Sometimes, it seems like there is just so much going on that it’s impossible to figure out what to focus on, where to spend your time and how to squeeze the most out of the workday without needing to fill tons of additional hours. As a startup, we understand that business moves at the speed of light and that keeping sales teams productive, motivated and on target are the keys to long-term success. Here, we wanted to share just a few of our best-practices to boosting productivity in sales teams.
1. Hold more 1-on-1’s.
The best way to improve efficiency of your sales teams is to get to know them better so that you understand what they need, what their strong/weak points are, what drives them and how well they understand the product.
2. Generate high-quality leads.
This one is, of course, a marketing job. However, higher quality leads will result in more productivity from your sales teams because they are not wasting time trying to qualify. High-quality leads means prospects who are interested in the product, understand its primary uses and are currently in the market for your type of solution.
3. Focus on educating, not selling.
The number one problem most sales reps face is that they spend too much time trying to sell and not enough time trying to educate. Intelligent customers buy products that they understand and that fit their needs. Sales reps who spend time educating prospects are likely to have higher productivity because they are interactive, engaged, and motivated to serve customer needs. Focus on educating first and leave the sale up to the customer.
4. Follow-up in time!
Time management is critical in sales. If you make a potential customer feel like they are not a priority, chances are the case isn’t going to end well. Be sure that everything you do is registered in your calendar and CRM. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget where your prospects are in the pipeline but software is your friend. If you follow up quickly, there is a much higher likelihood that your productivity will follow suit.
5. Remove negativity.
Negativity within a sales team can absolutely drain the lifeblood from your entire team. Be sure that inbound leads are shared efficiently, everyone is carrying their share of the load, and problems are settled quickly. The best way to do this is by promoting a culture of open feedback and dialogue, allowing you to handle issues as soon as they arise.
6. Change incentives often.
Cash is good, but it doesn’t work for everyone. In order to boost productivity, solicit prize ideas from your teams during meetings. What do people want to win? What sparks their drive the most? Maybe it’s time to try playoff tickets or sports equipment or professional development courses. Just like when Christmas comes and grandma always gives you a crisp $50, it can get old fast. Spice it up!!!
7. Clear the clutter.
Reaching “Inbox zero” may seem impossible, but it’s really not. The longer you procrastinate; the more stuff builds up in your inbox. Sit down, set a goal to clear it all and get it done. Much like a tidy house, the rewards of a clean inbox can breathe fresh life into productivity and can also help eliminate unnecessary stress.
8. Research more before dialing.
We can’t stress this one enough… you must have a clear game plan and must have done your research before picking up the phone. Nothing bugs me more when people call to sell me a product or service but then they can’t answer simple questions about our company or what we do. If you know your target audience and make 10 efficient calls in a day, I guarantee you will have better success than if you are just picking up the phone and dialing without doing the research. You’re better than that.
9. Use updated marketing materials.
One of the quickest ways to kill a deal is to send outdated materials to a prospect. They saw one thing on your website and your PDFs show another, for example. Or if you’re at a sales expo using an old banner with an outdated version of your product. Clients have all the power in researching and purchasing products these days… don’t get left in the dust because your marketing team has failed to keep updated.
10. Focus on the goal with clearly defined KPIs.
Creating KPIs in general is not difficult but creating effective KPIs measuring the right metrics does take thought and planning. These days, data is critical and almost anything is measurable so it’s easy to get caught up measuring KPIs that really don’t need to be measured. If you really want to boost the productivity of your sales teams, take a step back and look at your KPIs… then eliminate any that aren’t absolutely essential. Why? Because this will greatly enhance the focus of your sales teams and allow them to narrow in on exactly what needs done.
There you have it, a brief look at 10 ways to increase the productivity of your sales teams. That’s not all though. Stay tuned for the next edition as we look at even more tips, such as creating a sales playbook, automating tasks, recognizing accomplishments and more.