Sales productivity can be best described as the ability to maximise sales results while keeping the resources at a minimum. These resources often vary—from cost and effort to time, which is why it might be difficult to cut down on all of them.
Plus, given that sales professionals have to face a number of challenges each day, increasing their productivity is definitely not as easy as it might seem. Here’s how you can increase the productivity of your sales team one step at a time.
Why is sales productivity important?
Being motivated and productive is often what contributes to the success of a sales team, and the overall health of a business. If your sales team is able to close a lot of deals while “optimising” the time and effort spent on forming and nurturing relationships with clients, it means that your sales agents are already being productive.
Still, even though increasing productivity might not seem that difficult, it can be quite challenging at times. It’s mostly because there are many obstacles that may stand in the way, including inconsistent sales processes, inadequate training sessions, lack of communication between team members, as well as resistance to adapt to new sales tools & techniques. Through proper management, though, you can easily address these challenges and increase the productivity of your team.
6 ways to increase the productivity of your sales team
1. Have top talents on board
Increasing the productivity of your team is almost impossible if you don’t have the right people on board. That’s precisely why having top talents in your team should be the very first thing you have to make sure of.
Every business needs effective sales professionals.
That’s why you should start by evaluating your existing agents and figuring out what skills might be missing.
If your team isn’t as productive as it could be—most of the time, it simply lacks motivation. It might as well be a temporary state, though, which you can improve. Talk to your team members and find out what their needs are—whether it’s about incentives, additional benefits, or the necessity to hire more sales reps to reduce their workload. Remember that recruiting new agents might take a while. Focus on your existing team first, and make sure everyone actually cares about increasing productivity.
2. Train and onboard your sales agents properly
81% of companies say productivity would improve with better process, skills, or competency training.
At the same time, a strategic and consistent onboarding process is said to provide your company with higher rates of employee engagement, performance, and retention. These findings speak for themselves—yet, many businesses don’t seem to spend a lot of time on training and onboarding their sales agents.
Why are training and onboarding important in the first place? Because sales agents represent your company. It’s simple as that. If they’re not trained properly, they might not be able to offer your customers excellent support. Make sure that doesn’t happen—come up with creative training techniques, and help your agents reach their full potential to increase the productivity of the whole team.
3. Pay more attention to lead generation
One of the main important tasks of every sales agent is to generate & qualify leads. That’s hardly surprising—you constantly need new leads to continue selling. It doesn’t mean, however, that all leads are able to increase revenue and thus, the productivity of your team. In short: carefully generating and qualifying the most suitable leads will bring you better results.
Keep in mind that increasing productivity is also about minimising time and effort spent on leads—which is why it’s better to have a shorter list of contacts with a higher potential to purchase, rather than a long list that will require much more pitching to sell to. To make it easier for your team, you should build an ideal customer profile based on the characteristics of your target audience.
4. Invest in the right tools
Giving your team the right tools can easily boost their productivity. As a matter of fact, high-performing sales teams tend to use nearly three times the amount of sales technology than underperforming ones. For starters, powerful software can automate otherwise time-consuming tasks: help you generate leads, give you access to relevant data about your prospects & customers, and, essentially, make the job of your sales team much easier. See what else can you do with the right set of sales tools.
If you don’t have the ability to invest in a proper sales toolbox, you should at least go for a proper CRM system, such as Livespace. Why so? 50% of sales teams reported improved productivity with a CRM, mobile access to a CRM is said to increase sales force productivity by an average of 14.6%. No matter which (and how many) sales tools you actually choose, though, it’s crucial to provide thorough training when introducing them to your team.
5. Align marketing and sales
Marketing and sales are closely linked—yet, it’s often very difficult to get these two departments to work together. The main issue often lies in the lack of communication and the feeling of “fighting different battles”. Being able to encourage both teams to support each other, though, can truly increase their productivity.
Many sales agents might argue with that, but marketing professionals can actually help them generate quality leads, and create relevant content on top of that. Given that sales reps spend an average of 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own content—collaborating with content marketers can be extremely valuable for them. Especially since 84% of sales executives named content search and utilisation as the top productivity improvement area.
6. Track and measure the performance of your sales team
Apparently, companies spend 24K per employee on average to improve productivity—but 49% of businesses have zero or limited means to actually measure how productive their teams are.
In order to start seeing any progress, you don’t only have to know where your team stands in terms of productivity, but also keep an eye on their performance at all times.
You can measure productivity in many ways, which you can also combine to get a more accurate overview. If you’re already using dedicated sales tools, tracking the activities of your sales team should be fairly easy. You can find relevant information in your CRM’s dashboard, which usually helps to visualise trends and gain valuable insights into each salesperson’s performance.
Start acting to increase the productivity of your sales team
Sales agents are responsible for a variety of tasks but, fortunately, plenty of them can be streamlined and automated. Once you have all your sales agents on board and empowered with proper training & tools, you can easily reduce the time and effort spent on monotonous tasks that often affect their productivity.
Save time and frustration for your sales team—choose a CRM that can help you take your sales process to the next level.