Speed is the third factor in the sales black box that we will write about. Speed is the amount of time it takes to work through an input. Think of it in terms of all of the processes that it takes to complete one sales action. When making a call, a salesperson will research their target for information – their phone number, or their title – dial in the number, speak with the target (or the admin of the target before speaking to the prospect), and then finish the call. Performing all of these processes might take someone 10 minutes.
However, there are ways that we can speed up the process. A salesperson taking 5 minutes to go through the sales action above would be twice as fast as the person in the example. Today’s blog post will cover the 3 most powerful ways to increase speed.
Before we jump in, the important thing to remember is that the speed increase should not come at the expense of any other 4 parts of the black box.
Speed for the sake of speed is detrimental to the black box.
Below are some game-changing ways to increase speed:
- Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) – Many companies are using some form of CRM in their organization, Salesforce being the service with the most CRM market share. A CRM is invaluable for increasing speed. It keeps all of your company’s contacts in one convenient location. Searching for a contact and the contact’s position in your pipeline is incredibly easy. And tracking all interactions makes it easier to review your notes, instead of searching for a computer file or going through a notebook. There are so many ways in which a CRM speeds up the sales process that we will need to go in-depth in a future blog post. Suffice it to say, proper use of a CRM can provide huge gains in speed.
- Integration – We are living in a world where services and processes are increasingly integrated. Phones that connect directly to your CRM system, for example, make logging calls faster and easier. Instead of having physical notes and physical business cards, everything can be put in a piece of software. Not only that, this software can be in the cloud, meaning that it’s possible to be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Integration makes the information that drives a sales team at everyone’s fingertips. Properly integrating all of the various processes in sales decreases the amount of non-selling time, increasing the speed of the black box.
- Organization – We saved the most important for last. Organization is the biggest key to speed, regardless of the technology you are using. Cluttered notes, hard-to-find information, and not knowing what to do next are things that cripple speed. Spending 5 minutes to find the correct notes before calling could be the difference between an extra one or two inputs. Multiply this over the course of a day or a week and the number of missed inputs becomes staggering. Keeping information organized is paramount to speed. Creating a company process and a plan for adherence, and properly enforcing it, is the key to driving organization in the company.
Each organization is different: their service or product is different, their goals are different, and their current-state is different, but they all need a powerful sales team to be an effective organization. The practices here can be employed by any organization to create a speedier, and ultimately better, sales force.