What Is Killing Your Sales Productivity?

By Paul Starkey
Published on: September 2, 2017

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Before we get into it: can we agree that the major objective is for your prospective client to adopt you as their trusted advisor? Why? Because this greatly affects how to approach each client introduction and how to make your salespeople more productive. You sell solutions, not boxes or time. As their trusted advisor, your salesperson’s job is to fit great solutions to their desires; yes, their dreams, aspirations and imaginations!

Does anyone really need this stuff? Or is it all just fluff that people can live without?

So where do we go wrong? What zaps the productivity of our salespeople at every level? Here are a few ideas for starters:

  • Too much time preparing proposals
  • Preparing too many revisions
  • Working on other things; other than selling
  • Failing to qualify the prospect on the first call
  • Consumed with small projects that do not provide a return on time or profit
  • Reinventing the wheel
  • Pay plans that don’t keep salespeople selling

Our research found that the best and most productive sales people in CI do one thing primarily: SELL.  Proposal writing, design iterations, project management, parts running, one-day projects, schedule coordination, and even some level of change orders can subtract from top performers’ ability to be rainmakers for you.

If a $2M producer’s time is worth almost $1,000 an hour in sales, find out how to get more quality at-bats and less down time (face-time for selling). Ask yourself, is everything you are asking him/her to do worth $1,000 an hour of sales not made?

The problem then becomes apparent – the owner must remove certain barriers:

  • Get salespeople to help in turning quick proposals out
  • Place value on a detailed proposal and design – charge for beyond basic proposals and designs
  • Take non-selling tasks off the salesperson’s list of responsibilities – salespeople typically cost you 2x to 3x more than the people that can support the salesperson
  • Assign all 1-day projects to a service manager or quick turn project specialist
  • Have a pay plan that rewards success over and over and over and over . . .

Keep in mind, this isn’t about creating prima-donnas – it’s about creating a functioning team that generates the most business (and the most return) for the company.

Keep it Vital!

Paul Starkey

Paul Starkey

Paul Starkey is a 23 year CI industry veteran who led control manufacturer ELAN from infancy to a 150 person company. He is a visionary, keen on innovation, pioneer of on-line training, and numerous product innovations. He is co-founder of Vital Management and Executive Director of BRAVAS Group.

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