The moment I heard the Senior Account Executive say the words, “This (Sales FlyWheel) is going to save me so much time and pain uploading data in SF (Salesforce) OMG LOL” I knew he understood the power of what my Sales FlyWheel concept had to offer. And it was no surprise to me because his reaction was the almost identical reaction I get each time I present this concept to a sales team. I watch them envision having to spend less time uploading data robotically so they can spend more time doing what they love...selling.
I remember the CEO exclaiming in frustration “We’re missing our numbers by at least $100k each month!”
My reply was quick. “Be glad it’s not 10 times that.”
The CEO shook his head in confusion. “I can’t figure out why our sales forecasts are so far off.”
I didn’t blame him for not knowing why the forecasts were skewed, most people wouldn’t know. But I felt equally confident that I had the exact solution for this company’s dilemma.
The CEO’s body language said it all. He was stressed. And frustrated.
Discovering the Problem
I led him by the arm and calmly explained the process. “All we have to do is record exactly how the reps are entering their data into Salesforce and we will have most of our questions answered.” Frustration was quickly replaced by skepticism and intrigue.
So, I recorded the sales reps going through their daily sales process, and soon, a pattern emerged. It was taking each sales rep an average of 31 clicks to enter their data into Salesforce. Assuming the average click is 5 seconds of one’s day, then that’s 155 seconds or nearly 3 minutes of data entry per contact! That’s entirely too much data entry work.
You’re probably thinking, “Oh... it’s just three minutes.”
Have you ever tried to box someone, jump rope or do anything requiring physical exertion for three minutes straight? It’s exhausting and tries your mental focus. Now, try doing that same exercise 40 times in one day. That’s 40% of the sales reps time spent on data entry.
Just like when someone exerts themselves to the point of physical exhaustion, mental fatigue causes your brain to do things like cut corners and basically do what needs to be done, just to get the job done. .
Unfortunately, when sales rep get tired you will see unbecoming behaviors such as:
Inflation of deal projections to compensate for the ones they fail to enter
Forgetting to enter notes into their CRM
Not entering a deal into the pipeline.
Lack of Consistency is a Key Issue
No matter what behavior you are seeing in your sales reps, the lack of consistency is a significant problem. And one way to drive consistency in your sales organization is to make the most out of your technological tools. Then figure out how those tools can be used in the most optimal way to complete tasks.
Aside from the CEO, your sales reps are the most important people in your company as they are the one’s driving new revenue. New revenue is food for your company. Without food, the company gets irritable. Irritable behavior is inconsistent and it peppers itself throughout the company.
Back to the story…after watching the poor sales reps waste precious time entering data I decided it was time to help them make a change. I connected, simplified, and automated their CRM data entry process to see what kind of improvement we could make. And in fact, it ended up being beyond anything the CEO had ever hoped as productivity shot up by more than 50% almost instantly. The reps now only used 90 seconds per contact instead of 270 seconds. They were now entering data for 20% less time and making sales 20% more time. Mission accomplished!
With that problem solved, I then connected the CRM to the client services team’s project management tool to help the company solve three additional problems:
1) Fewer meetings. The company no longer had to attend as many new client meetings because now the deal history was saved in the CRM.
2) A consistent client experience. Each new client received a more consistent experience.
3) Increased Morale. Perhaps above all, the company morale skyrocketed because suddenly there was transparency into every deal that had never been there before.
So how do you create a better company culture with sales technology?
Step 1: Record one or two of your sales reps going through their sales process. Each sales rep can use a free Google plugin called Loom to do this.
Step 2: Use Rev.com to transcribe the entire recording.
Step 3: Count the number of steps it takes your sales reps to enter data into their CRM.
Step 4: Identify where your sale reps are doing repetitive tasks and investigate how you can automate those tasks with tools such as Zapier.
Step 5: Identify the technologies that can be replaced or completely thrown out.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 1-5 for every sales rep.
A lack of productivity in the workplace is a sure way to kill the company culture. It quickly becomes systemic and bleeds from one person to the next. This toxicity will demolish morale and before long you will find your business failing. So embrace technology and create an efficient workplace for everyone to grow and succeed. Show your salesforce that they matter and give them the tools they need to do their job. In the end, you are the one that will benefit as you watch your profits soar.