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7 Strategies You Can Use To Improve Sales Productivity

Sales productivity has a significant impact on revenue and is the ultimate key factor for success in any type of business.

For sales reps, improving sales productivity means maximizing results while minimizing the resources expended. This is no easy challenge. According to a study conducted by Aberdeen Management, two-thirds of sales reps fail to reach their annual sales quota.

Moreover, it’s estimated that only 20% of sales reps among teams are top performers. Which leaves the majority of the workforce with room for improvement in the productivity department.

So, how to capitalize on human talent and be more efficient with the allotted time? Discover these 7 strategies you can use to improve sales productivity and form stronger relationships with clients and leads:

Invest in Technology

When properly designed and executed, Sales Enablement Technologies can make a huge difference, both increasing productivity and motivating sales reps.

Considering that the average sales rep needs to update over 300 CRM records per week, it’s no surprise that tech is rattling the sales world in the best of ways.

Measure Everything

According to a recent Accenture report, 57% of high performing sales teams rely on sales analytics, compared with the 16% of underperforming teams.

Tools such as leaderboards are extremely useful when it comes to visualizing the number of daily activities each seller has made, in real time, boosting awareness and recognition.

 

How to Increase Productivity: Measure Everything

 

Keep the team motivated

As we just pointed out, technology solutions may work like a charm. But just having the tools will not deliver the results.

The sales team must have enough motivation to actively embrace the technology and incorporate it into their daily workflow to boost productivity levels.

Always remember to focus on positivity and supporting each member of the team through the whole sales process.

Implement training programs

It takes over 7 months and almost $30.000 to fully train and onboard a new sales rep, according to a recent Aberdeen research.

Moreover, unhappy and unproductive employees often complain of the lack of learning opportunities provided by the company they work for.

Work on your priorities

Working long and hard hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. Productivity’s best-kept secret is simple: visualizing your priorities.

Research conducted by Wrike found that over half of sales reps feel unclear about their priorities. This directly results negatively on their individual performances and also on the overall accomplishment of collective goals.

 

Improve Sales Productivity: Work in your priorities

 

Eliminate or Automated Superfluous Tasks

The same Wrike study we previously mentioned also shows that 60% of sales reps feel that they are working on too many things at the same time.

Although many times it’s seen as an asset, multitasking can be counterproductive and lead to a lack of focus.

It’s estimated that sales rep only spend one-third of their time actually selling, which means the other work hours are spent on administrative tasks such as reading and responding emails, attending meetings and updating CRM.

Communicate With Your Team

Last but definitely not least, it’s impossible to take sales productivity to the next level without fluid communication to the team.

They need to know and to be constantly reminded of priorities and expectations. But also encouraged and engaged in open dialogue.

A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that 70% of employees are more engaged when senior leadership continually updates and communicates company strategies.

 

Improve Sales Productivity: Communicate With Your Team

 

How can Hurrah! Help Improve This Productivity?

When it comes to implementing strategies to improve sales productivity, we like to think of Hurrah! Leaderboards as the ultimate tech solution to adopt. For instance, it can be set to display various KPI’s, and dynamic values that managers want to track and relate to their team’s daily goals.

With Hurrah! you can measure the total sales for the day, the week or any parameter of opportunities won by team collaboration and effort. As far as motivation goes, Hurrah! is designed to inspire a culture of success. Both for individuals and the whole team.

Leaderboards can recognize achievements in a clear, customized and visually appealing style.

And how can gamification oriented software like Hurrah! help in the training process? It can greatly decrease attrition and turnover rates through fun interactive experiences.

Leaderboard contests and recognition can also turn mundane and meticulous training materials into easily-digestible and highly effective learning programs.

And finally, Hurrah! can become the ultimate communication tool for the entire team. You have the complete freedom to announce important meetings, share goals, present news, and events. Or get everyone excited about the company trip to the Bahamas (or so we hope! 😉).

Did you find this article helpful? Would you like to try Hurrah! for free? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Try Hurrah! for Free

 

3 Tips to Become a Rainmaker in Sales & CRM

What are the best days and times to close sales? Why shouldn’t you drink coffee in a sales meeting? When having lunch with customers, why should you take the best seat at the table? Why should you never ‘be in a meeting’ when a customer calls? Why do breakfast meetings make rain?

These are some of the questions and rules brought up in the book ‘How to Become a Rainmaker. The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients’ by Jeffrey J. Fox. This is a bestseller about selling and if you haven’t read it yet and you want to be above average, you should.

It was great information for me and so I wanted to share just three concrete examples where Mr. Fox’s advice + the use of a CRM platform like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and some gamification techniques, will help  you make rain!

1) Always Precall Every Sales Call

As Mr. Fox states, appointments with decision makers are relatively rare events. And yet Meeting with decision makers is crucial to getting the sale. Because of this, meetings (now very commonly held virtually) with decision makers must be carefully planned.

