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Why Sales Effectiveness is far more important than Sales Effort

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To help clarify, we put both words into the dictionary and here is what we got back:

Effort – The use of physical or mental energy to do something

Effective – productive of or capable of producing a result

We continuously encounter successful businesses where the sales resources are very busy, extremely busy, run off their feet. In fact, run a quick poll in your team right now and you’ll find the same thing, they’re all busy and you’ll probably get requests of “we need more people”, “we haven’t got enough time”.

In times of lockdown when more and more people are working remotely and Sales teams are more dispersed than ever it can be difficult to measure “Effort” v “Effectiveness”.

We’ve never met a sales rep or manager who has not said they are very busy, 100% busy. But we have met a boat load of sales resources who are busy doing the wrong things. So you’re natural question might be, why would they do that?

Most sales professionals are good, honest and hardworking. The main problems of them not being effective are:

–          Lack of clear direction on what is really expected of them

–          Poor management

–          Their integration or training in the business has been lacking

–          The products they sell have no real market differentiator or they don’t know what that differentiator is, the “why you should buy from us”

Most owner managers expect a rep to sell, they are after all “Sales Reps”. As Business Troubleshooters we agree, they are indeed sales people, but that alone does not ensure they will be effective in selling your product.

So what do you do?

–          Integrate them well into your business, your products, your culture, etc. If they don’t get that grounding they will struggle to perform

–          Make sure you clearly explain, in detail what you expect of them, what they should do, how they should do it. Clear targets, methods of operation, internal support tools & systems available to them, measurements, reporting, etc.

–          Manage them (not micro-manage). If they are told they are doing well they will respond positively, equally if they are told they are doing poorly they will try to adjust their behaviour. If they hear nothing then they typically assume things are fine even if they are not

Be sure to regularly check-in with the Sales team – they are your shop window whether it is virtually, over the phone or in person.

You will spend tens of thousands of Euro recruiting, training and paying a resource. The best advice we always provide is that you owe it to yourself and the employee to give them every opportunity to be productive, effective and drive the growth, productivity and profitability of the business.

Need any assistance? We are always available for a coffee and a chat – even a virtual one!

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Citywest Business Campus,
Dublin, D24 PPT3
Tel: (01) 901 1310


Enterprise House,
O’Brien Road,
Co. Carlow, R93 YOY3
Tel: (059) 910 0440


Acorn Business Centre,
Mahon Industrial Estate
Cork, T12 K7CV
Tel: (021) 2021130

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