Feeds

Rikki don't lose (sight of) that number

Navigating Sales through the morass

High performance access to file storage

Workshop The “number” is the most important word in any sales person’s vocabulary. It means the target, the total amount of closed business that needs to be achieved, whether in a month, a quarter or a year. Once that period is ended, the reset button is pressed and the cycle starts again.

Anyone who has been at the sharp end of sales will know that however good the back-end systems and support processes, or however compelling the product, achieving the number boils down to two things: firstly, deciding which of the many leads, prospects and accounts in front of them are likely to convert into sales; and secondly, working through the steps that lead to conversion.

Although simple in principle, in practice the challenge can be complicated by distractions. The sales process is like a giant funnel that must constantly be filled with new leads and opportunities.

Effort can be wasted in chasing after less lucrative, or indeed, non-existent, business. Sales meetings, admin and office politics can all take up time better spent in the field, closing deals or prospecting for new ones.

The role of technology cannot be overstated, but it is not just a question of providing sales administration systems.

Yes, it is important to log customer details and have access to product information. Equally, the ability to generate reports helps managers and staff to set up realistic targets and forecasts, and to build a picture of past success to guide future development.

But there is always more that can be done with IT systems – more information that could be captured and analysed, more integration, more power at the organisation’s fingertips.

"A Tower of Babel effect can also kick in"

However, if systems become too complex they can become yet another set of distractions. As information capture becomes more onerous it can get in the way of doing the job.

A Tower of Babel effect can also kick in when large quantities of information require a more complex degree of terminology and decision-making – strategy setting, management and reporting by territory for example.

When this happens, it is important not to forget the fundamentals. The basic elements at the core of sales activity should remain at the forefront.

Sales people’s jobs – to prospect, qualify and close deals – remains the same whatever other variables might change, from the regions they work in to the products they pitch.

In systems terms this becomes a question of ensuring the right information is easily visible, and that data can be logged with minimal overhead.

That doesn’t mean that all other information is redundant, or even secondary. Today’s information repositories offer an Aladdin’s Cave of potential, but it is not for the sales person to use up precious time picking through the glittering nuggets of data and making sense of them.

Anything that distracts from the number should be seen as a hindrance not just to sales staff but to the business as a whole. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.