Last post I proposed a kind of activities documentation exercise that you could facilitate the members of the sales team through to improve the overall viability of your B2B sales process.  I suggested to get them to push those service activities that are due to problem fixing to the reactive end of the overlay spectrum.  And those activities that are “healthy” and related to responding to customer or prospect driven opportunities to the responsive end of the overlay spectrum.  To assist the folk, introduce the term “front foot” to all those activities that now belong to the sales cycle end of the original spectrum and “back foot” to all those that initially resided at the service end of the original spectrum…that have now been sub-allocated to either back foot reactive or back foot responsive.  This should assist with the final round of shuffling and re allocation.

With %time also allocated to each activity, you now have a snapshot of the current reality, and a means to be able to consolidate total %time on…

  • Front foot sales growth activities
  • Back foot sales and service responsive activities
  • Back foot service reactive activities

Now invite nominees from the customer service team, marketing team, operations team into the exercise with the sales team.  Using the documented activity based produced by the sales team “as is”, facilitate some “could be” lateral thinking, brainstorming to challenge how many of the back foot activities and therefore associated % time can be either eliminated by better process re-engineering, or reallocated from the sales team and assigned to other teams who could shoulder those loads.  Push them hard…out of their comfort zones.  You might be surprised what emerges.  We often find that between one third to two thirds of the total activity base/% time can be removed from the sales team if partisanship can be minimised and there is clear understanding amongst all nominees how and why this is going to benefit the whole organisation.

Having arrived at a “could be” new number of total back foot activities and % time, you can pose the business critical question that brings us back to the topic.  If the ratio between the new back foot % time number is still more than 20% as a ratio against the % front foot number, ie more than  the equivalent of a day a week, then better to split the roles and not have hybrids, for better B2B sales process performance.  But here comes the twist.  Don’t split by farmers vs hunters .  Why not?  Come back next week to find out.

Need to refresh? Click here to re-read last weeks post – Hunters & Farmers…Or Hybrids…Critical Decision For The Viability Of Your B2B Sales Process (Part 3)