The Unsung Sales Position Critical for Successful Growth

by Blackwood Impact Group

Sales administrators (sales admins) are a critical component of any successful sales team, regardless of size. Many small businesses don’t place importance on the role or budget for it because they think it is a luxury and not a necessity. Even if your sales team is as small as one or two people, just having a part-time sales admin could go a long way in helping you manage your pipeline and close more deals faster.

How Sales Admins Contribute to Growth

Sales admins can contribute to your company’s growth because they are a necessary part of your sales enablement process. According to the Topo blog, “Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively.” Sales admins are an essential tool in a company’s arsenal.

Whenever Blackwood Impact Group has consulted with sales teams to help them restructure for greater efficiency and profitability, one of the most significant pain points they identify is how much time small, but essential tasks take. Sales guys and gals like to move at the speed of money.  They’d rather be in the field meeting with clients or on the phone working their call list than sending follow-up emails or logging business cards into their contact manager.

A well-trained sales admin can handle these tasks and more, freeing up your sales team members’ valuable time so they can do more of what they do best. With your sales team in front of prospects more frequently, you increase the likelihood of more closed deals in a shorter time frame. More closed deals contribute positively to your company’s revenue and growth goals.

Qualities of Top-Performing Sales Admins

Whether you are looking for part-time or full-time help, you should seek to hire a quality, top-performing individual. If you onboard an untrained college student at internship levels or minimum wage, beware; you might get what you pay for. You will invest a lot of time training and trying to get your desired level of productivity out of them. Instead, you would be better served by investing the time and resources into hiring a highly qualified individual who has the potential to be with your organization long term.

Top performing sales admins have distinct qualities. For one, they are detailed oriented people who can keep up with a fast-paced environment. Having previous experience in a sales or marketing environment is a plus. If not, they should at least have a basic understanding of how complex sales can be and respect the importance of the role they are playing as it directly contributes to the company’s bottom line.

Great sales admins usually have excellent time management skills. They also tend to possess exceptional written and oral communication skills. If their prior experience included a customer service role, that would be awesome. If not, being a natural “people person” would be ideal.

Today’s sales admins must be comfortable using a variety of business software, such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) and presentation tools such as PowerPoint or Keynote. Spreadsheets have been a business staple for years but it would also be great if your admin is adept at performing more in-depth web searches.

Finally, being a critical thinker is a must. You’ll want your sales admin to have the foresight and ability to be proactive in anticipating any of the sales team’s needs. Advanced and optional skills to look for include business forecasting and budgeting skills.

Sales Admin’s Daily Functions 

Hiring a sales admin who already possesses most (if not all) of the qualities mentioned above will help them tackle their daily tasks with ease, rather than you spending time training them till they can perform adequately. Here is an overview of the functions you can expect a top sales admin to be able to deliver daily, as organized by the skillsets they should possess.

Detailed Oriented / Time Management

  • They keep track of all sales data for the team.
  • They Input business card data.
  • They add prospects to the newsletter email list.
  • They maintain group and individual calendars of the sales teams’ activities and appointments. They handle travel arrangements.
  • They key in reimbursements for the sales team.
  • They may be involved in creating expense reports.

Written and Oral Communication Skills

  • They send standard, follow-up emails or letters on behalf of the salesperson.
  • They make a follow-up or check-in calls on behalf of the salesperson.
  • They can help nurture leads.
  • They prepare sales packets and data documents for internal sales meetings.
  • They prepare marketing materials and packets for the sales team to take into the field.
  • Sales admins can be the first line of defense by fielding calls before they get routed to a sales team member.
  • If they are well versed in the products and services you sell, your sales admin can be trained to make more in-depth, but standard follow-up calls on behalf of the sales team members.

Technical Skills

  • They keep the CRM up to date and might also be the administrator.
  • They may liaise with their marketing team counterpart to prospect data flows appropriately into the marketing chain.
  • They prepare and maintain excel spreadsheets.
  • They create proposals customized for each prospect.
  • They create and maintain sales presentations in PowerPoint or KeyNote.

Critical Thinking / Forecasting / Budgeting

  • They keep track of prospects and make sure all predetermined touchpoints occur.
  • They keep track of the progress of deals in the individual sales teams’ pipeline.
  • They scout out networking events conferences, trade shows, and awards the company can apply for to help identify opportunities for further exposure for the company.

As you can see, there is much value a sales admin can add to your business. They are especially necessary for small and micro sales teams. If your salespeople have to perform all of those above listed administrative functions for themselves, on top of their primary sales activities, it is a recipe for burn out.

Creating an assembly line approach to routine administrative functions will alleviate the burden on the sales team and free up time. Having one or two admins can help you on your journey towards increasing revenue and ease growing pains in the process. It’s an underrated person but a huge help for companies in the growth stage.

If your sales organization needs help restructuring for growth or assistance with ensuring you have all the right players on your team, Blackwood Impact Group is here to help. We work with small businesses with their sales strategy, hiring, training, and many other aspects of your Sales Enablement process.  Reach out to us today for a no-obligation consultation at 770-502-6295 or