.”
Sellers are usually very direct people. Don’t overload them with information they don’t
need. For example the rift between marketing and sales can be overcome by taking all
the marketing info and translating it into sales terms. Sellers are usually only interested
in leads and lead gen and how the marketing campaign results in leads and of what
quality those leads will be and the likelihood that they will convert etc. So cut out all the
marketing fluff and say it directly.
Reliable CRMs make reporting easy
Regular review of your CRM program is essential. If it is over complicated, eats
time, is unreliable etc it is time for a change. How much does that cost to your
business in real terms, not to mention the fact that it lowers morale. The ideal
CRM is not overly complex and is ideally adapted for each department’s
differing needs. Also does your CRM adapt to include social media? Does it have any facility for so
called lead nurturing?
How about your CRM reporting?
Is all the information already inputted onto the system? Is it simply
an admin task to pull it all off the system in the form of a targeted
report? Well if it is an admin task, have a trained admin expert
Planning of a comprehensive incentive package that actually
motivates sellers is challenging. But it may help to think outside
the box. First of all ask them what motivates them, every person
will be different. Also try not to think in linear terms. An
incentive does not have to be a tangible thing. For example how
about an incentive that serves 2 purposes – why not offer them
the opportunity to have more help smashing their targets and
maximise all their commissions? Why not offer them various new measures that will help support
them more, make them more efficient and allow them to cut down on doing the unpleasant parts of the
job like cold calling etc?
Tuning out the noise.~ Show me the money!! Any type of social media
activity, B2B introductions campaign or online activity will generate spam. It
is unavoidable. The most challenging thing therefore for the busy seller is
how to tune out all the noise and just listen out to the leads. Here is the
answer. It is impossible. If there was a software programme or action script
that could automatically filter through the various social media inboxes and
cream off the leads I would probably be redundant by now. However at this
time such does not exist, therefore it is 100% a manual job. Now here lies the challenge, we have said
above that social media is good for sellers, and helps convert cold leads into warm ones. But we have
also said that they should avoid doing lowly admin tasks that waste their very costly time. So how to
achieve a balance?
The easiest way is to have an admin person regularly enter the accounts, clear out spam and send
through leads. This is a fully managed service which ensures that all inboxes are taken care of and the
seller only receives relevant contacts. These should always be presented in a spreadsheet or CRM
format, or more ideally input directly onto the spreadsheet and sent on a calling list.
Harness buzz marketing
Buzz marketing is what won IBM the war when they first launched. Even
though they were smaller and had less money than their competitors.
Basically all their employees were well treated, well supported and firmly
encouraged to speak highly of the company to all their friends, family and
business contacts. This inward recommendation is phenomenally powerful as
it is one of the most sincere recommendations you can get. Why not
encourage all employees but especially sales people to do this?
Feel good factor
Sales is a job with ups and downs, the highs can be intoxicating and the lows can
be brutal. Every now and again there is always need for an injection of positivity.
Why not organize the motivational seminar that serves no other purpose than to
give your sellers a boost of positivity? A relatively easy day that is well prepared
and makes them think outside the box about things and gives them a well
deserved boost of sunshine. A simple Linked in search reveals literally hundreds
of motivational speakers with great recommendations as well as life coaches etc.
Many struggle to find work from time to time and offer good discounts, so why
not hire one for a small fee. It is a low cost way to boost morale and inject some
buzz into your sales team.
Analyse and strip out their job description
In depth analysis of a job description and day to day processes is priceless
in order to eliminate weaknesses. How is this done?
Start with a piece of blank paper and draw out a rough flow chart of
processes from enquiry to fulfilment. This should encompass all
When this exercise is finished you can draw them up neatly on a
PowerPoint flow chart to focus your mind. As you perform this task you
will analyse the various duties. The objective here is to strip out tasks that eats time,
find easier solutions and work around any bottle necks.
Any tasks in the salesman’s job spec that could be perceived to be a simple admin task
should be outsourced to some-one who is highly trained. The goal with our sellers is to
keep them streamlined, super efficient and always available to meet with customers
and win business.
Services we offer
Salesman’s PA offers a range of services that are specifically designed with Sales people in mind.
Call Lead Personal
Answering Generation Marketing
Campaign * Activities
Daily Status Social Media Growth of
Updates Management Business
Online Expense Sales
Presence, Report Appointment
personal Submission Setting
Sales Lead Acknowledge Target
Qualification Sales Leads Market
Sales Cycle CRM Sales Report
Admin Maintenance Production
Call our friendly team to see how we can help you smash
your target today!
0208 123 0453