Bruno HE August 27, 2018 at 7:18 AM
Why Sales Reps Should Spend Time with Customers

What comprises an effective sales representative? The outstanding ones know what should be on top of their priorities.

That includes profiling qualified prospects, determining these prospects’ potential needs, closing deals, making sales and last but not the least, offering a quality customer service at all times. However, these responsibilities can be overwhelming, which is why it is imperative to set a clear definition of the things they should really focus on, in order to avoid wasting time and effort.

If you have done sales once in your life, then you understand how crucial it is to always manage your time wisely. There is so much to get done that your entire day may not be enough. On top of that, you have to strictly follow how much time you should spend on each task, along with the tools that will help you increase your productivity. Most sales reps are actually spending their time doing expense report and other paperwork that hinder their chance to actually make sales. Research shows that they tend to spend at least 60% of their time just creating presentations, contents and everything else – except selling; when in fact, this could have been 60% spent on actual sales and closing deals. Putting it into another perspective, they could have used this time visiting customers, following up on previous meetings and leads, building rapport, closing sales and eventually generating an income for the company. Reps are basically stuck at their work desk prior to their appointment, manually doing everything as part of the preparation.

Woman Writing Coffee

How to end this practice?

As technology grows, it is only reasonable to go with the flow and stretch our ability to actually make sales. With the help of proper tools and time management, you will get the chance to personally connect with the customers. And when you successfully connect to them, you are basically getting closer to finalizing a deal, simply because you are not tied up working on your reports – you are out there, doing what you are really supposed to do a sales representative.

Identify your target customer

Of all the things that a sales rep is supposed to do, this is something that is worth spending your time on. All your efforts will go into waste if you are talking to the wrong people. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I selling?
  • Who are going to benefit from my product/service?
  • How can this product or service make life easier?
  • What is their source of income?
  • Do they have the ability to purchase what I offer?

By answering the following questions, any sales rep will know how to connect with his customers on a deeper perspective. This will also enable them to tailor their presentation based on their customer’s specific needs.

Automated tools are definitely a life-saver

A time spent doing a report is less time spent hitting your sales quota. Many companies require their people to manually fill out paperwork, from attendance sheets to expenses, without actually realizing that they are taking away a lot valuable time that should have been spent building rapport with the clients. Reports are always a monotonous and tedious task, but there are plenty of intelligent expense solutions available in the market; most of these automated solutions are even accessible through mobile phones. It’s about time companies invest on technologies like this, because by doing so, you are not only stretching your employee’s ability to be more productive, you are also saving a lot of time and manpower. In this case, PixMettle is exactly what you need. This app will allow you to submit your expense report on the go, all the while simplifying the complex process, increasing sales productivity and improving the employee’s performance as a whole. With an expense solution that is readily available to keep track of your activities, you can finally spend enough time with your customers, and perhaps, finally hit that quota you’ve been missing for so long.

Effective planning and preparation

This is where it gets tricky. Preparing an entire week of workload would mean that you wouldn’t need to borrow time from that which is meant for sales. Avoid preparing things on a daily basis. If possible, learn to organize your activities and appointments that will have a positive impact on your future sales. Set your schedule weekly, including your meetings; spend a bunch of time creating your presentation that may last a week, so you won’t panic at the eleventh hour. You also create your go-to email templates based on your past engagements – use this when you are asking for a follow-up, or initiating a talk. Various tools that you can use on reports and active selling can boost your productivity such as an automated expense system, email tracking tools and other record-compiling tools. While many CFOs view this as just another way of spending corporate funds, it is actually a smart approach in stretching production efficiency in the workplace. Being an outstanding sales rep is not merely about closing a deal with your target prospect, it is also about knowing your client’s needs as well as yours, because when you are mentally prepared and equipped with the proper tools, you are also paving a way for your future sales. All because you are not stuck in just one tedious task – you are able to maximize everything, particularly your time.

Woman Phone Laptop Preparation Planning

Finally, increase sales time by being equipped with the right knowledge, and by knowing when to delegate

Frustrating enough, the time that is usually spent on activities that are not related to sales is actually higher. Then and again, if you are spending more than half your entire day just doing paperwork, the company cannot expect you to deliver your best performance. Preparing a presentation based on your customer’s needs is not enough – but making the sales process itself easy to navigate and understand could ace you a sale on the dot. Often times, a customer is most likely to pay attention if you present a clear, straight to the point offer, than beating around the bush. Be equipped with the right organizational and corporate knowledge. The time you spend on planning will drastically lessen if you are sure about what to discuss with your clients.

Do not play hero – if you think there are people who should be doing a particular task instead of you, or at least some people who are willing to lend you a hand, then do so. If you have enough guts, you can even present to your CFO as to why your company needs an automated solution and how it will make life easier for everyone else. Either this or a dedicated assistant may help you shoulder the administrative burden that comes with being a sales rep. Keep in mind that it’s not just about working hard, a sales rep should also be working smart. Time management, followed by a definite list of priorities will minimize the clutter and will eventually contribute to your corporate revenue.

Conclusion

Time is money; there is no question to that. Hustling is good, but doubling your time in the office doesn’t mean you’re actually nailing it. A little over time is good, but when you are taking so much time to the point wherein you have to comprise your rest, it means you’re including things in your to-do list that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Administrative tasks may be an important part of the job, but it does not exactly generate company revenue. Some of these tasks must be eliminated in order for you to spend more time with your customers.

A sales job should mostly revolve on building rapport and eventually earning trust. When your customers trust you, you are actually looking forward for a possible lifetime connection than just a single transaction. Interacting with customers may also earn you future sales and direct referrals, along with their loyalty. Remember that word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing strategies in the industry, and once a satisfied client talks about how happy he was with your service, he is also encouraging more people to give you a shot.

An outstanding sales rep talks less and delivers more. Yes, you may have spent a bunch of time creating that report, but if you are not able to express your real purpose on a clear and comprehensive way, then customers may have their doubts. When you are prepared, you most likely imagine how things will turn out. You carefully observe if your target customer is already sending that “buying signal” without them having to express it directly – you know when you need to explain more or when to push through. You may probably ask, “How is that even possible?” Simple. By asking appropriate questions, by listening to what they are saying and by making them feel comfortable with you. Selling is not something you force. It should be about discovering your customer’s sense of urgency and knowing how to act on it.

With Pixmettle, we help your sales reps save time, become more productive and focus on what really matters: making sales. Contact us today if you want to know more how we may help your team be more efficient and increase your revenue.

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