Set Your Salespeople Free … To SELL

What’s your current sales team set-up based on?

Is it …

# 1 : Each sales rep being essentially self-sufficient i.e. get their clients, keep the clients and do all that needs to be done, including process the order and collect the payment?

Or is it …

# 2: Configuring your sales “production” process much like you would in manufacturing/factory environment?

I favour the latter. For years, I’ve been calling for companies to start isolating sales tasks and activities and to set up individuals to manage this for the external sales team. Specifically when it comes to sales research (aka qualifying new prospects and opportunities). By doing this, you will free up your external sales team to do what they were employed to do – be out there, all day, every day seeing quality new prospects and making meaningful appointments.

Ten years ago, I thought we would be seeing job ads posted on LinkedIn and on career portals for specialist “Sales Researchers”within a few years. People whose job it is to literally tee-up potential opportunities from prospects as well as existing clients. People whose job it is to stay on top of all new developments in market verticals. People whose job it is to provide insights to the external sales team who in turn use the information to provide even more value to customers.

But this has not happened. We are nearly all still stuck with outdated sales thinking which requires a salesperson to manage the entire sales process on their own – even dragging them into pre-sales social media marketing and post-sales customer care responsibilities too .

Justin Roff-Marsh, based in Australia is the guru behind re-engineering the sales process. I highly recommend that you take a look at his work. This ‘division-of-labour’ principle is working wonders for many companies around the world. Sales have soared and costs have plunged.

In simple terms, the system is based on separating the admin of sales from the face-to-face of sales. And then going further by employing internally-based specialists for every phase of the sales process.

When you release your sales executives from having to do all of their own pre- and post sales admin and shift most of the account management/customer service activities to a slick in-house support team, your sales will increase.

3 thoughts on “Set Your Salespeople Free … To SELL

  1. Håkan Bernhardsson

    I think there is a misconception that admin is all bad. Looking at sales as a process there are interactions with other parts of the company that require input in order to secure the total deal and leave the customer asking for more.

    The trick in administration is to find the core tasks and to make every part of the organization understand what value it brings to the company.

    You might be correct in saying “When you release your sales executives from having to do all of their own pre- and post sales admin and shift most of the account management/customer service activities to a slick in-house support team, your sales will increase.” The problem is that a company rarely consist of sales reps alone, everyone else will be frustrated.

    See the sales-company relationship as a marriage and sales is the partner that plans all events. Imagine how thrilled the other partner will be when they suddenly have to cancel dentist appointments, meetings with friends or end up in freezing cold with no suitable clothing. The admin is the communication, the heads up, the oil in the machinery…
    …And the same thing goes the other way, if the other partner is too demanding and controlling all joy of planning events will quickly die…

    1. Suzanne Burgess, SalesBytes Post author

      Thank you for your comment. The article is more about separating the face to face sales interactions i.e. out on the road seeing prospects and clients, from the associated sales admin that usually keeps external salespeople office-bound. My idea is that external salespeople should be out there every day. If they have a quality sales support team behind them (not broadly across the rest of the company, but support based within the sales function) then they will not get tied down to things like two days of working out a quote, a day of researching potential prospects, a few hours of placing orders etc. The interface with the other departments will remain, but the admin of the sale is taken of by a sales support person. Appreciate your input and point of view 🙂


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