Have you ever looked around your sales floor and thought, “I know my reps are busy…but are they actually busy on activities that will move the needle?”
You’re not alone.
Modern sales leaders crave an understanding of the activities reps are spending their time on, which is a big reason why 75% of sales leaders surveyed by Salesforce either already have or plan to invest in sales activity management software.
But it hasn’t always been this way. Sales activity management is a relatively new as a priority for sales leaders. Here’s why it’s happening now.
Why Sales Activity Management Has Become Priority
In short: The industry is embracing an activity-driven methodology.
Old-school sales organizations were results-based, only caring about how many deals reps closed. Of course, that will always be a critical measure of performance. But sales leaders and reps can affect that number by managing the activities that lead up to deals.
This is part of a movement called Activity Based Selling, based on the premise that sales is a cascading chain of controllable behaviors that lead to a defined outcome. Think about it: No matter what type of sales process you have, there’s a series of steps that occur between opportunity and close.
For a short sales cycle, those steps might be something like: generate lead, present demo, send proposal and mark as “closed won.” But those steps aren’t the same for every team. Reps with a long sales cycle would have activities like discover opportunity, demonstrate value proposition, determine key buyer profiles, hold ROI discussion, negotiation and, finally, mark as “closed won.”
With Activity Based Selling, sales leaders manage and motivate those activities by defining them as key operating metrics. They then set numeric goals around each activity. (A quick guide on how to do that here). Metrics are broken down into monthly, weekly and even daily goals so that they are achievable, and reps always know where they stand
Basically, Activity Based Selling takes a more holistic view of managing the sales process, instead of just focusing on the outcome.
Where Sales Activity Management Comes In
By now, CRM systems like Salesforce are ubiquitous across high-growth sales organizations. Your entire sales organization’s activities exists in one database, which allows you to see who’s doing what in your system.
But CRM alone isn’t what it takes to drive sales activity management in your team. Just because the technology is there doesn’t mean reps are using it to log their activities. Plus, while CRM offers tremendous value for sharing what happened with sales in the past, systems don’t easily tell you what’s happening in real time – or what specific actions to take to improve sales performance immediately.
There are numerous sales stack technologies available to accelerate all types of sales activities. Want your team to make more phone calls? Invest in a dialer solution like Intelliverse or InsideSales.com. Looking for a better way to give demos and presentations? Consider something like Clearslide or join.me.
The best part is that many of these technologies will integrate directly with your CRM system. So when a rep performs an activity (like making a phone call or writing an email) in one of those systems, it automatically gets logged into CRM with details.
Once you understand the activities that drive sales in your process, wouldn’t you want them to happen more often? (The correct answer here is “Yes!”). Just remember: Increased activity is great, but you still have to make sure it’s the right activity.
That’s why many sales leaders are looking to technology for help embracing the Activity Based Selling methodology. It makes sense: An activity management system helps you get the most out of your salespeople by uncovering, tracking and motivating the activities that lead to sales. Can you think of anything else that gives you more ROI from both your CRM and sales team investments?
Activity Based Selling is the modern way to manage and motivate sales teams, and sales activity management software is the key to doing just that.
Have you tried or are you currently using sales activity management software? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below with your experience.