Sales Force Management:- The business of salespeople is to sell. But to sell, they have to maximize customer contact time, in other words for itinerant salespeople face-to-face time. But the missions of a sales force are not limited to this phase of face to face but encompass a set of activities: prepare sales interviews, monitor, manage administrative tasks … This post offers tools to analyze the seller’s activity in order to maximize this lucrative step of face to face. The activity of the commercial is shared between different missions: Such as
- The preparation of the visits (preparation of the lists of customers to see, making a telephone appointment …)
- Face-to-face interviews
- The visit reports
- The commercial treatment post visit (stimulus offers …)
Tasks inherent to the Functions
- Administrative management: management of expense reports …
- Training (improvement of salesperson skills)
- The meetings
To obtain an exhaustive vision of the time used by the sales force, it is necessary to add the “constrained” times such as displacements.
- Statement Sheet
To improve the time of contact with the customers, in particular the time of face to face, it is relevant to make a statement of the time consumed by the different activities of the commercial.
For this survey, it is best to work with several sellers over a period of about 2 weeks.
A small note: by experience, it is always difficult to motivate sellers for this type of approach. The best is to involve the selected employees in a project group with the objective of “improving customer contact time”, and to involve them in all phases of the process: from problematic to research and selection of solutions.
- The types of activity are to be modulated according to the specificity of your profession.
- The “Remarks” column provides elements of understanding a particular event.
As for training and meetings, it is better to count them separately, by monthly zing the time spent.
- Analysis Sheet
Once the readings are done, you have to consolidate the times collected in a spreadsheet. In the example the duration have been monthly.
You have at your disposal the data that will allow you to analyze the situation, to identify time-consuming and unprofitable tasks.
For the analysis, the question of the reference frame is raised. It is difficult to say that 11.8% of the operational time spent in preparation for a visit is correct or not. It depends on the business sector of the company. A commercial engineer on a sharp job will need a lot of preparation time, the commercial meetings being more profitable. On the other hand, the marketing of a so-called “banal” product implies a maximization of customer time: more visits = more turnover. The best is to debrief with the project group to evaluate each phase by comparing for example the results of each commercial pilot. Thus you will be in a position to highlight lines of action to free the seller of unprofitable tasks to give him more time to devote to sales.