About Sales Support

"Sales support" refers to a series of support activities to maximize the efficiency of sales activities. Sales support is a series of support activities designed to maximize the efficiency of sales activities. In order for salespeople  https://slimtime.co.jp/  to concentrate on sales activities, it reduces unnecessary internal work and expands the number of customer contacts for salespeople.

Through this support, these activities aim to increase customer acquisition and sales, which are the original goals of sales activities. For sales support, it is necessary to identify the current issues and consider the introduction of sales support tools that are easy for salespeople to use.

Sales support is an activity that supports salespeople to improve their operational efficiency. So, what kind of effect does it have to have in order to achieve the purpose of sales support? In this section, we will explain the objectives and effects of sales support, which affect the performance of salespeople in various ways.

Expansion of core hours

The primary objective of sales support is to increase the amount of time that salespeople can directly approach customers (core time). Core sales time refers to the time devoted to sales activities that directly lead to increased sales. The following are some examples of core time tasks.

Making appointments with potential customers

Interviewing potential customers about their issues

Proposing solutions to make deals

Closing deals with new customers

Route sales, up-selling and cross-selling to existing customers

In sales activities, time is required for other non-core tasks, such as preparing daily sales reports and quotations. Non-core tasks do not directly lead to increased sales. If you spend too much time on non-core tasks, you risk losing opportunities to acquire customers. The main goal of sales support is to improve sales by expanding core time.

Improving sales efficiency

In addition to increasing sales, the purpose and effect of sales support is to improve sales efficiency. By properly managing customer information and narrowing down the customers to be approached, it is possible to eliminate unnecessary visits and improve the deal closing rate. Furthermore, a system that does not allow salespeople to do things that can be done by non-salespeople can reduce the amount of work involved in sales activities.

If regular meetings are turning into result meetings, it is possible to simplify the meetings by sharing information using sales support tools. If you enter daily sales reports in the cloud during travel time, you can simplify the daily entry process and spend more time on business negotiations.

By eliminating the need to do paperwork at the office, it is easier to go straight home, which is effective in improving profitability by reducing overtime. By eliminating various types of waste and streamlining inefficiencies, we can aim to improve sales efficiency.

Improved motivation

Since salespeople often perform field sales such as route sales and retail sales, it is important to provide support in outside sales.

Eliminating or streamlining the work that has been done in-house can free them from tedious chores. This provides an environment where salespeople can easily concentrate on the work they want to focus on, which leads to increased motivation.

For salespeople, sales performance determines their job performance and evaluation. With sales support, salespeople can create quick and appropriate routes for sales visits, thereby improving sales while reducing their workload. Improved sales performance will lead to further motivation.

Write down the sales process

The first thing to do in order to implement sales support is to clarify the sales process of your company. If you break down the sales process, you can visualize the core tasks related to business negotiations and non-core tasks such as paperwork.

In general, core tasks include making appointments, initial visits, proposals, negotiations, closing, and receiving orders. By visualizing your company's processes, you can analyze where waste and inefficiencies are hidden.

If you are stumbling in making appointments, you may have a problem with quantitative and qualitative analysis of your customer list. If there are not enough targets for your products in your customer list, you may need to expand your list.

If it is difficult to improve sales through field sales efforts alone, it may be necessary to introduce inside sales. By visualizing the sales process, you can identify the objectives, targets, and challenges of the sales support you need.

Look at the issues

Sales support will fail if it satisfies only the management and system staff. If sales support is implemented and feedback is received from salespeople, the sales support system may appear to be working correctly.

However, in reality, the sales support system may just be burdening the salesperson and not leading to increased sales. The key is to visualize the process and find out which processes are getting in the way of core time.

Consider measures that allow salespeople to perform at a higher level and focus on sales activities. If the introduction of sales support creates new waste, it will not lead to proper problem solving. Let's examine which processes can be improved effectively to increase sales.

Think about improvement measures

Once you have identified issues by visualizing the sales process, you can think about improvement measures. The theory is to think about what approach is appropriate in the following order: eliminate, reduce, and change.

