Sales are the most integral part of any business. After all, it’s the moneymaker that drives a business to grow and attract employees. But sales is a very broad umbrella term that includes many elements, from measurement tools to marketing campaigns. But if there is one important element that ensures that the health of your sales is well, it’s sales productivity. A lot of people end up mixing marketing terminology, causing it to become more ambiguous as time goes by. Sales productivity isn’t the same as sales coaching or sales enablement. Using terms loosely to refer to improvements in sales isn’t really going to help you analyze the true sales status of your business.
Sales productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness are all different elements that can be grouped in one formula to find the relation between them. The formula is [Productivity = Efficiency x Effectiveness], which means that both elements on the right-hand side are directly proportional to productivity. It’s very important to be able to understand the distinction between the 3 elements in this formula to be able to accurately manage them to increase productivity. In its purest and most basic form, sales productivity is a way to measure the output of your sales team and business. To help you boost it, we’ve listed the most successful and popular 8 tips and strategies.
1. Incorporate Social Commerce in Your Plans
You’re most likely to find customers and prospects in places where they spend the majority of their time in, and that place will probably be social media. You wouldn’t believe how effective social media marketing is in capturing leads. Since you’re already going to be using advanced AI algorithms to identify and target your target audience, all you’ll have to do is to deliver the right content to get them to engage with your products or services. A single sponsored video can have the effect of multiple old-fashioned campaigns all combined. Compared to randomly advertising for your online website, your Instagram Growth is an infinitely better metric to keep an eye on. You are going to attract prospects from all over social media, especially on Instagram, if you incorporate visual storytelling elements in your campaigns.
Scheduling content is one of the few perks that social commerce provides exclusively. It’s important to be able to determine the right timing for posting content on social media. The same post can garner drastically different tractions, depending on when and where it was posted. Aside from peak times where the majority of users are online, placing your posts on a schedule will help you avoid spamming your potential prospects, causing a chain reaction that could reduce your sales productivity.
2. Use Technology to Its Fullest
There is absolutely no doubt that technology has transformed the landscape of almost all industries in the market. It’s such a waste not to understand and use modern tools at your disposal for boosting your sales productivity. The number of repetitive and mundane tasks that take the majority of your team’s time can actually be automated to a very high degree that allows you and your team to focus on what’s important, making sales. This “auto-pilot” mode isn’t about keeping you comfortable, but removing the stress of having to unnecessarily put in hours in something that’s not going to be directly helpful for your sales.
According to recent research done by Cite Research, more than 400 sales executives with big titles in their firms depend on at least 11 different sales tools to perform their job fully. The most common and popular tool automation tool used amongst sales specialists is CRM software, short for customer relationship management. This is the main tool responsible for handling objectives like data entry and sending follow-up emails.
3. Tracking Sales Metrics
It’s almost impossible to improve upon your sales productivity and your methods if you don’t exactly know where you stand or what issues you have. It’s not uncommon for sales experts to use visualization of metrics to gain insight into the applied effort of each salesperson in the team. Determining KPIs is one of the most common and effective ways to gain accurate information about the intricacies of your sales productivity.
It’s easy to mistranslate the number of attempts a salesperson does into an accurate measurement of activity level. This is why conversion rate is used to account for the percentage of customers who went through a later stage of the sale, usually purchasing a service or product. Each company can set its own standard and target that it believes their sales reps should achieve per week or month, according to the business needs. 5 deals in a company can be a huge achievement while the same 5 in another is the bare minimum, depending on the type of service or product a company sells. Conversion rates will help you determine whether a salesperson is inefficient or not since the number of attempts is taken into account as well.
A lot of businesses are highly interested in knowing accurate measurements of the performance of their team on an hourly basis. Gaining insight into such a tight timeframe helps the business predict and maneuver issues quickly. This will help you determine the time spent on any sales activity down to the second. You can start removing actions and tasks that have little to no impact on your sales productivity and replace them with efficient ones.
Mean Percentage Error
A lot of big businesses use sales forecasting processes to try to anticipate and predict shifts in the movement of sales. Mean percentage error (MPE) is a highly effective metric that shows whether the sales team is failing or exceeding the standard target. It allows you to find problems and resolve them in your quota in addition to errors that may exist in the sales process itself.
