Are You Getting the Most From Your Salespeople?
|You can achieve breakthrough sales results by better utilizing one of your companys most valuable assets your salespeople
If youre like most manufacturers and distributors, your salespeople are constantly pressed for time. There never seem to be enough hours in the day for everything that needs to be done.
On the surface it may appear that your sales force is producing satisfactory results, but do you ever wonder if they could do better? Given how hard theyre working, is it possible to get even more productivity without pushing them to the brink?
Our research shows that manufacturers and distributors can greatly increase sales volume and profitability without working their salespeople harder and without adding more salespeople.
The key is to better utilize the salespeople you currently have.
Beyond "time management"
To get more out of an already packed schedule, many firms turn to time management tools and technology. They assume that if they can get their salespeople to use their time more effectively, productivity will improve.
However, our ongoing e-survey "What Consumes Your Time?" shows that salespeople are often bogged down by company policies and methods of work that have outlived their usefulness. Salespeople wage an uphill battle, fighting time constraints created by the very companies whose products they are trying to sell.
When this happens, you have an asset utilization problem, not an individual time management problem. Under these conditions, even the most heroic efforts by salespeople can only incrementally improve sales volume.
To achieve breakthrough sales results, companies must identify and reduce or eliminate the constraints that hold their salespeople back.
Salespeople: one of your most valuable (and underutilized) assets
Manufacturers and distributors agree that salespeople are among their most valuable assets. The phrase "People are our greatest asset" has become a common mantra throughout the business world.
But while manufacturers and distributors do an excellent job utilizing physical assets such as plants, equipment and inventory, theyre not nearly as effective at utilizing one of their greatest assets, their salespeople.
The result: Most salespeople are underutilized and not achieving their potential.
Productivity only tells part of the story
Companies typically measure sales force performance in terms of productivity the difference between cost per person (input) and sales per person (output). While productivity is important, it only tells part of the story.
In fact, productivity numbers can create a false sense of security by masking ineffective utilization.
Your sales numbers might look good, but could your salespeople be doing even better? Unfortunately, simple productivity measurements cant answer that question.
How well is your sales force utilized?
To help a sales force reach its full potential, manufacturers and distributors must look at asset utilization.
Asset utilization is traditionally associated with tangible assets, such as plants and equipment. It measures what an asset is currently producing compared to what it is capable of producing.
For example, a manufacturer may calculate the optimal capacity (e.g., tons per day) of a plant and compare it to actual output.