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Written by Laura Jean Holton
on February 15, 2017

Sales are usually your primary revenue stream, therefore it makes sense to focus on sales productivity to increase your ROI. In order to drive sales productivity, sales representatives need to work more efficiently and dedicate their time to efforts that have a higher likelihood of success. A better sales strategy rather than increasing pressure on staff to meet or exceed quota helps to provide them with beneficial tools and information. Better tools and information equal better productivity and more sales!

The Perfect Sales Productivity Strategy

To begin, you need to create a sales productivity strategy. It is important to remember that the success of the sales strategy is dependent on the entire organization, not just the sales team. Every department within your company needs to take action to support sales representatives. This should be reflected in your strategy.

Develop a strategy by looking at current methods and sales metrics. Use this information to determine how you can improve to increase sales and efficiency. This may involve implementing new technology, such as CRM systems, sales management software, and sales automation tools.

Once you have implemented your strategy, you will need to repeatedly turn your sales metrics to see where you are making improvements and where you are still falling short. Any areas that are failing to meet your expectations should be addressed via adjustments to your strategy.

 

Factors That Impact Sales Productivity

To be productive, salespeople need to generate more revenue than the cost of the related resources. By eliminating factors that contribute to negative sales productivity, you can improve the performance of every member of your sales team.

Some of the most common causes of poor productivity include:

Lack of Support

High expectations combined with a lack of support and guidance from managers is a recipe for disaster. Your sales team needs regular check-ins and training to learn best practices and how to use new technology. Sales representatives also need to understand the underlying goals of your organization to know what to prioritize.

Inconsistency

Although it is important to adapt your strategy to ensure it is the best it can be, this is no excuse for drastically changing methodologies. If you intend to change your methodologies on a large scale, roll out their execution in stages and offer updates to your consumers.

Poor Communication

Marketing, sales, and operations like to feel as if they are independent. However, working together improves communication and efficiency. The better these branches work together, the more effective your sales capture has the ability to become.

Distractions

Teaching your sales team to become less prone to distractions may involve offering advice on how to plan activities for the day and encouraging workers to avoid responding to smartphone alerts and non-urgent emails. In addition, managers can reduce distractions by informing employees of meetings in advance and by creating a work environment where it is easy to concentrate.

 

Marketing and Sales Alignment

It is worth returning to the idea of marketing and sales alignment, as this is one of the most important ways to drive revenue growth. Unfortunately, there is still resistance from marketing teams in many companies to include sales in their inbound marketing strategy. However, for the greatest success, sales should be present at the very beginning, during the lead generation stage.

Start collaboration between the two departments with the planning of an effective marketing strategy. Regular meetings will allow employees to discuss ideas and share findings or developments. These meetings will ensure everyone is on the same track and promote consistency.

 Read: 5 Ways to Get the Best ROI from Your Lead Generation Strategy

Involve Sales in Content Marketing

A critical way to involve sales representatives in the marketing process is to include them in content marketing. No department is better qualified to specify who makes up the target audience than the sales team. Your best salespeople will know the characteristics of your buyers and what drives them to purchase from your company.

In addition, sales can help with the drawing up of Buying Process maps. These should detail the purchase process of each of your Buyer Personas. To create Buying Process maps, you will need to know the buyers’ objectives, the actions they take leading up to a sale, the content they consume, and the channels they use to consume this content.

Involving the sales department in content marketing also gives you the chance to agree on the specifics of your sales funnel. It is essential that everyone in the sales and marketing teams is using the same definitions for each stage. They should also be clear on what types of actions are required at each step.

 Read: Why Developing Buyer Personas is Crucial for Business

Effective Onboarding and Training

New employees should be expected to participate in a proper and effective onboarding process to facilitate their integration into the company.

This should include four key pillars:

  • early career support,
  • orientation in your culture and performance values,
  • insight into strategic positions,
  • intent, and direction,
  • and activities that enable the new hires to build beneficial relationships, such as understanding sales workflow and automation.

To ensure that the rest of your staff receive regular training, create a schedule. This will help you ensure they stay up to date on the latest developments in your organization, learn how to use even the most complex technology (such as business intelligence software), and become familiar with changes to your sales and B2B strategy.

The training schedule may include informal, quick training that you can include in regular meetings or as short followups to ensure employees have retained all they learned. More formal sessions can teach staff about more complicated aspects, including lead scoring, content publishing, and other tasks they need to undertake.

Read: 7 Tips to Build the Perfect Marketing Team 

Get Social

In many organizations, the marketing team alone develops connections with prospects, handing them off to the sales team at the crucial moment. To avoid this marketing challenge, you should involve sales at every step of your social media strategy. They can work with the marketing department to offer exactly what every lead and prospect needs to move to the next step in the funnel. For instance, social selling is a growing trend for increasing digital sales, as it allows professionals to create relationships with prospects and customers.

 

Sales Productivity Software

Establishing clear CRM objectives will enable you to make the most of sales productivity software. Goals should relate to enhancing efficiency, improving customer satisfaction, increasing your customer base, and better meeting the needs of your sales team. In your strategy, determine how your business intelligence tools can help you meet these goals.

In addition, utilize software to monitor your prospects and customers. As well as streamlining communication, this will make your outreach efforts will be more successful, as you will know what your customers want. Plus, you can always ensure that each individual is connected to the right person, whether in sales or marketing.

 

Sales Productivity Metrics

Marketing is all about turning to the data; this is equally important for sales. Extending your math marketing strategy to selling allows your sales team to take advantage of the valuable data available. There are a few metrics you should measure to improve productivity, including:

  • Lead Response Time. If you find your sales team is waiting more than one hour to contact new leads, you’ve found an easy to make improvements. The faster you communicate with a lead, the higher the chances are of qualifying that lead.
  • Time Spent Selling. This will give you a more accurate picture of ROI.
  • Opportunity Win Rate. A top salesperson is skilled at every stage of the pipeline. By monitoring opportunity win rates of each sales representative, you can find out if any members of your sales are struggling at certain steps and offer them appropriate training.

There is no single aspect you should focus on to enhance sales productivity. Rather, there are numerous places where you can make simple changes for a big impact. In particular, improving collaboration between sales and marketing plays a huge role.

Read: 7 Amazing Tips to Increase Website Conversion Rates


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