August 15, 2012
business_clockThere’s a time to serve and a time to sell. In technology it’s easy to get so caught up in serving that you forget to sell. Before you know it, your sales pipeline is bare and you can’t understand why.
As you check in with your sales reps on their prospecting activities, they complain that they have no time for it, even in customer accounts. When you step back and examine how they’re spending their time, it isn’t on frivolous, non-work related tasks. They’re responding to customer questions, monitoring projects, ordering product, writing quick quotes and talking with technicians about customer situations.
While all of these activities are frequently labeled “sales,” the reality is, they aren’t. With the exception of writing and sending a quote, they won’t fill the pipeline. And, they won’t lead to immediate sales.
These duties do strengthen customer relationships and must be done, but they are customer service activities. Yes, over time they may lead to revenue. But can you afford to wait for the customer to request a quote to move to the cloud or implement unified communications? Probably not.
Take a good look at how your sales reps are spending their time.
How well are they balancing their customer service and sales activities?
Are there service activities that you should offload to other staff? If there is no other staff to offload to, can you train your reps to do these activities in the shoulder hours of a work day? Prime time is for selling.
How are you monitoring that your reps are spending enough time selling? Are there dashboard reports you can set up? Do the topics in the sales team meetings need to shift?
Are your reps using service activities to avoid selling? If so, you may have the wrong reps and it’s time to re-evaluate sales roles.
As a company, do you have a selling mindset?
Quality service is critical in a VAR’s business. But your sales team needs to focus a greater percentage of its time on selling. Without it, your business will stall.
Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert and author of the award winning book “Selling Against the Goal” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.
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