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Three Ways to Get More Productivity from Idle Sellers

by Dave Egloff  |  April 6, 2020  |  Submit a Comment

Sales leaders are looking for more from their sellers – but more what?  Certainly, you can get more calls out of field sellers who are quarantined in their home-office, but will that lead to more revenue?  Maybe.  However, it’s not a certainty especially since many customers are distracted or contending with frozen budgets.  So, where can your sellers be more productive?

If your customers are taking your calls and you can continue to support them during this chaos, more calls might be the answer.  However, for many sales organizations, commercial messaging may not be resonating.  Either your product or service isn’t considered mission-critical, or buyers are prioritizing other projects.  Perhaps, your customers are in a situation where their CFOs are limiting expenses as they anticipate a possible recession.  Nonetheless, sales leaders are witnessing slowdowns in sales performance.

Fortunately, most sales leaders are not yet at the point of considering a sales force reduction.  Yet, many are openly talking about how their sellers have a newfound capacity for something.  Surely, you want your sellers to acquire new customers and grow their accounts.  However, when that is less likely to happen, here are three ways to get your sellers to be productive even when they are limited by the COVID-19 crisis:

1 – Clean up data

Data hygiene is a limiting factor to many organizations looking to find more insights or improve their execution.  Sellers with open capacity should divert their available time to update and improve the data in their territory plans, account plans, opportunities, etc.  This helps to improve management decision making as well as business unit health reviews.

2 – Collect competitive intelligence

A sales leader once challenged his team to learn so much about the competition that they could sell the competitor’s products.  Now, that’s a pretty lofty goal and it certainly sets the tone for seller readiness.  Sellers need to analyze their marketplace – inventory the competition and pour over their websites, digital campaigns, etc.  What better way to serve customers than to help them differentiate between their options.  That is possible when you fully understand your competition, their products and their messaging.

3 – Conduct seller-generated win/loss reviews

Some leaders go as far as to say that each win should be celebrated and each loss should trigger a lesson to be learned. This sentiment is reflected in the popularity of win/loss reviews.  Currently, approximately 43% of sales organizations have a win/loss program formally deployed.  While many are using paid, third-parties to interview customers, others are using a much cheaper option of internal, seller-generated win/loss analysis.  Seller feedback can be relatively easy to capture and helps improve future opportunity selection.

Good quality sales data, competitive intelligence and win/loss programs are extremely valuable to any sales organization – perhaps now, more than ever. The insights gained improve GTM strategies, stakeholder collaboration and sales results.  These new insights also help you move with greater agility and precision.

The COVID-19 crisis is impacting each country, sector and customer uniquely.  The recovery is bound to be just as segmented.  Sales leaders must quickly identify open and addressable target markets so they can redirect resources to meet the demand.  Ultimately, you want to maximize your available resources and set your sales organization up for future success.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to extract additional value and productivity from your potentially idle sellers.

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Category: sales-effectiveness-and-enablement  sales-performance  sales-strategy  sales-strategy-and-design  sales-strategy-and-operations  

Dave Egloff
Senior Director
1 years at Gartner
20 years IT Industry

Dave Egloff is a Senior Director, Analyst in the Gartner for Sales Leaders practice. His current work focuses on key initiatives in sales strategy, sales operations and sales compensation. Read Full Bio

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