Harnessing Sales Activities
Sales activities can refer to anything salespeople do in the process of trying to close deals. This includes making cold sales calls, sending out cold emails, following up with prospects, presenting demos and negotiating price. One of the most important roles of sales management is actually sales activity management – ensuring that reps are completing the necessary number of activities to meet quota and comply with the business’ sales forecasting.
Most businesses use some kind of sales analytics that allow them to understand how many sales activities they need to perform in order to reach their quotas. For example, if you’re looking to close ten deals this quarter and know that 50% of your cold emails eventually lead to deals, then you need to send out twenty emails in order to meet your goal. In practice, the number, and type, of sales activities your team needs to perform will be heavily influenced by your company’s sales strategy and how full your sales funnel is.
Sales Activity Reports
A sales activity report outlines the number of sales activities your team has performed in a given period of time. Sales activity reports are extremely important in order for management to gain a clear understanding of where their organization stands in terms of hitting quota. These can take the form of a daily sales activity report – or something longer, like a weekly or monthly report. In any case, some kind of sales activity tracker will be deployed so that management can gain an understanding of how to direct team efforts. The trick for sales managers is to find a way to channel team efforts to where they will be most effective, without making reps feel micromanaged.
An added complication is that sales activities are often not accurately tracked. Manually entering all of their activity into a CRM is a huge timesink for sales reps and is often ignored in favor of the sales activities that will directly help reps meet and exceed quota and earn commissions. People.ai can help your reps save time by automatically collecting and storing data on all sales activities. Reps can focus on selling while managers get an accurate picture of sales activity.
Effective Sales Activity Management
As mentioned previously, sales activity management is a careful balancing act for managers. You want to make sure that your team succeeds, but you also don’t want to constantly be breathing down your reps’ necks. The key to balance lies in good coaching. Most reps want to succeed so that they can advance professionally and earn more money. Managers add the most value by helping their reps get to the next level in terms of performance.
This includes helping reps understand how they should divide their time among different sales activities and when certain activities are most important. In Mike Bosworth’s classic Solution Selling he advises salespeople not to try and close a deal “before it is closeable.” As a sales manager one of the most powerful things you can do is to teach your team what to do and when.