“Don’t worry about doing the dishes anymore…ever again.”
Take a moment and just imagine your spouse, roommate or children saying that to you. “You know that thing that you hate doing, the dishes, yeah you don’t ever have to do that again.” You would probably feel as though you won the spouse/roommate/child lottery. Now, replace “dishes” with any other activity you absolutely loathe like mowing the lawn, dusting or taking out the trash and the effect is the same. Being on the receiving end of that kind of support feels amazing.
A certain rush of relief and appreciation comes when someone tells you “don’t worry about that anymore.” Salespeople typically get the opposite of that rush of relief and appreciation. Instead they’re often told, “hey, you’re doing great work, so now I need to you to start mentoring your teammates or run a training on account-planning for the team or interviewing candidates for us.” Those additional responsibilities are often a sign of respect and there are certainly benefits to them, however, it’s still additional time you have to spend not selling.
Sales leadership understands this, so they look to support their sales teams. The goal is to help them focus by reducing the amount of time they spend on non-sales activities. Unfortunately they will likely lean on the now irritatingly cliché Apple tagline…“there’s an app for that.”
Let’s take a step back and address the issue at hand. You want your reps to focus on selling, but you need them to pick up some additional duties. There are two buckets that these additional duties fall into:
- High touch - training, mentoring, interviewing, giving customer feedback to product/marketing teams, etc.
- Low touch - prospect research, lead nurturing, expense reporting, travel management, document management, etc.
There are no apps for mentoring new salespeople or for identifying talent in interviews. Obviously it’s the low-touch stuff where “there’s an app for that” applies (side note: if you’ve made a “there’s an app for that” joke in the past 18 months and got some laughter, I can assure you it was of the “at” and not the “with” variety).
If you want to make it easier for your sales reps to find contact information, there are apps, tools and databases to help you do that. Same for dialing faster to make more calls, managing their contacts and pulling prospects reports.
The capabilities of these tools and apps are amazing. But if there was an app to help you “do the dishes” that made it 15% easier or faster, you would still be scrubbing away that gross, runny tomato sauce. Expense reporting apps are a good example of this. No one has ever jumped for joy when informed that their company was adopting Concur or Expensify to make expense reporting slightly less time-consuming and arduous. The reason being is that you still have to spend time doing the expense reports!
What would they jump for joy at? What would actually give them significantly more time to spend on selling and all of the additional high-touch duties you need them take on? Telling them “don’t worry about expense reports anymore; we’ve got someone to do them for you.” That’s right, the oldest app in the book – a person.