Did you know that only 39% of a sales rep’s time is spent interacting with prospects and customers? This is the key reason why improving sales productivity and performance continues to be a key challenge for sales teams across the globe.
Rep productivity issues ultimately boil down to sales reps spending too much time on manual tasks. The challenge of increasing sales productivity is a taller task than ever before with the massive amount of additional tasks and distractions getting in the way of actual selling.
That being said, let us first understand what the term sales productivity actually signifies:
What is sales productivity?
Sales productivity simply means maximizing sales results while reducing the resources expended. Resources can include anything ranging from cost to effort to time.
Sales productivity can be measured by the rate at which a salesperson increases revenue for the company. In short, improving efficiency is all about finding ways to become more efficient with your time.
Adding structure and focus to their day allows them to keep the end goal in mind.
Decoding the sales inefficiency conundrum
Field sales professionals face an overwhelming number of obstacles that prevent them from operating at peak efficiency.
Before exploring ways to train and organize your sales team to ensure that they achieve their full potential, it’s important to recognize and understand the most significant factors inhibiting their progress.
- Excessive performance pressure to exceed targets
- Inconsistent sales strategies and processes
- Random, poorly planned sales coaching and training sessions
- Poor route planning and scheduling
- Ineffective communication resulting in siloed sales operations
- Inability to clearly define sales goals
- Resistance adapting to new and innovative sales tools and technologies
- Poorly established ideal customer personas
This list could go on forever. The factors that prohibit salespeople from taking advantage of their entire work day can be big or small.
Regardless of severity, only one thing is for sure, every member of your sales team will encounter several of these challenges. In a landscape that’s more competitive than ever, it is crucial to address these challenges early on to enable your business to stay relevant.
Hallmarks of sales productivity
Now that you have a clear idea of the roadblocks or bottlenecks that hinder your sales potential, let’s dive into the key pillars of sales productivity:
A firm organizational sales structure is an essential component of consistency. There may be slight modifications unique to each salesperson, but the same sales process should always be followed.
How well a sales rep’s day is scheduled goes a long way in driving growth as well. Double down on strategies that work and share those strategies with the entire team.
The number of distractions pulling us away from our daily goals seem to only ever increase. It doesn’t help that human attention span today is less than that of a goldfish.
Eliminate the things that distract you from your key priorities at work and create an office atmosphere that supports deep work.
The majority of field sales managers will tell you that things are “really good” and “going well” when asked, purely out of natural instinct. These answers are the epitome of mediocrity.
Are their sales tools and processes as effective and efficient as they could be, or as their competitors?
Holding onto what’s working isn’t necessarily “bad,” but it prevents progress. The field sales industry changes at such a rapid rate, and innovation is key to sustaining a competitive edge.
The competitive nature of the field sales landscape leads sales reps and their managers to feel the added pressure to perform and attain their quotas.
Even the best sales professionals are bound to have an off-month. Low performance exacerbates the fear of missing targets in their minds.
Re-evaluate your sales quotas to ensure they’re challenging, yet attainable. Quotas that salespeople perceive as being impossible to reach are likely to prevent your staff from trying because they believe they’re going to fail regardless.
That being said, let’s explore two strategies that you can deploy right away to boost your sales productivity!
Automate your sales process
As we’ve mentioned earlier in the article, your sales reps waste a lot of their time on administrative or repetitive tasks, and that hampers their productivity significantly.
You can put their performance on steroids simply by embracing sales automation tools and allowing your sales reps to focus almost exclusively on the selling part of their job.
An effective Field service management software can put your sales email outreach on autopilot and allow your sales reps to easily create, schedule, monitor, and tweak their campaigns in real-time.
You can significantly boost your sales reps’ productivity through the use of triggered emails – these emails are automatically sent based on specific actions taken by your prospects.
So, basically, you’re utilizing your prospects’ behavior to send them the right message at the right time, and the best part is that you can automate the entire process.
An example of this is a “thank you” email.
When a prospect subscribes to your newsletter, signs up for a free trial, or makes a purchase, a personalized trigger-based email is sent, thus enticing their interest.
Using a CRM is also a must, as this tool can help your sales reps automate all their redundant and administrative tasks. One such example is data entry, which is a nightmare for all salespeople.
Opt for a CRM tool that has an in-built call tool, as well as the ability to easily integrate with other sales tools.
Invest in proper sales training
Most organizations believe that hiring top talent is the best way to ensure exemplary sales performance. While this may be true, it is inconclusive.
Apart from hiring top talent, you must offer proper sales training to both your new and seasoned team members. As the sales environment changes and the buying process evolves, ongoing training is required to keep reps updated.
Research shows that ongoing sales training results in 50% higher net sales per salesperson. Also, sales coaching improves sales productivity by up to 88%.
In a nutshell
Amidst ever-increasing pressure to meet or exceed quotas, many sales leaders struggle with sales productivity.
Especially now, as sales teams are transitioning to remote selling and managers have limited facetime with their reps, productivity seems to be more at risk than ever before.
This is where a field force automation tool like Happisales comes in. Designed to improve visibility into sales reps’ performance, Happisales allows you to streamline sales performance with a plethora of features such as automatic route planning, customer analytics, and more.
So, what are you waiting for? Deploy Happisales today to skyrocket your sales productivity!