As a sales leader, your main goal is to help your sales force succeed and grow. This is a goal that is never completely reached; there is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to making sales activities more efficient and your sales processes more effective. You should constantly be on the prowl for the best ways to shorten your sales cycle, increase win rates, and spend more time in front of customers.
But it’s very easy to get stuck in your ways, and many sales leaders may argue “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” It’s important to realize that the old ways of doing things can almost always be improved, expedited, or automated. This is where activity-based enablement comes in.
What is activity-based enablement?
According to Jim Ninivaggi, Service Director of Sales Enablement from SiriusDecisions, activity-based enablement involves “understanding the activities salespeople perform every day by looking for ways to enhance the productivity of every activity, not only by looking at ways to improve efficiency, but also by finding ways to maximize effectiveness and/or optimizing the ability to engage a buyer.”
Investing in an activity-based enablement strategy means that you value your sales reps’ time and want it to be spent as intelligently as possible. Keeping your reps productive and busy with direct, client-facing sales activities means a more engaged sales force, shorter sales cycles and higher win rates.
So how do you get started with building your activity-based enablement strategy?
One place to begin is by addressing the efficiency and effectiveness of your team. If your sales force is spending too much time on mundane, non-core sales activities such as expense reports, searching for sales content, or manually updating sales presentations, efficiency could be greatly improved. It may help to have sales reps track how they are spending their time each day in order to find out how much time is spent actually selling, and then focusing on how to minimize the amount of time spent on activities that aren’t directly related to selling. If you can also identify areas of sales rep activities that can be automated, such as the updating of certain sales presentations and other materials, this will help your reps dedicate more time towards client-facing activities.
But maximizing core selling activities (time spent engaging with prospective customers) doesn’t mean anything if it’s not done effectively. Improving sales force effectiveness involves analyzing sales activities in terms of win rates, shortened sales cycles, and upsell/cross-sell opportunities. If you’re able to track the best practices of your quota-exceeding reps, you can figure out what activities are effectively bringing in deals. Sharing these with average or below-average reps can help to streamline successful activities and weed out what content, correspondence patterns and other activities aren’t working.
These are just two ways to start building your activity-based enablement strategy. For more insights on eliminating inefficient and ineffective sales activities from your sales force, check out our newest brief below.