As a business owner, your company’s ability to grow is directly impacted by the productivity of your sales teams and your sales efforts. Hiccups in your sales process or inconsistency in driving sales funnels can snowball into big problems, too. Inefficiencies in sales lead to thousands of dollars left on the table in unclosed business and countless missed opportunities.
That’s why it’s imperative that you continuously evaluate and look to improve your sales processes. And if you suspect your sales team is unproductive or could stand to improve, keep reading. Today, we’re diving into all the proven techniques, latest insights, and strategies to boost sales productivity and your company’s bottom line.
Evaluate Your Sales Productivity First
Be smart and calculated about tackling your sales productivity. That means first conducting a pulse check on your current sales processes and results. Sit down with your analytics to identify challenges, areas of improvement, and those efforts that prove to be doing well. Then, sit down with your sales teams and ask them individually about their sentiments of the overall sales process. Together, your metrics and direct sales team feedback can guide you to prioritize what changes need to be made. And you might be surprised by what your sales pros tell you.
Why and How to Measure Sales Productivity
The average salesperson only actually spends one-third of their time selling. The rest of their workdays are spent with emails, researching clients, managing data and funnels, and in meetings. And their productivity is going to directly impact your company’s bottom line – making it a top priority metric to prioritize. If sales productivity is low, they’re not covering their own expenses, and your business is losing money.
You can tackle sales productivity challenges in two ways:
- Introducing methods and resources that increase how much time your reps are actually selling.
- Introducing methods and resources that ensure teams are maximizing their sales efficiencies.
Sales efficiency is measured by identifying how many opportunities a salesperson has to convert a sale. You can also measure the length of time it takes to close a sale. Additionally, collect data that highlights the number of sales converted per initial cold-call contact. These metrics will help you get a big-picture understanding of where your sales teams need help and improved productivity methods.
Other Sales Productivity Stats That Will Blow Your Mind
Sales productivity matters, and these latest sales stats might just blow your mind. But they only reinforce why productivity is so important for so many business owners and sales managers.
- In 2021, 53% of salespeople reported working from home for more than half of their workdays.
- Only 24.3% of sales pros exceeded their 2021 sales quotas.
- More than 41% of salespeople say phone calls are their most productive sales tools.
- More than 80% of sales staff don’t take the time to review and/or correct their sales processes.
- One in every five salespeople say they don’t have the resources they need to be successful.
- Only 15% of all salespeople contacted more than 1,000 prospects last year.
- More than 66% of salespeople only contacted 250 or less prospects last year.
- As many as 77% of salespeople say their employers plan to invest in sales intelligence resources.
- Another 54% of salespeople say using digital sales tools helps them to close more deals.
- Of all the digital sales tools, 70% of sales pros say CRMs are “very important.”
- In B2B sales, 65% of most company sales are generated from referrals.
Eliminate Productivity Obstacles and Challenges
When improving your sales initiatives, processes, methods, and productivity, start by eliminating those aspects that serve as obstacles. Below are just a few of the most common sales challenges and obstacles to consider removing.
Is there too much performance pressure?
While sales quotas and funnel benchmarks are important for your sales teams to know what is expected of them, there can be too much performance pressure. And when your teams are under too much pressure, they can, over time, falter and cave to the weight. Consider giving your sales teams some breathing room with their quotas and activity reporting. And be just as judicious about rewarding them for doing the right things and not just landing sales.
Are your sales processes disjointed?
You might have multiple layers of sales processes in place and several sales levels of teams responsible for executing those processes. In fact, 63% of purchases involve more than four different people at your company, usually an inside marketing rep, a customer service rep, and others. But if you have a communication or process breakdown between all those different components, you’re going to have sales struggles. Look to streamline your online tools and prospecting with your physical teams. Bridge gaps between salespeople and sales support staff and both inside sales and outside sales. And make sure every tool and person within your entire sales process is seamlessly connected.
When was the last time you offered sales training?
Don’t presume that one round of sales training for your teams is enough. Instead, consider building out ongoing sales training to keep your teams sharp and productive. Keep these sessions short and value-packed, focusing on one sales topic at a time. For example, you could host sales training on cold calling, presentation techniques, building a proposal, overcoming objections, closing methods, or funnel management.
Are there breakdowns in sales communication?
Sometimes, breakdowns in sales productivity are a result of breakdowns in communication. Consider evaluating how your teams are communicating with each other, with you, with clients, and with sales support. Spot inconsistencies and create improvements and more efficient communication methods.
Is there resistance to new software or technology?
There are brilliant digital tools perfect for automating sales emails, prospecting schedules, and managing follow-up. But even with the best software in-house, they won’t work if your sales teams aren’t using them. If you suspect there is a resistance to using and leveraging the technology you have, consider hosting training sessions and imposing requirements for your salespeople to use these valuable resources.
Are you experiencing high rates of sales team turnover?
