What manager hasn’t wondered how to improve sales force productivity for their business? These surprising tips will guide your team to new ways to connect with clients and meet goals.
The work never ends for sales representatives and managers. Even after a hard day, there’s always another email to send, another call to make, one more meeting to schedule. Often the thing that separates a salesperson who’s just “okay” from the one that consistently closes the deal is the sheer amount of time and hard work they put into the job.
Year after year, companies keep adding team members and chase increasingly aggressive sales goals. When navigating this ever-changing sales landscape, it’s important to remember that building a better sales team is not always about pushing sales representatives to devote more time to reaching clients. There may be more efficient ways to “up” the productivity in the time reps are already using. This helps build a more competent sales force who works smarter, not harder. You’ll see a more potent sales punch, yielding better results more quickly.
A look at your sales team
The conventional wisdom is that only one in five representatives on a sales team will be a top performer. These are your dependable people, who are closing sales, attracting new clients and remaining efficient as they take on new tasks. But where does that leave the rest of your team? How can you get them to adopt productive strategies and streamline the resources they put into the sales process?
Here are a few strategies to tackle those issues.
A consistent relationship with your sales team is vital. While you might hold weekly meetings or team sessions, it’s the one-on-one relationships that make a real difference. Know your representatives’ weaknesses and strengths, what their goals are, and what prior experience they bring to the table that might benefit your current sales goals. Once you’ve established that foundational relationship, hold them accountable. That’s not to say the relationship should be rigid. Your function as a coach is to let the sales rep lead the conversation. Your goal is to take an interest in their development and guide them toward success. Even if you only meet for a few hours a month, this relationship can have a tremendous impact on your rep’s productivity—boosting revenue by 25% and increase close rates by 70%.
Prospect more clients
A sales representative who constantly hits dead ends and exhausts all their leads is in need of a fresh start. This is especially true if they’ve been relying on someone else’s leads. For the best chance at closing deals and building long-standing clients, reps must sometimes build relationships from the ground up. At the very least, they will expand their pool of names and numbers.
This is also one of the easiest solutions since it doesn’t require any new training. Your best bets are cold calls, emails and reaching out to people on popular websites like LinkedIn.
Organize your day
This may sound like an oversimplification, because many sales are made in a matter of minutes. But reps are frequently spending a great deal of time trying to work around others’ schedules. Consolidating the time spent doing things like responding to emails and returning calls can yield big results. Sales blogger Tim Ferriss recommends utilizing email proactively rather than responding to every message as it comes in. By limiting the number of times per day you check your inbox, your workflow isn’t disrupted every few minutes by a new notification. This allows you to focus more closely on tasks at hand.
Dedicate Time On the Front End to Research and Self Reflection
This may also seem counter-intuitive. Time away from making calls or sending emails means time lost, right? Looking at it another way, if a sales representative never takes time to ask themselves what their strengths are, they are destined for inefficiency. It’s easy to lose your way without a clear map of where you want to go. What clients are they best equipped to attract? Which research is going to help set them apart from other sales people? In an age of information overload, clients definitely notice when a sales person owns their unique sales pitch and demonstrates a level of industry knowledge that instills trust.
In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are a slew of others one could adopt to increase sales productivity. Growing new leads through referrals and optimizing your marketing materials are great ways to streamline your approach organically. You could also re-evaluate your key performance indicators. Maybe your current KPI’s show you lagging and not getting as much out of that area as you can. If you notice repeated success in one KPI, it could be a sign it’s time to challenge yourself more in that area.
As with making sales, there’s no limit to how much a sales representative can do to improve their efficiency. At the end of the day, it’s best to understand what’s holding you back. Self-knowledge helps build a more thoughtful, organized plan and creates better workers.
Want to improve your organizations sales force productivity? Call OSX Sales Solutions today at (402) 858-6246!