A sales pipeline is a must know for any sales rep and many sales departments use this formula daily and successfully to sign more customers. Each client goes through an initial contact, followed by a qualification step that decides the opportunity of a further meeting. If the meeting happens, the business proposal and closing the deal come after. The last step is the beginning of a new process: the after sales services.
How to be more productive with your sales?
Even if sales departments respect the process described above, some of them still meet efficiency problems. This usually happens because all stages of the sales pipeline are handled by the same people, who could be handling even the administrative tasks like billing or debit recovering.
The 80/20 rule for productivity
Sales managers should embrace this simple, unwritten rule, proved to raise human resources’ productivity: Each should dedicate at least 80% of his working time to the same type of tasks. In the sales department scenario, productivity will decrease if every member of the department is engaged in every sales stage, or worse, in administrative tasks.
Therefore, we strongly recommend dividing the people in the sales department into three main categories:
- Business Developers
- Sales Representatives
- Account Managers.
Business developers will be responsible for finding new business and qualifying new opportunities. Sales representatives will attend meetings, will do the business proposals and close the deals. Account managers will handle the new customers during the contractual period.
Since skilled sales representatives are so hard to find, and their work is so expensive and valuable, the main benefit of applying the 80/20 rule is saving their precious time for actually selling. Thus, the number of sales will increase in a short period. Let small tasks and administrative work be handled by people whose jobs don't require the skill of a sales representative or account manager.
Finally, following the sales pipeline and assigning the right person for the right job will help the sales department become more and more efficient. This will help us achieve the maximum productivity within the sales department by increasing sales and by lowering costs.