The primary driver to improve your sales growth is the number of meaningful sales interactions (MSI) your salespeople conduct each week with potential customers. Since these conversations can only be conducted by salespeople (not administrators, not customer service, not engineers), your sales growth is a function of your ability to maximize the number of sales conversations held each week.
You can increase the number of MSIs each week when you reduce the number of salespeople activities that are not meaningful sales interactions (administration, customer service, solution design, and prospecting).
The job requirements of most salespeople simply don’t allow them to spend much of their time in meaningful sales conversations. In fact, a study by Alexander Proudfoot revealed that they only spend about 10% of their time selling.
How do salespeople spend their time? Roff-Marsh explains:
The majority of a salesperson’s day is dedicated to customer service and administrative activities, to solution design and proposal generation, and to prospecting and fulfillment-related activities.
So how can companies relieve their salespeople of these other activities and keep them focused on selling conversations?
They need look no further than other departments in the company. No one does all the functions of accounting and finance—the work is divided among specialists in accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and analysis.
It’s the same for production and engineering. Labor is divided among different people. In each department the work is conducted by a coordinated team of specialists.
When sales departments divide the labor among a team of specialists, they relieve salespeople from the activities that take them away from meaningful sales interactions.
In addition to the throughput increase in MSIs, these departments experience two additional benefits. First, when people specialize, they improve their productivity because they get better and better at their specific job. Salespeople get better at selling. Business development coordinators get better at administration of sales campaigns and opportunities. Customer service staff get better at routine proposals and support calls.
And finally, sales departments experience a second benefits because they lower their costs. How? They are no longer paying expensive salespeople to do tasks that can be done by less expensive employees.
If you want to improve your sales growth, increase the number of meaningful sales interactions your salespeople conduct each week.