Business growth depends on your sales productivity. In fact, 79% of sales leaders stated that improving productivity is leading driver in hitting new targets.
How hard is your team working to make sure that you succeed?
Although it may be evident that sales productivity is the foundation of company growth, many leaders ignore this basic fact. Or worse, they choose terrible tactics to try to get more productivity out of their sales teams.
However, keeping your team productive doesn’t take a master class in psychology. Instead, it takes some thoughtful steps to see where they are, what they need, and encourage them to be as productive as possible.
Read on to learn the three easy steps you can take to a more productive sales team.
What is Sales Productivity?
First, though, we need to define precisely what sales productivity is. The simplest definition of a productive sales team is that they are both efficient AND effective.
Efficiency can be defined as the ability to spend time on high-impact activities while minimizing time wasters. Take two sales reps that spend the same amount of time in the office, for instance. The one that is sending emails, making phone calls, and connecting with clients will be more efficient than the one that is filling out paperwork all day.
Effectiveness, on the other hand, is how well your sales team uses their resources to reach their goals. For example, if two sales reps make the same number of phone calls, the one that lands the most meetings and sales is the more effective sales rep.
To encourage your sales team to be as productive as possible, you have to find ways to make them both efficient and effective.
You can do that with the following steps:
Steps for Increasing Productivity
#1: Keep Track of the Metrics
The temptation for many sales managers and executives is to start doling out solutions. They create prizes, roll out new sales tools, or make cuts to the team. In fact, 49% of organizations have next to no means to measure sales productivity.
However, before you can make any solutions, you have to know where the problem is exactly.
Metrics can give you a good idea about where your team is in their productivity goals. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, is a great way to assess how well your sales team is performing.
Try to focus on customer-centric metrics in your KPIs to encourage customer quality. This is what makes customers stay in the long term and even end up purchasing more than they initially thought they would.
Some KPIs to keep track of include:
· Conversion Rates. This calculates how many prospects your rep turns into customers.
· Average Deal Size. Make sure that your sales team isn’t wasting too much time on all smaller sales. Larger deals are a more effective use of their time.
· Retention Rate (LTV). Keeping clients is essential for business growth. If you are gaining more new customers, but not holding onto them, you need to know why.
· Sales Length. Make sure that your team isn’t dragging down the sales process. Although the ideal sales length varies from company to company, you should have an average that your average sales rep should hit.
Beyond KPIs, though, activity sales metrics give you a real insight into how efficient your team is. KPIs let you know how well sales are performing in general. Activity sales metrics give you a good idea about how well your sales team is working.
If your conversion rate is poor, for example, maybe your marketing department is not sending high-quality leads? Likewise, perhaps a longer-than-usual sales cycle is because sales managers are taking too long to approve contracts?
Activity sales metrics let you know if your sales are doing their job and if perhaps you may need to concentrate on another department for efficiency. Some metrics you could track include:
· Calls made
· Emails sent
· Social media interactions
· Demos or sales presentations
· Referral requests
These are the metrics that are more under your sales teams' control. If they're doing their part, you can optimize other departments for success or give them more tools to increase their effectiveness.
#2: Streamline Your Sales Team’s Efforts
The right technology can make your team more efficient than ever. However, if your sales reps don't have the right technology or don't know how to optimize it, they could be wasting their time.
Tools, such as your CRM, should be streamlined to avoid re-entering data. If your sales rep needs to re-enter customer information on each mode of technology, then you have the wrong one.
In fact, CRMs such as Map My Customers streamline the whole process to keep your sales team from needing to document certain transactions at all. Walking into a customer's office, for instance, can be automatically logged instead of manually entered afterward.
In addition to a streamlined CRM, other tools can help streamline the sales process. For example, how many manual steps do your sales reps need to take to get a proposal completed and approved? Tools can help streamline the process.
Likewise, are contracts signed by hand? The time it takes to get the contract signed and sent back is a waste of your company time. Docusign tools eliminate the time and energy it takes to get the contract to and from the customer.
Sales tools work. That is why high-performing sales teams use three times the amount of technology than underperforming ones.
However, don’t overload your team on different sales technologies. This will end up slowing them down. The more tools your technology can offer in one place, the better.
Automation is also key to the efficiency of your sales team. Some key actions that could be automated include:
· Appointment scheduling
· Proposal creation
· Task creation
Your sales team is wasting their time if they're doing something a computer can do just as well. Let your reps do the selling and encourage them to leave everything else to technology.
#3: Encourage Sales Productivity
A common mistake companies make is encouraging productivity by creating competition between team members. The problem with this is that it fails to cultivate a team-oriented culture at your organization.
Likewise, negative reinforcement (i.e., penalizing and firing) can have limited success. In the end, though, you may lose company loyalty and find that your sales reps aren’t fired up or passionate about their job.
Instead, create a team dynamic and encourage everyone to succeed together. Collaborative selling works: 60% of sales professionals stated that collaborative selling increased productivity by 25%. Some ways you can inspire productivity in your sales team include:
· Celebrate wins. If your sales rep hits quota, leave some champagne at their desk to celebrate. When you see sales reps accomplishing goals, big or small, recognize it and affirm them. Also, don’t be afraid to celebrate with the group. Calling out members that have achieved a goal in an email or at a meeting will help motivate everyone.
· Encourage engagement. Sales can be a pretty competitive environment. However, everyone is more successful when there is a team dynamic to spread knowledge, create better networking, and encourage each other. You can support a team environment by creating events for sales to engage with each other. Host a sponsored lunch or team event to spread comradery.
· Send motivational emails and messages. An inspiring message during an intense time, such as at the end of the quarter, can encourage your sales reps to keep working hard. Share an inspirational story or words of wisdom from a great to keep spirits high.
Productivity is more than having the right tools. Inspiring your sales team to greatness will help them achieve their goals and high levels of productivity.
Sales Productivity for Growing Your Business
Sales productivity is essential for your business. Try some of these tricks today to encourage your sales team to be more productive than ever!