Do you ever worry that your sales team are just visiting the same customers week in week out? Are you concerned that they have too many potential customers in the area? And are not making the best decisions about who to call on?

Does your sale need face to face contact? If so, it is critical that your sales team are making good decisions about where to spend their time. A typical response we hear from Sales Leaders is "I feel that my sales team are following a 'Milk Run'."

6 glass milk bottles

It is tough being a salesperson. You are challenged on so many fronts.

  • The volume of potential customers is high.
  • It is challenging balancing your selling time effectively between new and existing customers.
  • You want to forge strong relationships. And may default back to growing and maintain the existing relationships when challenged to grow your sales number.

So, what can you as a Sales Leader do about it?

We at eSpatial work with sales leaders who are solving this very problem. Sales leaders should support their team by giving them a methodology for better decision making. Here is a simple, yet powerful 5 step process:

Step 1 – Set the criteria

The first responsibility for sales leadership is to define the path to strategic success.

Is it your strategy to add new customer logos?

If so, analyze the performance and targeting approaches of your Top Salespeople. And embed their best practice across your team.

Do you need to launch a new product?

Build a profile of your bullseye customer. Do you need to reposition your offering to sell to a growing customer rather than your existing static one? Name and profile the customers you plan to win.Make it a quarterly non-negotiable to ensure that your sales team stay on track.

Step 2 – Generate meaningful data

Once you have identified the criteria for growth, you need to build out the corresponding data model. Then make it available to your sales team. If your top performer for acquiring new logos (or accounts) is working with independent gas stations. Get an up to date directory.

Launching a new product? Who are you targeting? More importantly. Who do you NOT want to target? You need a list or a consistent methodology. What is the right process for your business to collect and make available the data on prospects? Who are your competitors? Where are they strongest? All of this data needs to be available to your salespeople consistently. To make them more effective.

Step 3 – Explain how to use the data

Experience with eSpatial customers shows that 20% of your field salespeople make the best use of your data. These are your strategic thinkers. They are already effective. For those with a relationship building mindset. Show them a clear and easy methodology for managing this valuable data. So, build out a clear workflow for them to follow. It shows how to visualize and interpret the data in addition to how you expect them to act against it. Remember your brain is a visual tool. Visualizing data improves understanding and communication.

Your path could look like this:

  1. Every Thursday evening you plan your upcoming week.
  2. You filter your data to exclude anyone contacted within the previous three months.
  3. You filter for those customers you already sell more than 80% of your main products.
  4. Next you create a heat map to show what part of your territory has the largest density of customer opportunity.
  5. You choose that area for the following week. You build a route that delivers the highest potential prospects for you to close.
  6. You work your plan. Make your appointments in advance. And change your routes on the fly if appointments get canceled. Easy.

Step 4 – Monitor performance

Next check that your sales team are using the systems and processes in place. Are they driving changes in behavior? Build regular checkpoints into your process to deliver maximum impact across the team.Ensure your field sales team update the CRM or eSpatial with a tickbox against each prospect call. It will help you to build a national map showing how sales performance is aligning with your sales strategy.See steps 1-2 above. You can then take action to reward the strong performers. And coach those who have not adopted the methodology.

Step 5 – Repeat

Once you have implemented your process, you should see your sales team performance grow. You will also discover that some salespeople find new ways to succeed. Success breeds success.If your sales team are now following your new strategic decision-making process. You will be able to replicate their approach to the rest of your team. That is why it is crucial that you encourage both free-form thinking as well as process following.

eSpatial work with Global Sales Leaders and Organisations who have implemented processes that deliver results. We believe that mapping your customer datasets transforms your data from a horrible excel (we call it EXHELL) process into a beautiful visual one. You can use our tools for heat mapping, routing. It gives you peace of mind knowing everything flows from end to end. We can help you kiss goodbye to that 'milk run’ mentality for good.

Happy selling!

eSpatial is a provider of mapping software for field sales teams. From territory management and account management on the go to advanced routing capabilities, we’re certain eSpatial will increase the efficiency of your sales team. Schedule a free demo with one of our experts to find out how eSpatial can help your field sales team achieve their goals and targets.