By Pat Hinds
I am working on a market share project for a company and they provide me a desk while I am in the office. The desk is adjacent to the sales bullpen; by sitting that close to the sales reps I am able to hear conversations between the reps. One topic that consumes a significant amount of time (and productivity) is account transition. Account transition happens when sales reps are hired to replace departing personnel, when companies expand sales teams to take a advantage of new opportunities, or companies reorganize sales people to align with the new strategic direction.
In the current economic environment of shrinking revenues and pressure on margins, companies need to ensure the account transition is optimized as account transition costs companies money. The following is an example of the transition costs: if you take a sales rep that is making a $100,000 base salary, the hourly cost for that rep is $50.00 per hour if that equals $450.00 per day invested in sales people. Every day a sale rep spends on getting account lists, contact names and prioritizing activities is costing companies money and lost productivity. Optimization of the transition process can be addressed with the use of a Sales Force Automation (SFA) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools.
The key is to structure the data in the SFA or CRM package is to align with the selling process and have the sales management team trained on using the SFA/CRM tool to help with the transition process. Listed below are a few ideas on using your CRM/SFA tools to help with increasing sales productivity for sales reps assigned to new accounts.
Know the Customers: Getting an accurate list of accounts in the hands of the sales reps. All account lists for the new account manager should come directly from the SFA/CRM application.
Know the Market Size: Use the CRM/SFA to provide information on the accounts’ market opportunity. How much money does the account spend on the products in your target market, what percentage of the spend does your company own and how does this relate to the sales objective you have given the sales rep?
MAP the Account: Use the SFA/CRM application to collect information about individual accounts that is targeted and relevant to the new account rep.
Get to know the Contact: Use the SFA/CRM application to prioritize the contacts that you want to target in the account.
Measure – Make all activities measurable and make the new account manager accountable for meeting targets and timelines that are set in the SFA/CRM applications.