Plenty of sales reps think that productivity is the same as staying busy, or at least “looking busy”. Strategy meetings, internet research, emails, social networking, golf dates, and dinners may be keeping reps “busy”, but such activities may be inconsequential to the bottom line. Let’s define sales productivity as the ability to produce. Productivity is measured by yield or throughput.
Here are four tips to help increase the productivity of your sales team giving them more active selling time:
1. Analyze Current Processes
Do a health check on the selling processes currently being followed by your team. Although each sales rep’s process may be unique, consider the following key productivity drains across your team: How much time is spent weekly on administrative tasks? How many calls are being made on qualified vs. unqualified opportunities? How many in-person calls end in a sale? What is the average time of lead to sale? What is the current cost of sale? A good sales process based on the analysis of the data retrieved from these questions will provide guidelines for keeping productivity in check.
2. Define Expectations/Goals
Every team member needs to know what is expected of him/her. Once new expectations are set, look at your team and see who needs help organizing their time and territory. Help reps prioritize which opportunities are worthy of their time and get rid of the ones that are not qualified. Being on qualified sales calls is where results will happen. Once you set expectations, expect them. Set up a streamlined accountability process of reps’ progress toward outlined expectations.
3. Leverage Technology
Reduce the administrative responsibilities required by your reps by providing an electronic format for as many tasks as possible. A good CRM system will automate certain tasks and keep customer data organized. Technology can also aid you in getting quality lead lists. Monitor social channels. Set up alerts on topics of interest and respond to those who show buying signals. Consider timesaving video calls and web conferencing. There are hundreds of time saving sales technology tools out there that can help increase the productivity of your team.
4. Increase your Team’s Skills and Knowledge
Sales training, and coaching are important for every salesperson, no matter how experienced they are. There are always new skill sets to learn and new tools to master. Analyze deficient sales skills in the individuals on your team and coach to those needs. These skills may include phone etiquette, product knowledge, industry knowledge, customer engagements and rapport, presentations, and everyone’s favorite topic: negotiation. Look for a training company that will offer a customized approach to developing specific relevant skills for your team.
Try these tips and you will see increased productivity in your team. The measure of success will be evident in a yield to be enjoyed: More revenue!