Sales is the engine of your building material brand’s growth. For this to hold true, however, you’ll need to learn what the time and labor of your sales reps are truly worth.
The fact is, a building product sales rep’s time is often not spent efficiently. Various activities might be taking them away from what should be the most essential task: closing the sale with qualified prospects.
When it comes to securing more channel partners, such as dealers, distributors, and contractors, it is possible to do more with less money. It’s all about understanding the value of your sales team’s efforts, which will enable you to recover opportunities that actually matter to your company’s bottom line.
Here, we’ll discuss how you can go about this, what to stop having your sales team doing, and how to optimize your reps’ time in a way that actually builds the business.
The Total Cost of a Salesperson
To start, you can estimate your salesperson to have 1,800 billable hours of work per year. That’s a lot of hours, and it’s crucial that the time be spent as productively as possible.
Consider the cost to your company over those hours. Multiply them by the per-hour base pay, and add in the relevant mix of travel, commissions, performance bonuses, and client entertainment costs.
Once you crunch the numbers, you might find them to be quite high…and with little to show in terms of extra revenue. In MarketSource’s hypothetical expense model of a B2B sales rep, a $100,000 base pay can balloon into a more than $232,000 expenditure due to various taxes, support costs, and additional compensation.
The question: is it all worth it?
Some of the costs are unavoidable. That said, there are ways to optimize your sales reps’ time and the revenue-generating production you’re getting from them in return.
Time-Wasting Sales Activities
The first step in making your building materials sales force more efficient is to unburden them from tasks that do no more than waste time. By doing so, you’ll automatically create more time for them to do the real revenue-building work.
Activities you should consider taking off your sales reps’ plates include:
- Finding answers to customer questions. A sales rep often has to spend hours (or even days) finding the right answer to complex customer queries.
- Getting customers to the right company personnel. Many enterprise building product companies are a headache to navigate, in terms of getting connected to the right personnel or technical product info.
- Creating reports. Putting together sales reports that nobody pays attention to does nothing to actually stimulate more sales.
- Keeping existing clients happy. While it’s good for sales reps to nurture existing client relationships, too much schmoozing takes time away from closing new business.
- Obsessing over hitting a cold call quota. A scattershot approach to calling new prospects might seem productive, but can net few results.
- Following up with trade show leads. Prospects from trade shows often simply collect business cards and templates, and are often a lower-quality pool to dive into for new potential deals.
If your sales staff is caught up in any of the above, there’s a better way.
Provide your reps with helpful, sales enablement resources and content pieces that quickly address customer needs. Enable customers to find information and solutions themselves via your website.
By doing that, you’ll not only please more customers. You’ll free up your reps to have more productive conversations with real sales potential.
How to Use Modern Tools to Optimize Sales Representatives’ Time
Removing time-wasting tasks from your sales rep’s to-do list is one major step. However, to truly optimize your sales reps’ time, it makes sense to use modern tools.
The goals: reduce customer service inquiries, and allow your salespeople to qualify leads faster and more effectively.
First, you’ll want to enable sales reps and customers themselves to find key product information in a snap. RevBase, the leading digital asset management (DAM) software for building material companies, allows you to do this with ease. With RevBase, you can store, organize, grant access to and track a wide array of marketing and sales collateral.
Second, it’s key to help your customers (whether they’re professionals like dealers or contractors, or end consumers such as homeowners) quickly engage with your brand and get from point A to Z in the buying process.
That’s where Bullseye comes in. Bullseye is a best-in-class platform for building premium dealer locator pages that show customers where to buy your products, all while furnishing them with key information about local dealers and installers.
These two solutions will enable your sales force to be more productive than ever before. Here’s how:
RevBase Lets You Easily Distribute Key Information to Sales Reps and Customers
Customers want answers, and they want them now.
They want to be able to download info for themselves — or if they need further assistance from a live sales rep, they want an answer in seconds or minutes. Not hours or days.
You can make it all happen with RevBase. The platform enables you to serve up key content pieces to customers directly, while giving your personnel higher leverage in sales conversations, thanks to the following features:
- Website integrations that allow anyone from homeowners, contractors, dealers, and whomever else you choose to download product specs, installation instructions, technical data, and more.
- A print queue that allows a user to request hard copies of certain materials, whether it’s a dealer who wants a stack of your brochures, or a contractor who wants to have your product maintenance guides physically on hand.
- Internal user access that’s simple and straightforward for sales reps, enabling them to pull key information at a moment’s notice to share with customers.
Not only does RevBase empower customers who are ready to learn about your products on their own — it helps your sales team furnish them with the right information, right on time.
This is especially effective as you release new products and make improvements to existing items. Give your sales reps new and exciting information to share, and more loyal customers and interested prospects will be eager to buy.
Bullseye Provides Key Info for High-Intent Consumers
When customers are ready to buy, it makes no sense to keep them waiting. You also don’t want to force your sales reps to spend precious time hunting down the answers to basic questions on how to buy and the best local pros to buy from.
Being slow in this area, and making your sales staff do the extra work, only opens the door for your competitors to steal those buyers away.
Instead, use a top platform like Bullseye to provide the following advantages in an attractive, sales-supporting Where-to-Buy page:
- An interactive, responsive dealer or contractor map that auto-detects the customer’s location.
- Up-to-date stock availability info that informs customers of the inventory the brick-and-mortar retail locations closest to them actually have on hand.
- Search filters that enable customers to easily find the exact product lines, specs, or value-added services they’re looking for.
- Local SEO dealer and contractor content profiles that draw in organic search traffic from new customers, while engaging customers already on your website with helpful information.
- The ability for customers to send inquiries for samples, quotes, product pricing and more, allowing both you and your local business partners to follow up with leads and support them in the buying journey.
With all these benefits, Bullseye is the #1 solution for drastically reducing the amount of customer support your sales reps have to provide, especially on where and how to buy.
It also gives your most highly-qualified prospects the independence and respect they deserve…by turning them into educated buyers who need less hand-holding, and who can instead quickly make contact with the exact local dealers and pros that will help them most.
With the Right Tools, Your Sales Force Can Get Much More Productive
You’ve hired your sales reps for a special ability they possess: making a persuasive case for your brand’s products over the competition. Don’t let their talent go to waste.
By removing inefficiencies from their daily task list, you’re going a long way towards increasing the return on investment in your sales reps. To complete the picture however, it simply makes sense to use the right modern tools.
RevBase, for one, is your digital partner for sharing key marketing collateral, as well as technical info, product specs and more, with both your customers and your sales reps.
In addition, Bullseye is a first-class dealer locator that will give customers key purchasing info at a glance. It makes the buying process more convenient, and enables sales reps to have fewer surface-level, more meaningful conversations as needed.
With these tools on hand, you’re primed to build a sharper, more efficient, higher-performing sales force that actually contributes to robust revenue growth.
Ready to see how Bullseye and RevBase can get you there? Schedule your demo today!