Looking to increase sales productivity in your organization? Improve sales representative efficiency by focusing on the Sales Enablement Quadrant of the SiriusDecisions Sales Activity Matrix.
For those who may not know, Vince Lombardi was a legendary American football coach for the Green Bay Packers. At the risk of using yet another analogy comparing sports with sales, I’d like to share a passage from the book Run to Win: Vince Lombardi on Coaching and Leadership by Donald T. Phillips:
“At the end of the day, Vince Lombardi realized that once the players were in a game and on the playing field, there wasn’t very much that he, as their coach and leader, could do to affect the outcome. And, not surprisingly, the football players on his team realized it, too. In fact, the Green Bay Packers had a running joke about it. “We have the greatest coach in the world,” it went, “but once the game gets started, Lombardi is the most useless guy on the sidelines.”
The essential meaning of this passage holds true for other occupations: The job of a director is done when the actors hit the stage, and the job of the choreographer is done when the dancers begin the performance. And the job of sales enablement is done when your reps hit “send,” pick up the phone or open their mouths.
In an earlier blog, I discussed our Sales Activity Matrix, which is used to assess the productivity of salespeople by tracking their activity against four quadrants. The upper left quadrant represents behind-the-scenes core selling activities that help reps get into a deal or advance an existing one. These include opportunity strategy, account planning, pre-call preparation, training (e.g. skills, methodology, product), knowledge transfer, proposal writing, presentation building and responding to RFPs. You can refer to this quadrant as the Enablement Quadrant, because the amount of time reps spend in this quadrant, and the way they spend it, will have a direct impact on their ability to execute upper right quadrant activities, which include core selling activities that directly engage buyers via email, phone, social media or face-to-face meetings.
Here are some observations we’ve made:
Maximizing sales productivity must include a focus on improving rep efficiency. But it also must include a relentless focus on improving rep effectiveness. Make sure your reps are ready to take the field – and the game – by ensuring they focus time and effort in the Enablement Quadrant.