Mark Zokle is one of the nation’s leading advocates for sales enablement, which he describes as simply the process by which a company enables their salespeople to do their job effectively.
Q: What is sales enablement?
Mark Zokle: Sales enablement is a cross-functional strategy that involves many departments within a company. The ultimate goal is to provide sales representatives with the tools, resources, and motivation they need to close sales quickly and efficiently.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best way to improve the overall productivity of a sales department?
Mark Zokle: As a sales manager, I would have to say that training is the key. And not just training, but reinforcement, too. You have to make sure that your sales reps have time to fully absorb information regarding a product or service and that they are fully prepared to utilize this knowledge in the real world.
Q: Should I offer rewards for higher performing salespersons?
Mark Zokle: Incentivizing is an exceptional way to motivate both low- and high-performing personnel. However, you must first understand that not everyone responds to the same remuneration. Some of your reps may be motivated by money while others are likely to perform better with less tangible rewards such as title changes or company-wide recognition.
Q: Our sales representatives work on commission. Can I still mandate how they use their time?
Mark Zokle: While it’s true that most commission-based jobs offer a bit more flexibility than a traditional, salaried 40-hours/week position, sales reps must still be held to the same standards as everyone else. As a manager, you must run your sales department as strictly as possible and hold them accountable for their actions. This will create a more professional environment where your salespeople feel more confident in your company and will likely be motivated to work more efficiently.