In this blog we will be showing you why it is beneficial for your reps to save time, We all know how important it is to optimise your business’s processes, from warehousing and stock management to accounting, invoicing etc.
Something that has been very apparent in recent years is the need to ensure our sales team are as optimised in their processes as the rest of the workforce. For too long, sales teams have done the job of selling with bare minimum information and relied mainly on their ability to build relationships and muster on through with outdated stock figures.
There are a few areas that we at Blue Alligator have come to understand and can vastly improve a salesman’s performance whilst they are selling. Here are a couple of our favourites.
Proper product information
But your reps should be experts on what they sell right? Well of course! But what about those new starters? Or that time you released 100 new products into your range? You need to ensure that product information can be available for reps all at once and in detail. What are its diameters? How much is available? What does it look like boxed/unboxed in the front room? All these bits of information need to get to the reps and the channel used to get this information to them must be streamlined.
Understanding customer setup
It’s an extremely common problem that 99% of our customers faced before coming on board. Pricing!
So many ERP systems differ in their setup, but almost all of them will allow you to dedicate certain pricing structures to customer accounts. This can provide a real issue for the salesman. Why? Because without knowing what their price brand is, or how much they paid before, they are going to have to either have a conversation with the customer or the office to gain the information. Resulting in an unprofessional, time-consuming task that can sit a customer on edge. Ensure that the tools your sales staff are using mimic the existing pricing structure that your office staff has.
Cut out pointless tasks/meetings
Admin tasks and some initial meetings can take a big chunk of time out of your day and therefore decrease the amount of time you spend selling to those higher-end clients. Using the right tools will save you more time, so you can focus on the more important tasks.
- GoToMeeting is a great tool to use to manage your meetings and working schedule. This system will save you heaps of time and is easy to use and set up.
- Deputy lets you manage your time accordingly and can notify your sales team when a task needs to be completed and assign new tasks.
Base allows you to track leads and existing sales. Up-to-date stats and reports increase your time saved because of the ease of accessing data.
Customer and product information
Fail to prepare… prepare to fail! We must have all heard this a million times over. It’s no truer than when prepping for a big sales meeting.
In the wholesale world, your sales guys need to be armed with information on the customer’s buying history as well as a clear snapshot of their account regarding payments made and also products still owed to them. A very common occurrence in the prepping process is to spend hours during the week collating this information. It is your duty to ensure they don’t waste valuable time getting this together before a meeting and instead can simply book meetings back to back throughout the week knowing that they only have to take a minute to look up the customer’s information.
Building and fulfilling orders
Now, this is something that for a long-time, wholesalers ignored or just didn’t consider as a process that could be improved. We, of course, know it can! But why is this an improvement for the sales rep?
In our experience another painstaking part of most rep’s jobs having to get orders ready and processed at the end of each working day. Which in most cases relies on them re-entering orders into a system at the end of a day, photographing or emailing them to the office for them to re-enter, or waiting until they are back in the office! All that time and wasted, sometimes even weeks before customers receive their orders. The best solution is to have a totally automated order entry method, only requiring one entry of the order. However, our advice would be to look at your existing process and do all you can to speed things up. Your reps will thank you, but most of all, your customers will thank you!
All in all, if you really took the time to look at your sales processes and understand where reps and spending, or wasting a lot of their time, you can start to look at the vast number of tools out there to get things moving. Invest in flashy integrated systems, provide them with up-to-date, accurate product and customer information and the return will be out of this world.
Trust us, it’s our speciality, we know how and why it is beneficial for your reps to save time as we have been in this industry for over 20 years.