2017 is now in the history books for sales organizations, and 2018 is upon us. And for the vast majority of companies, this year’s revenue expectations for sales teams are higher than last year. A question we should be asking ourselves is, “What can we do to help sales professionals achieve these new goals?” Let me offer one answer: Cut back on some of the administrative burden that has been unceremoniously dumped on them!
If you take a look at how the average salesperson spends their time today, you will see them doing a lot of tedious tasks. Take, for example, what happens when they uncover a new opportunity. We expect them to create a new account record, contact records, and an opportunity record in their CRM system. We then want them to log the notes from meetings and phone calls and attach emails to the appropriate records. And then there is the task of continuously updating the forecast.
Do all these things need to be done? Of course. But they don’t have to be done by salespeople. There have been a number of innovations in sales enablement software that can automate most of those tasks. Technology can analyze emails between buyers and sellers to determine when a new selling opportunity has started, who the various stakeholders are, and what tasks are occurring during the sales process, etc. Solutions are also available to record, transcribe, and analyze sales calls, and to append comprehensive records of what happened during those meetings.
The chance to reduce tedium doesn’t stop there. Major parts of the quote-to-close process can also be managed effectively by technology. E-signature management systems can speed up contract creation, while ensuring that everything in the agreements is correct. It then will route and manage the flow of documents to all the key customer stakeholders for approval. It can then manage the internal deal review process to ensure any sign-offs within your company are completed. Once everything is completed, e-signature systems can update the CRM records automatically.
The cost for all of these support services is in the few dollars per day range per salesperson. When you compare that to the $25, $50, $75+ an hour we are paying salespeople, the ROI is very clear. When you take a job in sales, you do so knowing that expectations increase from time to time. But you should also expect your company to do its part to help increase your efficiency and effectiveness to help you meet those expectations. Reducing tedium is a solid starting point to do that for your sales teams.
Click here to watch a webinar where Jim Dickie and Adobe chat about e-signature.