In his book, Mr. Fox says that “Ninety percent of all sales calls are won or lost before the salesperson sees the customer. This is because so few salespeople actually plan their calls…Rainmakers never waste a sales call: they always make a Pre call plan.”

 

What does that mean in the CRM world? Adopting, adapting and implementing a simple checklist like the book suggests into your CRM. It should be no more than adding some fields to the PhoneCall system entity to help you and your sales team make more effective sales calls and save valuable time for next phone calls.

Example:

  • Sales Call Objectives
  • Relevant questions to ask
  • What am I going to show in this call?
  • Anticipated customer concerns and objections
  • Points of differences with competitors
  • Which dollarization benefits to the customer will  I share today?
  • Expected results and next steps from the call
  • Expected surprises?

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‘A Rainmaker never calls on a decision maker without a written precall plan’, Jeffrey J. Fox.

2) Fish Where the Big Fish Are

It makes no sense to waste your time, money and energy chasing poorly qualified opportunities or low profit deals, aka small fish!

Making good use of CRM can substantially improve your accuracy when qualifying opportunities and best of all, decrease headaches and increase  revenue.  How can that be  accomplished? 3 very simple ideas:

  • Exploit the new Business Process Flows (BPFs) introduced with CRM 2013 (unfortunately I have seen very few customers  using it to its potential). Mandatory “Yes/No” questions aligned with Mr. Fox’s concepts i.e. ‘Current customer?’, ‘Contact is familiar with our products?’, ‘Want or need our products’,  ‘contact is decision maker?’, ‘I know about budget’, ‘We are first bidder’, ) combined with options (i.e. timeframe, purchase process) and stage may be very useful. Example:

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  • Leverage Business Rules, also introduced with CRM 2013. Visually display your rules that have been proven successful in qualifying  or disqualifying opportunities. By that, I mean proactively alert the sales rep the opportunity doesn’t fit with some proven criteria. For example, if your contact isn’t a decision maker, and you don’t know the budget then a suggested action is to diplomatically skip this one and invest the time in other opportunities.
  • Start your day with dashboards, not records! Dashboards (customized  internally ), can quickly tell you things like: your top opportunities, your top customers, # of opportunities won/lost by customer, $ in revenue by customer, # of phone calls by customer or opportunity, % quota achieved (if combined with CRM goals) besides of course, the most common charts like sales funnel. Work from dashboards and drill down to records, see the forest first, then focus on the right trees.

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  • Celebrate BIG sales! As Mr. Fox states the big sale is the trophy fish on the wall’, a phrase I couldn’t agree with more!. And I am very happy when customers tell us stories about how much their sales people love to see their picture on the widescreen through Hurrah! Leaderboards after a gong rings or a goal is scored celebrating a BIG SALE!

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3) Use the Point System Every Day!

I will re-state the author’s advice here:

‘There are four steps which are part of every sale:

  1. Getting a lead, a referral, an introduction to a decision maker.
  2. Getting an appointment to meet the decision maker.
  3. Meeting the decision maker face-to-face.
  4. Getting a commitment to a close (a purchase) or to an action that directly leads to a close.

Assign one point to Step 1, two points to Step 2, three points to Step 3, and four points to Step 4.”

 

Of course,the  number of points and everyday targets may vary from business to business but gamification of your CRM will allow you to assign points to important business processes and keep everyone focussed and on track.

We at CRMGamified offer tools to award and keep track of points and progress toward well qualified opportunities with great profit and revenue potential.  Gamification of your CRM helps you develop rainmakers and increase success for all.

 

Look how easy it is using Dynamics CRM and our Motivation Engine:

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That’s a pretty simple but common rule, including the creation of a record (in this case Lead), that meets some condition or conditions.

Very similar configuration can quickly be done for appointments, phone calls, opportunities and actually whatever system or custom entity you may be using in your Dynamics CRM to track sales data.

Oh! Who is going to make it rain this month? Visually design a badge and define a more difficult rule like generating 10 new opportunities this month with actual revenue >5.000 and closing 2 of them. You may want to include making certain number of phone calls or appointments as well.

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Moreover, if you’re in a management role, you may want to know in real time how your sales team is performing, encouraging the behaviors that drive more sales:

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While if you are in a sales position aiming to improve your stands, you will love to see how nice your trophies and your next upcoming missions look.

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There is a lot more to be done but I hope this post briefly helps to leverage Mr. Fox concepts through a real and fast way of bringing them to action.

Leave your comment below with opinions on how to improve sales performance with Dynamics CRM!

 

Cheers!

PP

@pabloperalta

MVP | Microsoft Dynamics CRM

PS:  Of course if interested, I will be happy to demo our Motivation Engine as well as our TV Leaderboards for Dynamics CRM any time for you. Just try the chat below or simply click Get a Demo link.