Why Do You Need Sales Support Staff?
Why is your sales team not achieving their desired quotas and is instead consistently underperforming? Is this a consistent problem that is harming your closing rate? Read on to see the biggest reason why in order to address it straight away.
One of the most effective strategies of making headway in this department is to hire sales support. Sales support staff exist for the sales representatives to be able to close sales faster, smarter, and more efficiently.
Typically, less than 40% of a sales team’s time is spent generating financial returns. Why is that the case? Because 60% of an agent’s time is spent on time-intensive and painstaking secondary tasks. A lot of them are not directly related to acquiring new clients, but they are absolutely essential for keeping your clients happy. This then translates into keeping your business afloat. You need sales support staff to handle the bulk of these secondary tasks so your sales agents can focus on closing new leads.
However, there is a fine balance your company has to walk to hire just the correct number of sales support employees to enhance your sales team’s productivity but also justify the additional expense. Having 50-60% sales support workers in your sales team hits the sweet spot.
Ancillary tasks need to be assigned elsewhere to free up the frontline and pre-sales team’s time and energy. Administrative support tasks like handling accounts, scheduling meetings with customers, following up with them about their order(s), and other sundry tasks are some of the duties that should be performed by sales support staff.
Maintaining a Customer Relationship Management System is part of their job description as well. They update client accounts, new developments, and current statuses here for easy access by any relevant company employees. This is a farsighted approach which streamlines processes that weigh down those workers whose work directly translates into more revenue being generated. Spending hours and hours on monotonous routine tasks is tedious for someone who knows their time would be more productively spent elsewhere. A CRM system is also a convenient reference for the processes that your business incorporates. It allows for you to easily scale up when required and is also helpful for training new hires.
CRM systems also acts as a task management platform with reminders of meetings, things to do, and deadlines. They are connected to communication channels like email, telephone calls, and social media etc. for real time engagement with clients. They also record the history of each order and client interaction, which in turn allows for a better understanding of why some deals fall through while others are successful.
What Are the Responsibilities of Sales Support Staff?
The job of a sales support individual is to streamline processes and provide bilateral support and tertiary services to ensure the sales staff can perform at their maximum capability and efficiency. Your sales support staff will mainly be handling peripheral tasks related to client orders and inventory management. They will take care of administrative tasks like scheduling meetings, data processing, providing leads to the sales team and handling customer inquiries. These personnel need to be able to organize their tasks proficiently because they are crucial for the efficient running of the company.
Their responsibilities will include the following:
1. Administrative support
Sales support staff make sure processes run smoothly by providing administrative support. Their tasks include:
- Processing orders and updating backlogs in the digital CRM system.
- Scheduling meetings with clients and assigning them to sales representatives.
- Forwarding all client complaints and inquiries to the respective departments for maximum productivity and client satisfaction.
2. Acquiring and retaining clients
This staff will also act as your frontline appointment setters, cold calling and warm calling agents, and backend data entry operators to ensure that your sales team works as well as it can. They will take care of:
- Handling client inquiries to their satisfaction.
- Forwarding prospective client leads to the sales agents so they can follow up with them on their end.
- Recording sales orders with their relevant details in the CRM system and handling rush orders.
- Overseeing the status of pending orders by keeping in touch with the clients to reassure them and keep them up to date.
3. Monitoring the sales team
The sales support staff also monitors the sales team’s internal processes on a day-to-day basis. This creates a tiered organizational structure so that the responsibility and supervision does not rest solely in the hands of one manager. On the other hand, the tasks are subdivided to be better achievable. This aspect covers:
- Keeping a check on the sales team’s developments and progress.
- Analyzing data from the CRM system to investigate the ratio of leads converted into sales, the factors behind a low or high conversion rate in different areas.
Sales support can study buying habits in different demographics according to their sales data for more targeted marketing. Any insights on sales trends across the industry would be helpful for the team to know which directions to pursue.
- Organizing reports to chart the sales team’s performance as well as research and implement strategies to improve said performance for the optimum running of the team.
We often see companies laying off sales support staff in a purported effort to reduce costs while still keeping the essential workers to keep the business operational. But by reducing the percentage of sales support, the company sees a dramatic decrease in productivity and efficiency. Scaling up or scaling down, for each frontline sales agent, there needs to be a sales support agent. This will ensure that processes run smoothly and without easily avoidable glitches.