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May 16, 2014
How to Stop “Sales Prevention Day”
A customer at a tech company recently confided in me that he hates Fridays. Being a Friday fan myself, I couldn’t help but ask why.
"Friday is sales prevention day," he explained. "It’s the day I block off my calendar and sit at home so I can update my CRM system, discuss deals with my boss, and complete expense reports."
I was floored.
Then I thought, "Wow, if this guy is missing one whole day a week selling, imagine how much more productive he’d be if he had his Fridays back."
I’ve heard lots of tips about changing sales rep behavior, but I think it comes down to something more fundamental: Companies have to give to get.
Companies have to want to give reps back their Fridays (and their evenings and their weekends). They have to want to reduce the friction that naturally exists between sales teams by improving collaboration. And mobile sales tools can do that by giving everyone on the team more flexibility and the right tools to do the job they were hired to do.
So how do you get started? I think it’s by delivering a solution that delivers value across the board to:
Field reps – keep deals on track
From a mobile device, sales reps should be able to see key deal milestones so they know when tasks need to be accomplished. Instead of being a bottleneck to progress, the CRM system can be used by the personal mobile assistant to surface deal basics (e.g., deal size, stage, and forecast categories) as well as a place to track next steps and key milestones. This way, the rep always knows what action is required next.
Sales managers – understand the health of the business
Because they need to track essential fields to help assess the health of the business, a mobile device should provide sales management with strategic information at their fingertips. Managers can use the integration of CRM system, email, and calendar information to understand progress against milestones and whether they correlate with deals closing. They can track reps’ interactions with executive sponsors and systems engineers. They can even track competition.
Extended team – stay on the same page
Field sales reps often rely on other team members—inside sales professionals, systems engineers, and industry consultants—to set up meetings or perform specific tasks that help move deals forward. A mobile device can reduce sales team friction by giving extended team members more timely feedback. This, in turn, can improve their performance in subsequent customer interactions.
Selling is a team sport, but I know flexible tools (like Clari) can make a world of difference to just one person because it did for that networking company rep. He, for one, is thrilled to have his Fridays back!