7 Ways To Increase Sales Productivity
Sales productivity is the lifeblood of any business. This article shares seven ways companies can increase it.
In this article:
- Synchronize with the Marketing Team to Improve Your Sales Productivity
- Prioritize Prospecting and Qualifying to Increase Sales Productivity
- Optimize Your Sales Productivity Tools
- Maximize the Use of Your Sales Productivity Metrics
- Use the Pareto Principle
- Consistency with Client Communications
Sales Productivity: 7 Ways to Maximize Revenue
1. Synchronize with the Marketing Team to Improve Your Sales Productivity
Many companies make the mistake of confusing one for the other. But the truth is, sales and marketing are different.
- Marketing involves generating leads and identifying prospective customers and prospects.
- Sales, as the name suggests, involves convincing prospects to buy a company’s products or services.
In many companies, the sales and marketing teams aren’t synchronized — they don’t communicate regularly with each other. These can result in the following:
- The sales team isn’t able to close enough sales due to poor quality prospects from marketing.
- Sales team strategies aren’t in line with the actual needs and preferences identified by the marketing team.
To maximize sales productivity, salespeople should take the initiative to regularly get in touch with the marketing team.
Doing so can help align their sales strategies with that of their marketing team’s and boost sales. It can also give the latter feedback about the quality of the prospects they provide so they can do better.
2. Prioritize Prospecting and Qualifying to Increase Sales Productivity
Everything about sales starts with proper lead generation and prospecting. Hence, they need to put more of their efforts on generating the right kinds of leads and prospects.
For those who have a dedicated marketing team, they have their work cut out for them.
If they get this right, they can maximize their sales productivity with increased sales and less work. But if they get this wrong, working more may even yield less sales.
To generate the right kinds of leads, sales and marketing teams need to know:
- Who their target markets are
- What do their target markets need or want
- How to create effective copy for their advertisements and online marketing content that’ll make high-quality leads out of their target markets
One of the best ways to get ideas of what your target markets want and generate great marketing and sales copy is to create buyer personas.
What are buyer personas? These are hypothetical representations of your ideal customers, which are created based on actual customer and market information.
With buyer personas, a company can tailor fit its marketing copies to specific types of customers. This can help in attracting the ideal kinds of leads for a company’s products or services.
However, lead generation is just half of the equation. The other half is a highly effective prospects qualification process.
The extent of a company’s’ ability to sift high-quality prospects from low-quality ones will determine its level of sales productivity. When a company’s able to identify high-quality and ready-to-buy prospects, it can maximize its conversion rate and boost sales.
Surveys and online forms can help companies get more information on their target markets, which can help improve sales. More information enables companies to better customize their marketing strategies to attract their target markets.
Sales reps are the lifeblood of any for-profit company. To keep them motivated in selling a company’s products, workplace culture is essential.
Here are some ways to boost corporate culture:
- An important thing to incorporate in any company’s workplace culture is excellent training and onboarding of sales executives, sales managers, and all sales professionals. These include ongoing sales coaching and learning of new sales productivity tools that can continuously improve sales.
- Another important part of the cultures of successful sales organizations is a good sales performance rewards system. This system must push sales reps out of their comfort zones to increase sales effectiveness but must also be realistic.
- The best motivation for improving sales productivity are rewards. It gives all members of any salesforce compelling reasons to exceed their sales quotas.
- Rewards shouldn’t just be limited to financial ones. Being recognized by the company in front of the entire salesforce and other motivational rewards are excellent ones, too.
- Aside from rewarding sales reps accordingly, a rewards system must be timely, too. If a company gives rewards several months after, its motivational impact may not be as strong compared to giving rewards immediately or almost immediately.
- Finally, other employees, customers, and prospects of the company must also be considered in any sales company’s culture. Companies must foster a culture of encouraging and rewarding referrals by insiders (employees) and outsiders (customers, prospects, etc.).
- It’s easier to sell to referred prospects because of the backing or support of those that gave referrals. It’s easier to do business with someone new if a friend or family member gave referrals.
4. Optimize Your Sales Productivity Tools
All sales companies can maximize the results of their sales activities and earn more revenue by leveraging productivity tools. These include CRM (customer relationship management programs) and good old e-mail.
To maximize its CRM, it’s important to organize and automate the CRM program.
Using and managing a CRM can be time-consuming. A disorganized and highly manual one runs a very high risk of lost prospects/leads and multiple sales reps working on the same prospect.
With a highly organized and mostly automated CRM, any company’s sales process can be fast and accurate.
When it comes to email, there are two ways to maximize its ability to contribute to improving sales.
First, promote the habit of sending and responding to emails in bulk among the company’s salesforce within a defined time period during the day. This gives sales reps opportunities to focus the rest of their days on what matters most — selling.
The second way to maximize sales reps’ use of e-mail is by training them in the art of writing precise and clear e-mails. In his book Deep Work, Cal Newport recommended the following steps for writing precise emails that sales reps can learn:
- Clearly identify the goal of sending an email
- Think about how to accomplish that goal
- Explain how to accomplish that goal in detail in the e-mail
For example, instead of writing “We can meet at your most convenient time,” write “Are you free to meet at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday next week?”
5. Maximize the Use of Your Sales Productivity Metrics
Numbers don’t lie. That’s why companies need to learn how to set and interpret their sales numbers or metrics correctly.
Without sales targets or quotas, a company can’t objectively determine how it performed for a specific period of time. It’s hard to manage a company whose goals for the year include “Sell more products than the previous year!”
What does “more” mean? Is it 10%, 20%, or 50% more than last year’s sales?
Without setting specific individual and company-wide sales quotas, it’s impossible to objectively reward sales executives and sales managers. Having no specific sales quotas will also make it challenging to objectively lead a company to greater sales productivity and profitability.
6. Use the Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 principle, states that 80% of results come from just 20% of resources. In terms of sales productivity, it means majority of a company’s revenues come from a select group of clients only.
Therefore, the fastest way to increase sales productivity is increasing sales from the “20%.” Because they’re already buying a lot, buying more won’t be as hard compared to smaller customers.
7. Consistency with Client Communications
Many sales professionals make the cardinal mistake of taking phone calls for granted. It’s as if phone calls aren’t as important or productive as face-to-face sales calls.
For many prospects, phone calls are their first interactions with a company. They often decide whether to move further along the sales process or look for another company based on first interactions.
Companies should train their sales professionals to handle phone inquiries and sales calls with the same urgency as face-to-face ones. Otherwise, it may be very challenging for them to increase their sales productivity.
Companies can maximize their sales productivity by working on different organizational habits and practices that define their culture. But, regardless of what areas they choose to work on, consistency is key to making their efforts work.
Which of these sales productivity improvement tips will you apply in your own sales team? Let us know in the comments section below!