Did you know that your sales team wastes 50% of their time chasing unproductive prospects? Understanding and resolving issues that are pulling you back can make an exponential difference in your sales numbers.
Productivity in sales is, drawing in the maximum amount of sales in terms of revenue and client conversion with a minimum amount of resource expenditure like time, manpower, etc.
You can measure the sales productivity of your organization by dividing the sales revenue generated in a given period by the number of sales reps in your team.
(Revenue generated ÷ no. of team members)
Since an organization is the sum of its employees, you also need to calculate individual rep's productivity. This will help you keep an eye on who are hitting their quotas and who are falling short and need better training. Periodically, there is a flux in every sales rep’s performance but your goal is to make sure it doesn’t nosedive.
You can measure the productivity of individual members of your team by dividing the sales revenue of the individual rep in a given period by the number of hours they worked in a given period.
(Revenue generated by individual reps ÷ no. of working hours)
The sales team are the foot soldiers that assess the influence or success of a product or service in the market. They are the first point of contact between your company and potential clients and bring in the revenue flow, which, you have to agree, is something you won't mind more of.
So let us see how you can help make your sales team most productive.
Nobody in the whole organization is as close to your customers as members of your sales department. They chat, inform, and follow leads that lead to conversions.
In a world where everyone is selling in some way or other--by either pitching ideas to your boss, or by sending out resumes trying to score a job--your sales team is at the forefront doing the selling for you. This will, in turn, usher-in a booming business.
A good sales experience leads to customer loyalty, a positive verbal or written recommendation to friends or relatives that would help popularize your business. Feedback from the sales team determines the sales forecast's effectiveness and changes that can be made in the next one.
Its success is linked to effectively closing sales deals, cold calls popping out hot leads, and almost everyone reaching their expected monthly quotas. To hit this holy trinity of sales, the first thing you must do is get rid of any time wasters.
One of the most common time-wasters is trying to sell to a non-buyer – either they do not have the power to make buying decisions or are not interested in buying at all. Stop trying to work a dead-end! Time is money, and by doing so, you are losing both. Prioritize and don't lose out on high conversion prospects chasing the low ones.
Another huge time waster is caused due to mismatch between sales and marketing strategies. These departments work in synchronization with each other. A mismatch might happen when the marketing team misunderstands your target audience, and the sales department is straining to sell a message your audience does not resonate with. Imagine the waste of resources, time, and capital on such a project!
The tips and hacks in the next section will not only help you keep those wasters at bay but also aid increase the potency of your sales team.
How to Increase the Productivity of Your Sales Team? 20 Helpful Tips
1. Eliminate time-consuming and inefficient chore of paperwork
Filling in paperwork to track leads and constantly keeping the file update eats away precious hours of your sales team. Even the most organized person will be left pulling their hair trying to maintain the chaos!
Help keep the sanity of your team intact by using the best productivity apps available. These little helpers will keep things in order while you work those cold calls and follow other promising leads.
Scheduling apps like Calendly will help keep an organized record of all your daily tasks. Other productivity-enhancing apps like HubSpot CRM will help you chase the most sincere leads with customized email templates and automated managing of information.
2. Research your prospects in-depth
Research work for any sales personnel is a must-do part of their role. Make your research in-depth and as goal-oriented as possible. Study and understand the buyer persona. Jump on their personal social media pages, browse through their interests, find a common ground between them and you.
Additionally, when you feel your sales pitch is getting loopy, you can grab their attention by throwing them a little, “Did you catch the game this weekend?” This will help in rapport building and act as fill-ins for the times you feel that your lead is losing interest.
3. Keep track of your sales
You need to fix a goal and work on comparative performance. How were last month's sales different from the current months? Keep a track of your conversion rate, average sales done in an hour, and differences between the forecast and your existing numbers.
4. Structure your sales calls
The easiest way to answer how to improve sales team productivity is by constructing a structured script beforehand. Have a plan about your and prospects' expectations; how will you convince your prospect that they NEED your product or services. Prepare a list of questions your prospect might ask you based on the data you gathered about them while profiling. Also, be planned for some surprises along the way.
The ease with which you navigate your sales call is highly dependent on how well you structure your discovery calls.
5. Listen and improvise
Don't call a number with an intention to bombard them with a bucket load of information. A good sales rep knows that listening, understanding, and improvising as needed brings in more business than a blind goal to hit a given number in a given time.
6. Schedule regular meetings
Always keep the channels of communication wide open. Google plans weekly meetings to discuss everyone's performance and update them on new developments. Conducting productive meetings helps keep everyone on their toes and motivates them to work harder.
