As many of you know, we are about to release our 2009 Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation Report. Great data so stay tuned....
One of the more interesting data points to arise is that productivity for Inside Sales Reps has decreased (when compared to the results of our 2007 survey). According to Inside Sales Managers, Reps are making fewer calls - yet spending more hours on the phone (weird huh?).
Well, not really.
It is our assumption that Manager's think their reps are on the phone just because they are in their cubes. In actuality, along with their selling activity they are:
- sending emails
- surfing the web
- talking to friends and colleagues
All good in moderation but in this selling climate, teams need to be more productive than ever before.
So I say - bring back an oldie but goodie - Power Hours!
A Power Hour is a committed 1 hour a day focused on nothing but selling. Here is how to build an effective Power Hour program.
- Document current call volumes so you can measure the impact of the program.
- Create & publish a schedule for Power Hours. Vary the hours to ensure coverage of different time zones. If a rep has a territory that the scheduled Power Hour does not accommodate, they have to schedule their own time on your public calendar.
- Create & communicate the rules. During the Power Hour reps must be in their cubes, focused on outbound calling, email and IM are shut off (deal with it - it is only an hour a day), no personal calls, no interruptions from colleagues (and that includes you), no meetings scheduled, etc. You get where I am going.
- At the end of every day, publish how many calls each rep made during their Power Hour.
- Execute the Power Hour strategy for 2 weeks and then measure productivity. Did it work?
I can hear some of you screaming now
- "my Reps are too senior"
- "we don't look at call volume as a metric"
- "the Reps won't like it"
- "our prospects like email better"
Whatever....it is only a trial for 10 business days!
Here is the hard truth. You have to talk to your prospects to sell them. The more you talk to them the more you increase the likelihood that they will buy. Some of your reps will love this and some will hate it. After 2 weeks let the ones that love it keep doing it and let the others continue down whatever path works for them unless of course they are not making their numbers and then you can beat them with a stick.
Just so you know that we practice what we preach, we recently implemented Power Hours. We have 3 "selling" consultants at The Bridge Group. We each average 12 calls per Power Hour with 2 connects. That means in just one hour every day 36 contacts have heard our message and we have had conversations with 6 of them!
Power Hours may not work for every group, but it never hurts to bring back an oldie but goodie when times get tough.
What has worked to increase the productivity of your team? Please share! And, if you do the Power Hour 10-day trial, we would love to hear about your results.