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Wrong responsibilities kill sales performance

Piotr Zaniewicz in

Blog/Wrong responsibilities kill sales performance

Wrongly distributed responsibilities can mess your team up, especially in sales. That’s why it’s important to limit your sales team’s responsibilities. It’s tricky – with hundreds of available models to base your decisions on, add to it growth-related issues that force constant change and you get lost thinking about what your closers should be doing.

We had problems like this too. A lot of people wasted their time on wrong duties. Most common mistake is giving salespeople too much areas to work in. They should be closing deals. It’s their core job and even small distractions clutter their workflow and waste resources. Management should always allow them to focus. Let’s go through their  responsibilities.

Customer profile – who’s your target?

It’s usually the CEO, especially in smaller companies, that decides on which segment to focus. He’s got all the information he needs, i.e. feedback from:

  • salespeople (the best leads that convert well)
  • product team (which customers bring value, pay the most and buy frequently)
  • marketing team (how to generate leads in different segments)

No company will make it without feedback about their target group, it’s critical. Salespeople are the closest to the market and can tell you criteria for leads that will convert. But deciding about the company’s focus should be left to the CEO or person in charge that has the most data.

Generating leads

Generally speaking salespeople shouldn’t do it. As always, there are some exceptions. Let’s look at how it relates to different types of leads.

  • Inbound leads

No! It’s too complex and too far from what they should focus on. Takes too much of their energy and focus, which translates to worse performance. You might ask why does Bartek, our head of sales, write articles on our blog? He likes doing it and it’s a great way to build credibility and authority among clients. He’s supposed to close deals, if this helps him convert better then it’s a good move.

  • Outbound leads and prospecting

It’s best to have separate people who take care of pre-sales. You’re paying your sales team too much to distract them with something they’re probably not good at. In case you don’t have resources for it – be creative. Maybe you can delegate it to someone who already works for you, or hire a freelancer from upWork. If there’s no other way, let your closers take care of it but only as a short-term solution.

  • Referrals

This is something we got wrong at first, account managers used to ask for referrals. Soon it was obvious that it’s not effective – it’s hard for them to ask and it’s not their concern. It’s in the interest of salespeople to take advantage of good leads. This type converts very easily, they should do everything they can to get referred as often as possible.

Selling – from a lead to a deal

This is the core of what your sales team should be doing. Focusing on the clients needs and how your company can satisfy them is crucial in this process. It includes everything that leads to signing a deal:

  • Providing value (sales processes can be automated, that’s why specialists today have to provide additional value and help the clients by educating and consulting)
  • Analysing feedback (development teams should know what salespeople hear about their products. First-hand feedback is most valuable and helpful in production)

Client onboarding

Project/Account managers should be responsible for onboarding – simply because they know how it should happen and have the skills for it. It requires time, during which leads can go cold. Salespeople finish their job when the deal is closed and approach other potential clients.

Customer success

Sometimes customers like to stay in contact with salespeople after the deal is closed. They should be concerned about client happiness. It builds trust and helps build a long-term relationship. It’s profitable for the sales team, here they earn commission on all that their clients spend on our services.

In summary

Tricky as it is, especially when hiring first salespeople, there are methods to make it easier. Analyse each process in your company and tie up loose ends. Problems are different depending on the company’s structure, but it’s important to make sure that closers don’t face distractions. Trust me, there are a lot of them you don’t know about yet.

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Piotr Zaniewicz

Founder and CEO at RightHello. Believes that the most important validation of business ideas is to find paying clients. That’s when you know you’re going in the right direction.