7. Smart work with hard work
Okay, I know we talked about working hard in the last pointer, but a power collaboration between both is what we should strive for.
According to Pareto’s principle, 20% people are responsible for 80% of the output. The same way, 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of your customers. It would be more effective if you focus more on your 20% by calling and talking to them. You can narrow in on your 20% by finding out who spends the most money, who bought most recently and who buys from you frequently.
So instead of wasting precious hours behind twenty leads with lower conversion rates, it's better to aim for four, which have maximum conversion rates.
8. Better training and recruiting
Provide your recruits with tools and information that gets them on board the quickest. The better training you give, the lesser time they will spend understanding their homework.
9. SWOT analysis
SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is an efficient and effective way of learning all the things that are working or not working for you.
For example, some questions for SWOT assessment can be -
Strength - what does your team do best? Why?
Weakness - What does the team need more training in? What’s the reason for thinking that?
Opportunities - Is there an uncharted potential demographic of people we haven’t accessed yet? What tools do we need to access it?
Threats - Are our current weaknesses severe enough to hinder us from reaching our goals? Is our service better or worse than our other competitors?
Once you are done with your research you can implement your findings in your marketing plan.
10. Educate your employees
You can't sell something you don't believe in. Educate your employees about the product so they can excel at the job they are given. They need to fully evaluate and understand the value your product is adding to the lives of your customers.
11. Revamp your lead scoring
Lead scoring refers to getting leads with higher values quicker through the sales process and avoiding wasting time trying to convince non-buyers. The simplest way to improve your lead scoring is by studying your past leads. Study -
- What are the common traits, characters and demographics of your successful conversions.
- What are the common elements of the leads that don’t convert.
The data collected with these questions will give you a clearer understanding of who is more likely to convert and what you can do to market your product better to those you haven't yet folded.
12. Create achievable goals
Never bite more than you can chew. We all want to be on the top, and the way is through consistently working towards achievable goals. As per Harvard Business Review, when 10% to 20% sales people miss their goal, the problem may be them but when majority of them miss their goals, the problem is their goals.
HBR suggests that one way to evaluate is that you can set a benchmark for what percent (60% -75%) of the salespeople must reach their goal during a time period. At the end of the term, the final number is near the bench mark, your goals are reality, if not you need to revaluate.
You can only achieve your goal if you have a plan. For planning your set goals you can use the SMART criteria.
13. Captivating Sales Demos
A significant factor in sales team productivity is creating a compelling demo to present your prospects. An engaging sales demo that stays with them even after the meeting is over.
14. Be concise and precise
Make your emails and calls to the point and specific to your goal. Can you say more using the least amount of words with a clear message? Congratulations, you have reached the pro-level of writing sales emails.
15. Grab their attention
According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the average attention span of a human has reduced to eight seconds from twelve recorded in 2000. Prepare the ultimate hook and reel them in. Make every second count!
Pro tip – Go crazy. Nobody remembers boring, monotonous sales pitches. Be creative; leave them craving for more.
16. Breed creativity
Sales is the most innovative field. You can always one-up your competitors with a better, jazzier, wittier sales tactic. There is no right way to get your leads; encourage exploration and experimentation (to a degree).
17. Set up a loyalty program
Encourage your customers to give out references and recommendations in exchange for loyalty points and discounts, increasing the business's potency.
18. Embrace social media to sell
Social media is basically driving our lives, so you get on that train and use it to drive your business. A lot of buyers use social media to stay informed about your product or services. You, too, can use it to keep an eye on their engagement and activities.
19. Be respectful of leads that don't convert
Manners maketh men. Manners also make positive experiences that you remember for a lifetime. That positive memory might encourage them to bring you for business next time.
For example, my most memorable experience with a sales rep was when a telecom company called regarding some new plans. When I informed them that I wasn't interested as my mobile number was affiliated with a different provider. Instead of bad-mouthing them or egging me to convert to theirs, she lauded them for scoring a loyal customer and wished me a good day. How refreshing is that!
20. Applaud their achievements
This one is a no brainer. Still, a deserving pat on the back goes a long way in keeping the team's morale and productivity up.
You can either send personalized email to your top performers or hand out incentives, motivating them to keep up the good work.
You can add these points to your list of ways on how to make a sales team more productive. To sum it all up, the master key is to maintain an organized and easily accessible CRM. Fireflies does most of the work for you by keeping an automated transcript of all your conversations; it helps create tasks and subsequent follow-ups. Our AI-powered helping hand helps sales reps stay at the top of their game!