Sales productivity has a direct impact on revenue and is a key factor in the success of nearly any business. Improving sales productivity means maximizing results and minimizing the resources used. This is no easy task.
Studies show sobering statistics about the state of sales productivity. According to a recent study by Aberdeen Group, two-thirds of sales reps fail to reach their annual sales quota and only 20% of sales reps are top performers. This reflects the reality that the majority of salespeople have significant room for improvement.
Why is this? In part, it is due to the fact that salespeople have a lot on their plate that has nothing to do with selling. A recent study estimates that sales reps only spend about 37% of their time on activities actually related to selling.
What can we do about this? To start, try these 7 strategies and improve sales productivity.
Busier salespeople are not necessarily more productive. One of the best-kept secrets to achieving effective and productive work is very simple: getting your priorities straight. This allows you to work smarter, not longer.
A study conducted by Wrike shows that over half of sales reps are unclear about their priorities. This confusion has a negative impact on the sales reps’ ability to accomplish key goals. To ensure no such confusion exists, team managers must take the time to outline and explain both individual and group priorities.
2. Eliminate or Automate Extra Tasks
Though multitasking is often seen as an asset, research shows that from a sales perspective, it is often counterproductive. The same Wrike study shows that 60% of sales reps struggle with working on too many things at once.
Sales reps only spend about one-third of their time actually selling, while administrative tasks take up most of their time and drain productivity.
Simple steps like automating email responses can cut down on busy work, but technology can do a lot more than that these days. Setting up web campaigns that give prospects easy access to informational content, video tutorials, and product reviews can help push prospects further down your sales funnel before involving sales reps.
3. Measure Everything
Many companies fail to improve sales productivity because they don’t consistently track key metrics. CIO Insight reports that disorganized data and limited metric visibility are a problem for 40% of sales organizations.
Data quality and visibility are essential to gaining key productivity insights and track improvement. In fact, the most successful sales teams are often the most data-focused. A recent Accenture report shows that 57% of high performing sales teams rely heavily on sales analytics, compared with 16% of under-performing sales teams.
4. Invest in Sales Enablement Technologies
Strategically chosen sales enablement technology can have a big impact on sales productivity.
Sales gamification solutions are a powerful addition to classic CRM systems. Primarily designed to motivate sales teams, they help get sales reps more engaged in daily activities, and motivate teams with healthy competition.
5. Use Your CRM
CRMs play a huge role in many sales organizations today, but achieving good user adoption can be a struggle.
Consider that the average sales rep needs to update over 300 CRM records per week. It’s no surprise that companies are more and more turning towards tech solutions to enhance CRM data and usage.
CRM user adoption has declined as processes become more complex, and surveys show that reps waste a lot of time trying to interpret and organize CRM data. Automating and simplifying the CRM updating process can significantly help reduce frustration.
Data visualization is also key to user adoption. Keeping data visible helps create accountability and transparency. This way, reps are more likely to update data regularly and not let a backlog pile up and data errors are easier to spot. Sales leaderboards are an extremely useful tool for live data visualization. Real-time performance broadcasting helps improve data quality and boost awareness of your KPIs.
Positive reinforcement is as powerful as it can be simple. Recognizing team members for their successes, big and small, can go a long way to incentivize productivity and enhance performance. A culture of positive and constructive feedback helps build a healthy sales organization.
Team engagement and dedication, while hard to measure numerically, are important motivators of sales productivity. Thus, employee recognition and support should be encouraged both from sales team managers and peers alike.
7. Communicate With Your Team
Last but not least, you can’t take sales productivity to the next level without good communication with your sales team. Sales reps need to know and be constantly reminded of priorities and expectations. More is more in this case. A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that 70% of employees are more engaged when senior leadership continually updates and communicates company strategies.
Still, communication is not just about passing along information. Encouragement and engaging employees in an open dialogue are key to building a healthy sales team.
How can Hurrah! Help Improve Productivity for Sales Teams?
When it comes to improving sales productivity, we like to think of Hurrah! Leaderboards as the ultimate tech solution.
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