Fleenor Security - The Right Levels of the Right Activities
Wrestling The Problem
We are a small business in a very competitive market: building access control and burglar and fire alarms. Managing my small sales force has always been a challenge. The sales team is made up of very independent people who do not want to be micro-managed and other less motivated people who need the structure of weekly accountability. Over the years I have tried many different tools to manage the sales results of my salespeople. At times we simply measured sales results. If they were hitting their quotas each month, they didn't seem to need coaching. If they missed their targets, then I went with my gut and guessed where and how they needed coaching. Most of the time my comments went unheard.
My first approach of tracking only sales was obviously not the right approach. Using a common spreadsheet wasn't much better. Everyone would rush to put their activity numbers into the boxes right before the weekly sales meeting. Some of the numbers were accurate, but most were only guesses made by each salesperson. It was hard to find the connection between the sales activities and their results. I then tried a CRM. It became the salesperson's responsibility to keep this very detailed information up to date, daily, so my service and accounting departments could access all the data. I soon realized this task was eating up time that my salespeople needed to sell!
Finding A Solution
My current approach is working much better. SalesActivities.com is a simple tool that helps my salespeople be more productive. When a lead comes in or when someone finds a lead, the salesperson enters that name into the first stage, Prospects. Our marketing assistant helps. As the salesperson sets and holds an appointment, creates the quote and makes the sale, he or she simply moves the prospect through the stages with a few clicks. Making check marks or making guesses about the number of appointments and quotes produced is removed from the equation. This simple automation produces correct data.
Enjoying The Results
When conducting sales meetings and coaching sessions, I can make a diagnosis of the real reasons that my sales team isn't meeting targets. I can also draw some accurate conclusions as to the number of prospects, held meetings, and quotes needed for my salespeople to hit their monthly sales goals. I no longer use my gut. I have accurate, up-to-date information.
After we make sales, we can move the data from SalesActivities into our customer relationship management system for our in-house team to manage. My salespeople are spending more time selling and less time entering data. I can honestly say that the use of this tool has contributed to an increase in sales. Most importantly, I have gained peace of mind from knowing that I have hard data, not just results but the efficient activities behind those results.