Improving the efficiency of sales operations

Sales members work at the forefront of the company's performance. Because of their role in the sales department , which is directly related to sales, administrative work is put on the back burner and the culture of overtime work persists, isn't it true? In this article, we will discuss what kind of work sales members do. In this article, we will discuss what kind of tasks are performed by sales staff, and what are the key points for improving their work efficiency. In this article, I would like to talk about what kind of tasks salespeople do and where they can improve their efficiency.

Sales is the activity of selling something (product) or something (service) to someone (company or person) in order to generate profit. The types of sales are as follows.

There are several types of sales methods, including door-to-door sales and telephone sales, where the salesperson approaches the customer directly without making an appointment.

In addition to door-to-door sales and telephone sales, inside sales is also attracting attention these days. Inside sales is an inside sales style in which sales are conducted via e-mail, telephone, and video conferencing.

In addition, there are multiple tasks that sales members perform on a daily basis in order to improve their performance.

Prospecting for potential customers

Setting appointments

Creating proposal materials

Business talks and meetings

Customer service

Preparing quotations and invoices

Sales progress report

Daily report and report writing

The above are just a few examples of sales activities.

So where should we cut back?

As I explained at the beginning of this article, salespeople work in the best line of business. Therefore, what should be reduced are the tasks that are not directly related to sales, and the time for sales activities should be increased.

For example, business negotiations and customer service are considered core tasks because they are performed to increase sales, while internal meetings and transportation expense accounting are considered non-core tasks. The following diagram is an actual business analysis conducted by our sales team members.

What methods can be used to improve business efficiency? I would like to share with you some of the methods.

Reduce the number and time of internal meetings

Depending on the content of the meeting, it may be necessary to reduce the number of meetings. For example, if the meeting is only for reporting numbers such as sales progress, you can eliminate the need for face-to-face meetings by using tools such as chat tools, systems that can be viewed by all participants in the meeting, Excel spreadsheets, and other tools to visualize the progress report.

You can also shorten the meeting time by creating a resume of the agenda and distributing the meeting materials before the meeting so that you can start the main topic without prior explanation. Good time management is the key to success.

How to manage travel time

With the rapid evolution of smartphones these days, it has become possible to do business without carrying a computer around. For example, if you use a service that allows you to create reports and other documents during your travel time, your sales team members can create business meeting reports and daily sales reports without having to return to the office, and then go directly home.

Without significantly changing the current work flow, it is possible to reduce the "wasted time" that tends to occur in the daily schedule.

By utilizing the "wasted time" that tends to occur in the current work flow and creating reports, desk work after returning to the office can be eliminated. It is a service that enables timely reporting.

Use of TV conference system

Another option is to switch from face-to-face business meetings to video conferencing.

This has the advantage of reducing travel time, increasing the number of business meetings, and increasing the time for customer follow-up.

Of course, depending on the client, a visit may be more suitable.

Simplify transportation and expense reimbursement

Expense reimbursement system

If you're a salesperson who makes a lot of visits to your clients, you probably spend a lot of time settling your travel expenses. We often hear of people working overtime at the end of the month to pay for expenses. For example, by introducing an expense reimbursement system, you can reduce the amount of time spent on expense reimbursement by inputting the arrival and departure points and automatically calculating the fare, or by reading IC cards and dropping the history in CSV format for smoother input.

Use of corporate cards

If you have a lot of reimbursements, you may want to introduce a corporate card.

There are some transportation IC cards that allow you to pay with your corporate card, and there are also smart phones that can be used as transportation IC cards and deducted from your corporate card.

Organize the division of roles

As I have mentioned many times before, the primary mission of sales members is to improve the company's performance. Therefore, it is necessary to set up roles and divide up the work that sales members can do without being involved.

For example, preparing quotations and invoices is one of them, but so is making appointment calls before going to business meetings.

For example, preparing quotations and invoices. In some cases, this is done by in-house members, and in other cases, it is outsourced to someone outside the company to do the work for them.

However, since accurate information sharing is necessary, it is important to set firm rules when dividing the roles.

The primary mission of sales members is to improve the company's performance. In order to achieve this, the key is how to reduce non-core tasks that are not directly related to sales, and increase the time spent on sales activities. This is the key. Are there any tasks in your company that you don't mind doing without, or that can be made easier with a little effort? We encourage you to take a look at your business, identify what you can reduce, and put it into practice.

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