A recent study by CEB found that the single-biggest obstacle faced by most enterprise sales reps isn’t external but internal.

Sales reps in general found that internal barriers are worse than external objections.  That your legal review process, product flexibility, sales procedures and more are a bigger deterrent to hitting their number than building consensus with the buyer.

That was surprising and alarming to me, as I hope it is to you.

The last thing we should do is make it harder for our people to get stuff done.  This goes for all departments but perhaps especially for those who make the bell ring and drive revenue in such a direct way for the organization.

If you haven’t done it before, consider taking time to audit the tools, processes, systems and more that your sales team must interact with to do their job.  There will always be a certain amount of process and “red tape” necessary to keep your company safe, consistent and focused.  But in most companies there isn’t a single vision for the entire internal process your sales team must navigate to close deals.

In your audit, consider including:

  • CRM requirements: What steps are required and why? What fields are required and why? How much time do your reps spend on reporting vs selling?
  • Lead quality: What’s missing that reps have to find themselves?  Contact information, background, history with your company, etc.
  • Content availability: How much time do reps spend creating and/or finding the right content?
  • Legal review: Is it appropriately balanced between protecting your company and helping your sales organization win deals?
  • Sales coaching: How accessible are your managers to help eliminate roadblocks and brainstorm new angles to accelerate deals?

In other words, don’t let the maturity of your organization slow down the sales process.  Be intensely aware of what your sales process requires, and work constantly to make it more efficient and effective.

This is Matt Heinz and I’ve approved this message.