If there is an obviously useless process that you are just doing out of habit and inertia, eliminate it once and for all. Eliminating is the simplest and most powerful, but it is also the most likely to cause more harm than good.

Reduce" means to reduce the content of the work while retaining the work itself. For example, if there are too many items to be entered in the daily sales report and overtime hours are getting longer, eliminate unnecessary items.

Issues that cannot be "eliminated" or "reduced" can be addressed by "changing" them. Aim to solve the problem by changing the content of the work or the person in charge. In both cases, it is important to proceed with caution and with the understanding of all parties involved.

Convert business cards into data to narrow down customers

Managing business card information on paper or in an Excel-based format is a tedious task. Even if the entire company has accumulated customer information, the information on business cards shared by salespeople can easily become a black box, and sales opportunities may be missed.

By using a sales support tool that can create a customer database by simply scanning business cards, it is possible to solve the problems caused by the difficulty of business card management. By digitizing business cards and visualizing the network of people within the company, it can lead to strategic sales activities.

It is also possible to link visitors to the company's website with the customer database. You can automatically visualize which of your prospects and existing customers are interested in your products, and seamlessly link them to field sales.

Create templates for emails and texts

Email is an indispensable tool for salespeople who communicate with a variety of people. In some cases, typing text for appointments and proposals becomes a burden for salespeople. By creating templates for emails and texts, you can save time by eliminating the tedious task of creating emails.

When composing emails in between field sales, you may not have enough time for typing. Creating templates is an effective technique to eliminate typos and create emails quickly.

Some sales support tools have a function to manage the email communication for each customer. Even if you have a large number of prospective customers to email, it is highly visible and allows you to proceed with sales in a logical manner.

Automate data entry to focus on sales activities

One of the factors hindering salespeople's activities is the tediousness of data entry, which can be time consuming for field salespeople with Excel-based information management.

By automating data entry with sales support tools, you can free yourself from the drudgery and expand your core sales time. For example, business card data can be scanned and checked by AI and dedicated staff to ensure that the information is correct. By linking customer lists with data on appointments and negotiations, data entry for daily sales reports can be automated.

With cloud-based sales support tools, it is easy to share information from smartphones and tablets. Consider delegating administrative tasks that do not need to be done by salespeople to AI or dedicated staff.

MA (Marketing Automation)

MA (Marketing Automation) refers to the automation of various marketing processes and tools. MA tools are used to create (lead generation), nurture (lead nurturing), classify (lead qualification), and manage (lead management) potential customers. (lead management).

The features of MA tools include access analysis, web behavior analysis, campaign management, and marketing scenario creation.

It is also possible to analyze past responses for each prospective customer and automatically send appropriate emails to each segment. It assists in One to One marketing by seamlessly managing a series of actions for prospective customers. In addition, it can be integrated with SFA and CRM as described below.

SFA (Sales Force Automation)

SFA (Sales Force Automation) refers to a system or tool that supports the visualization and efficiency of the sales process. Its purpose is to improve productivity by eliminating bottlenecks in sales activities as explained in the above sections.

Typical SFA functions include customer management, deal management, sales activity management, and schedule management. There are also SFA tools that simplify the administrative work of salespeople, such as creating daily sales reports and quotations.

SFA has various functions that allow salespeople to focus on their core business hours, but it is also useful from a management perspective. As sales activities become more transparent, SFA is also an important tool for planning and improving sales strategies and from a management perspective.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a system and a tool that mainly aims to make customers repeat and become loyal customers.

In addition to quantitative analysis of the customer information database, it also uses qualitative analysis and behavioral analysis to segment the information and utilize it for promotion management and building good relationships with customers. It is a comprehensive management method that aims to improve the mutual benefit of the company and its customers, and to achieve success in long-term relationships.

Basically, MA tools are used to optimize actions for prospective customers, and SFA tools are used to improve the efficiency of sales activities. Some SFA tools and CRM tools are functionally integrated and there is no clear distinction between them.

Business related blogs