You won’t track sales momentum if you’re constantly having to hire new sales professionals. Check your turnover rates. Typically, sales roles turnover more frequently than administrative or management roles. But if there’s a higher-than-average turnover rate among your sales teams, it’s a sign there’s a problem. Troubleshoot to identify if you need to improve the company culture, change management, or improve resources.
Is your sales team creating a toxic environment?
Your entire sales team could struggle to meet goals and be productive if there is a toxic sales culture. And it only takes one bad sales apple to ruin the entire environment. Friendly competition is healthy. However, over-aggressive competitiveness can be toxic. Talk with your sales pros individually and ask them how they feel about your sales culture to learn if such toxic behaviors exist among the ranks.
Do your sales teams struggle with prioritizing?
Even some of the best sales executives struggle with organizational and administrative tasks sometimes. Your team’s lack of productivity could be remedied by simply introducing training and support for proper prioritizing and task management best practices.
Introduce Sales Productivity Improvements
Once you feel you’ve removed all the sales productivity barriers and obstacles, you can then begin to introduce sales productivity additions. Consider these new or innovative extras to add to your sales methods and support efforts to boost sales productivity.
Get your teams the best-fit productivity tools
Ask your sales teams what they think they need to be more productive. And then – give it to them. For example, maybe they believe their sales tracking software is outdated, hindering productivity. Some might need more flexibility in working hours. And others might benefit from additional layers of sales support.
Automate repetitive and mundane tasks
Look for more efficient ways to reduce or eliminate repetitive tasks or mundane sales processes that could be outsourced elsewhere. Your sales teams can be high-efficiency machines when they aren’t bogged down with spreadsheet management or administrative tasks outside of the sales prospecting, proposing, and closing cycles.
Invest in better sales training
Don’t just host sales training. Host high-value, effective training sessions. Ideally, Crunchbase says that once your sales pro connects with a decision-maker, it should take roughly six calls or engagements to convert the sale. And this might mean you have to invest in bringing in sales consultants for additional sales coaching. Or you might have to invest in making training materials available online for your teams to access whenever they need it.
Introduce additional layers of communication to keep your door open, your sales teams connected, and every support person engaged. You won’t spot sales problems if you don’t know about them. And practicing overcommunication will ensure you’re always in touch with your teams.
Be smarter about prospecting
Some salespeople will waste time driving around or organizing who they plan to cold call without actually prospecting. Improve their productivity by introducing smarter and more efficient prospecting techniques. It can take, on average, as many as eight phone calls to finally engage a prospect. Show them how to make the most of every prospecting opportunity and how to avoid paralysis by analysis.
Try sales manager shadowing
The best leaders are those who can show, not tell. And sales manager job shadowing can be a great way to set the pace and lead by example. While 85% of today’s sales reps admit to having great sales coaching, only 24% say they’re being coached on long-term sales skills sharpening. Consider implementing a regular job shadowing or team sales schedule so your teams can get first-hand knowledge from the best – YOU!
Boost lead-scoring efforts
Look for ways to improve the quality of your sales team’s leads with boosted lead scoring. If they’re targeting the wrong leads, they’ll never be successful. So get better at providing them with high-quality leads and prospects that actually reflect your target market.
Celebrate every sales victory
Don’t just celebrate your top sales performers. Celebrate every sales victory, large or small. By establishing a culture where everyone wins with a conversion, you reduce the risk of over-competitive toxicity as team members compete for recognition at the top.
Sales Productivity Depends on These Key Elements
Whether you’re removing sales productivity obstacles or adding layers of productivity resources, every effort relies on these key elements. Look for those improvements you can make through these lenses to be the most effective.
Whatever sales productivity changes you make, stick to them. Consistency with your processes, oversights, and resources is key to building sales momentum. Commit to changes that work and build towards improved efficiency, and you’ll soon build a well-oiled sales team of top sales assassins!
If you’re not innovating, your competitors are. And this includes sales productivity and results. Always be looking for innovative techniques and solutions from top sales mentors, other business owners, and in the form of digital software. Your business is always evolving, and so should your sales process.
Avoid broad-stroked sales improvements that “might” work for everyone. Get focused on improving one aspect of your sales process at a time, concentrating on solving precise problems. Customize your sales support and training programs so everyone can improve individually, too.
Sales Culture Matters
Your company culture is important, but so is your sales culture. Always look for ways to create an evolving and healthy environment where every salesperson feels inspired to grow and succeed, individually and with your company. And this includes across the board, from entry-level sales to top-tier sales veterans and even sales managers or supervisory roles.
To really improve your company’s sales and conversion results, it’s time to take a closer look at your sales productivity. Talk with your teams and analyze the metrics. From there, you can begin to remove obstacles and introduce better tools. If you need more sales and entrepreneurial insights, come back here often! And for any thought-leadership content needs, business blogging, email marketing, or content requests, let the Ghost Blog Writers team do all the heavy lifting. Contact us and get a free trial post to get started!