The client over the last few years had built a business supplying hi-tech equipment primarily to the USA market. However their UK sales did not show such growth as for many years they had not invested in the the sales operation outside the USA. To overcome this they recruited three sales account managers specifically to grow the UK business. However the company did not have a sales manager and had never run a sales force before. Subsequently it was apparent that performance had not improved and at that point they engaged the services of a specialist from abio limited.
A full sales audit was carried out as the first step to understanding the issues that prevailed. This involved making appropriate measures and focussing on the quality of work, quantity of work and direction.
It was clear from the beginning that although the sales team had operated in sales previously, none had sufficient training to understand what was required of them. Due to the nature of their business and the customers they dealt with they needed to be developed into key account managers.
Other findings from the sales audit included:
- Company had a good reputation
- It had a large number of customers
- But a very small number of “active” accounts
- Selling carried out was ‘feature’ led
- Contact not made with decision makers
- Product knowledge in some parts of the team was weak
- the team had no targets to work to
- Motivation was low as there was no commission or bonus schmeme
- No company wide CRM system (sales managers each had their own system)
- Management control was virtually non existant
- Poor territory planning and management
- No account planning
The first task was to implement a company wide contact management system as the first step towards CRM. This allowed the company to have visibility of activities with all customers. Rigorous attention to detail when entering data was encouraged and enforced. Reporting was simplified and only by exception saving each sales manager at least a day per month. Targets were developed and linked to a commission scheme based on performance over target. This ensured that the scheme was self funding.