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I’ve worked for a raw materials supply company, and I’ve done sales for a plastics manufacturer on a national basis in South Africa.

What I’ve noticed is that the sales position is a rather isolated function, and the sales team is rather left on their own, with motivation from their bosses obviously, but mostly left with no assistance with regards to marketing tools, advice, calling and setting up meetings.

Specials and general Graphics are made in Powerpoint or Spreadsheet, sometimes exported to pdf and then used to entice a lead.

I’m not saying you have to do it this way, but I’m going to present a method I think will work better, especially in the manufacturing, business-to-business sales and marketing sector.

The usual structure looks something like this:

businessstructureI recommend changing to have a centralised Sales Driver person, who is skilled in the use of technology. This person has each sales person connected via Evernote of Asana or any collaboration software – NOT EMAIL – and adds important information to this software in order to empower the sales team. The sales rep in return can then also add details, like business cards, leads he is thinking about etc.

new-business-structure

The Sales Team is the blood flow of the business.

This ‘discussion’ can enable the Sales Driver to assist with recommendations on pricing, or add photos or graphics the sales rep can use to assist his or her sale. When looking at Evernote, there can be three notebooks for every sales rep. One notebook to capture business cards, one for notes on leads and one for quotes. He or she is dedicated to log all calls, visits and ideas in that notebook.

The apps are now so powerful that you can take a picture of a business card and it’ll get the text, find the person on LinkedIn and let you share your information to them via email. Because it is synced with the Sales Driver, he/she can capture the information and use the names and emails in a email campaign.

Imagine that after every business card is logged, the lead gets an email about the company you represent. Won’t that be cool?

Evernote is also logs GPS coordinates of every note made, so the Sales Driver can actually see where the notes where made, and advise on how meetings can be set up to make the routes as short and effective as possible.

The Sales Driver is the administrator of all these notebooks. She adds a few notebooks, like, one for all the graphics and photos, one for price-lists and one for the specials you might have, and shares these with everyone. I’m sure there are many more notebooks that can add value, but in the manufacturing industry, these would cover the basics.

Once a card is captured, the Sales Driver can set up a reminder for the sales rep to follow up within a week, to hear if the lead has made a decision. Following up is probably the most neglected part of any business, especially in South Africa. This can negate it.

These software packages are free, and they all have apps for mobile devices. It’ll change how productive the sales team is.

The advantages:

  • Everything is synced. It’s not a forwarded email, and no one is left out of anything. It’s live, and real.
  • If a sales person leaves, the data is still there. All the leads, notes, everything. Have you appointed a sales rep and told him/her to get the previous guy’s email to get his leads? If you have, do you think the new rep actually did it, and, would you do it?
  • Information is synced and the same across the business. There’s one pricing schedule of your company for each Sales Rep that can be updated instantly. One of everything makes it much easier to track.

Evernote also has a chat function, so the Sales Team can talk to each other or to the Sales Driver if they want, or leave notes on a product they think can work is a specific market.

It’s really a super tool that isn’t used at all. If you want more information with regards to this idea, please let me know and I’ll come in to showcase it. I think it’ll increase the sales by ten-fold. Usually people tend to think to increase profits and sales more marketing is needed. In this case, there’s no expense, only learning and implementation.

Wouter
Feature Image: Designed by Freepik

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