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. A study by Aberdeen Group reports that 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 to improve sales productivity.
Busier salespeople are not necessarily more productive. One of the best-kept secrets for effective and productive work is very simple: get 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 negatively impacts sales reps ability to accomplish key goals. The best team managers take the time to outline and explain both individual and group priorities.
Eliminate or Automate Extra Tasks
Though multitasking is often seen as an asset, research shows that it is often counterproductive. The same Wrike study shows that 60% of sales reps struggle with working on too many things once.
Sales reps only spend about one-third of their time actually selling, and administrative tasks are responsible for a large part of the drain on productiveness.
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.
Many companies fail to improve sales productivity because they don’t consistently track key metrics. CIO Insights reports that disorganized data and limited visibility of metrics presents problems for 40% of sales organizations.
Data quality and visibility is 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 underperforming sales teams.
Invest in Sales Enablement Technologies
Strategically chosen cales 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.
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 go a long way to cut down on frustration.
Data visualization is also key to user adoption. Keeping data visible helps create accountability and transparency. 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, recognition and support should be encouraged both from sales team managers and peers alike.
Communicate With Your Team
Last but not least, it’s you can’t take sales productivity to the next level without good communication with your sales team. Sales reps need to know and to 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 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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