Your sales team is unique and unlike any other department in the organisation and therefore needs to be led and managed in a different way to other functions. The typical personality traits of successful sales people are difficult to manage and require strong leadership that focuses on keeping the team on track and winning. It is a competitive world and sales people like nothing more than a competition so thinking about new ways to keep your sales team on track, to motivate them and to harness that competiveness for the benefit of the business is a full time job.
One of the things that sales people most hate doing is updating the tracking systems, updating CRM can take up to 40% of their productive time every week if they do it properly. Time taken away from being in front of clients and more importantly from sales time. So as a sales leader what options do you have available to manage the team and ensure you have the progress information you need without bogging your people down with process and reporting tasks.
Harvard Business Review research from more than 1000 sales leader interviews and extensive management performance reviews of 400 sales leaders highlights several key factors. The research found that the best sales leaders are target fixated, numbers driven to the exclusion of anything else. It also found that a great sales leader successfully monitors, controls and strictly enforces a sales process. Great sales leaders establish firm command over their team based on establishing an environment where their sales team continually seek to prove themselves competitively, driving higher performance. All very well and good but how does a great sales leader keep up a competitive environment whilst tightly managing the numbers.
So how should a sales leader achieve the seemingly polar gap between the detail of tracking and managing the numbers whilst optimising the naturally competitive instinct of the team. The answer could be in empowering the team with information that drives their competitive instinct even when they are out on the road and dispersed. The answer could be in gamifying the sales processes by turning the tracking of sales and the reporting of the numbers into a competition in itself. Top of the leader board this month for reporting progress, top of the leader board for filling in the numbers before the deadlines, being seen to be ahead of the game rather than behind it – no one in sales wants to be at the bottom of the table in anything. The challenge however for many great sales leaders is to keep adapting the underlying sales processes and systems to meet the needs of the business and to keep the sale teams empowered and driven.
The Capriza platform empowers sales leaders with just this ability, providing the sales teams with task based micro-apps on any device, anytime, anywhere that elevates sales reporting and tracking to a constant competition. Building personalised apps for each team member that highlights where they need to deliver on an on-going basis. Giving sales teams visibility of leader boards and scores across the team that constantly records their personal achievements against others.
Capriza apps provide the great sales leader with the opportunity to manage the behaviour of his/her team, to achieve, no not just achieve, but to bust through the targets. The simplicity of the platform ensures that good sales leaders can keep changing the rules and games by adding new competitions, new challenges and new goals to their teams that best reflect their targets and business objectives. The business isn’t static and nor should the sales processes be, new product launches will lead to new targets being set, new team members might lead to changes in territory or sector allocations. Any platform has to adapt to change and to be able to keep upping the sales game.
By Russell Acton, VP and General Manager, International at Capriza. Russell is responsible for running International Business and has held various leadership positions over the last 25 years in high-tech industries and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of building high growth software businesses.