4. Create a Clear and Focused Process
Some people are natural-born sellers; they know what to do even if it’s their first day in the company. Unfortunately, this type of sales reps is hard to come by, not to mention that they are usually promoted quickly and removed from a team to be put into a higher tier. This means that you can’t depend on landing exceptional sellers to be able to reach your quotas. Instead, you should devise a process that allows those who don’t have as much skill or talent in selling to be able to perform well and bring in sales. Your focus will mainly be on the steps and sales plan laid out, not individuals. Make sure that you provide clear steps as much as possible through utilizing presentations, scripts, applications, and material that can be helpful in the conversion of new customers.
You can take advantage of past mistakes to find out where exactly your new sellers are failing to convert. Before creating the plan, monitor how your best sellers perform to see if you can standardize a thing or two of what they do to help other sellers. You’ll notice that some steps may not be necessary or even make the conversion process harder, so make sure you keep an eye on each step to see if you can improve upon it.
5. Analyze Different Conditions
The conditions of the market play a significant role in how you should react to any shortcomings in your sales process, especially when there is a wave of downturns. You want to be able to view your industry from the perspective of your customers, rather than what the numbers show alone. The behavior of consumers is constantly changing according to trends and new technology, which is important to factor in your plans. Your team’s performance is going to be impacted by any major market changes, leaving them unable to react if you don’t analyze and understand the situation. It’s also important that you’re able to create a clear channel with your team that allows you to detect each individual’s strengths and shortcomings. If you’re able to understand the elements that control the individuals of your team, you’ll be able to help them accommodate any changes so they could adapt.
To be able to truly assess the conditions your sales team in, you should consider ongoing training for existing sales reps. Being able to update and hear the feedback of seniors on your team is going to do you an immense service in shaping up the plans you have for the sales team. While most companies pour all their training focus on new hires, not a lot realize the true importance of ongoing training. This is going to give you an edge and increase your sales productivity because your team will be able to stay updated to the latest pulses of the market, which will help in the formation of individual and team plans.
6. Give Educational Boosts
Any sales team in the world looks forward to converting leads. No matter how good your team is good at this, there is always room for improvement. Some old-fashioned ways that your team is using may be working, but they are miles-apart when they’re compared with their modern counterparts. As seen in many reputable firms and companies around the world, giving your sales team a chance to improve their skills and learn something new will always net you a higher sales productivity. Since there are numerous courses on almost every topic out there, it’s important to assess the needs of your team before you enroll them in any courses. It’s also not uncommon for firms to schedule a few days every few months to help the team bond, whether through an educational channel or a leisurely one. Every new skill an individual in your company learns is going to reflect on their performance, in addition to their contribution to the overall business plan.
7. Choose Quality Over Quantity
Since your sales team will be working on the leads you provide them with, you must avoid filling in spots unnecessarily to keep them busy. There is nothing more hurtful to conversion ratios and the overall morale of your team than inefficient leads. The method you use to vet the prospects that your sales team works on is up to you, according to the business needs and industry. Try to reduce the number of steps your team has to take to be able to convert a prospect. This is very important in small businesses, where the budget doesn’t allow wasting manpower and resources on unnecessary chases of improbable prospects. Once you implement such a strategy, you’ll notice that the number of leads has significantly decreased, but on the other hand, you’ll notice a drastic increase in the conversion ratio of your sales team.
8. Focus on Communication
There is no such thing as a successful sales team without proper communication. The ability to share information across the whole team can be a deal-breaker when it comes to the conversion of prospects. The sales team is known to have one of the most hectic schedules inside a firm, which means that they need to have lightning-fast methods of communication and proper coordination. Phone calls, text messages, emails, voice notes, conference calls, and others are all important methods of communication that should be strategically used according to the situation and its urgency. As a business owner or a manager, you can use these forms of communication to stay close to your team, even when you’re not physically at the location. This is extra important when you’re trying to monitor and guide newly hired sales reps. So, use tools of communication to over-communicate with your team, giving you a real feel of the pulse of your team.
The effect of the mentioned methods on your sales productivity is not guaranteed if you don’t do enough research. The best effect is often the by-product of a mix of these methods, which means that you’ll have to analyze your sales process to be able to properly determine the areas where it needs improvement the most before implementing any of the strategies. The effect of sales productivity is going to be quite noticeable if you do it right, whether it’s about efficiency, effectiveness, or both.