A more productive sales team is a more profitable sales team. Period.
For a sales organization, productivity is directly tied to efficiency. The more efficient your sales team can be with their time, the more closed leads, won contracts, and revenue they can produce. Between daily meetings, time wasted following up with unqualified leads, and an increase in sales-related administrative tasks, your sales team only has a few precious hours to sell anything. With this in mind, companies that want to improve the productivity of their sales team need to focus on improving their efficiency.
3 Ways to Improve Sales Efficiency1. Score and Prioritize Your Leads
With only so many hours in the day to sell, every minute your team spends chasing down weak leads is a minute that could have been spent closing active buyers. Not every lead is ready to talk with a sales rep, which is why many organizations score their leads to better assess how much time a rep should devote to each one. Sometimes the answer is to leave it to marketing to nurture.
When creating your scoring rubric, be sure to consider:
- The lead’s budget and company size
- How closely they fit your target buyer personas
- Where they are in their buying journey
Remember that lead scoring isn’t a set and forget — it’s a dynamic process that sales and marketing should jointly review and adjust, at least quarterly.
2. Train Your Sales Staff to Speak the Same Language as Their Prospects
As most salespeople know, prospects and leads convert at a higher rate when they feel more confident with the product or service they are purchasing.
To quickly build prospect trust and confidence focus on speaking the same language as your prospect. Specifically, when talking to the C-suite and other senior executives focus on their business issue, which often means speaking in terms of the financial impact of your offering.
First, do the research necessary to fully understand your prospect’s revenue or profitability goals and meaningful KPI’s. Armed with this knowledge, tailor the conversation to focus on how your product or service can achieve those specific financial metrics. Shorten the sales cycle by making it crystal clear to the prospect how your product or service is the ideal solution to their specific problem.
3. Invest in the Right Technology
Your sales team needs to be outfitted with the right technology and tools to do their best job. At a minimum, you should consider investing in the following:
A Customer Relationship Management Tool (CRM)
A proper CRM can help keep your team organized and on track. Within a CRM, you can assign leads to your sales team, score leads based on your specific criteria, and even set up sequences to automate and track the effectiveness of sales contacts, from phone calls, to emails, to proposals and contracts.
In addition to keeping your sales team on track and organized, most CRM tools also come equipped with some form of automation functionality. Drive sales efficiency in your organization by automating the more mundane and repetitive tasks. The more tasks you can automate for your team, the more time you can free up for them to focus on selling.
Invest in technology that can automate your sales workflow and administrative tasks. A sales and marketing automation tool can handle everything from data entry, to lead assignment, and ongoing prospect follow-up.
A Prospect Research Tool
To sell to a prospect, your team must understand the prospect; however, you can’t afford to bog your sales team down with time-consuming research requests. After all, time spent Googling annual reports is time that could be spent selling. Instead, consider using a third-party platform, like FinListics ClientIQ, to quickly analyze and provide client research reports.
A Conversational Marketing Tool
With a conversational marketing tool (commonly referred to as a live chat tool), your sales team can spend more time talking to prospects, who are actively searching for a solution to their problem. Your team isn’t blindly cold-calling leads or blasting your message to the world. Instead, they’re spending their limited active selling time answering questions, listening to feedback, and explaining product/service benefits in real time to prospects further along in the sales funnel.
Increase productivity to increase profits
If you want to increase your sales team’s productivity and profitability, focus on improving their sales efficiency. With only a finite amount of time in the day to sell, it’s imperative that your sales team has the tools and processes in place to maximize their selling efforts.