Sales productivity means improving your bottom line without increasing expenses or workload; understand how to put this into practice in your company
Did you know that it is possible to increase your sales by around 30% without having to considerably increase your investments? It’s not an exaggeration! The key to this is to improve your sales productivity.
Want to know how? In this article, you will learn:
- What is sales productivity
- What Influences Sales Productivity
- Factors that affect the productivity of the sales team
- What are the best tools for salespeople to gain productivity
- Simple tips to put into practice now
What is sales productivity?
Having productivity in sales means optimizing the application of the same resources, with few specific investments, and thus generating more results in sales.
Simple, isn’t it? However, many companies have an erroneous idea of what sales productivity is, associating it only with the final results, without caring what had to be done to achieve them.
For example, if your business sells twice as much, does that mean your productivity has increased?
If your answer was “yes”, perhaps your view on productivity is incomplete. That’s because, to increase sales by that proportion, you may have had to pay overtime to your team, increase your marketing investments, hire more salespeople, or make any other significant investment. Therefore, the results increased, but there was no change in sales productivity.
If you’ve spent about 50% more than normal, it’s expected that your sales will also increase by that proportion.
What influences sales productivity?
Now that you know what sales productivity is and isn’t, let’s look at what can influence sales productivity.
In the commercial area, what makes the game win or lose is selling. But those responsible for this are not just the sellers. Several factors influence the final results. Examples are:
- The quality of Leads that reach sales;
- The activities sellers need to perform;
- Time prioritization and organization issues;
- Lack of insight into metrics and results;
- Inefficient management;
- Little training and qualifications for daily challenges.
If your salespeople spend a third of their time resolving after-sales or support issues, they may be wasting energy on unproductive activities. Likewise, if the company has problems in other areas, this will also reflect on the sales result.
When marketing actions, for example, are not attracting qualified Leads, sellers will waste part of their time trying to sell to people who are not yet ready.
The company loses twice: its salespeople stop selling to Hotter Leads and the marketing team will have to re-nurturing that contact — if the company doesn’t lose it altogether, for having approached it ahead of time.
4 factors that hamper sales productivity
There are still some factors that can affect sales productivity. They were compiled by the CEO of Sales DNA , Lucia Haracemiv, who created a methodology based on four pillars that are crucial for productivity in sales.
These are the 4 factors pointed out by the specialist:
- Law Suit;
Let’s see more about each of them!
Answer these questions: What is the average sales of your best sellers? And what is the average volume of other sellers? Are these values very different?
Your company could sell a lot more if everyone performed the same as the best.
When the distortion of performance among the sellers is very wide, the commercial management is responsible. Therefore, it is very important that the commercial manager assumes the role of leader in the training and sales training of his team. This process must start even before the recruitment and selection process.
The company needs to know what sales skills it needs and, with that, direct who will hire. Competencies are related to three factors: knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Knowledge involves sales techniques, knowledge of the market in which it operates and technical knowledge about products and services.
Skills, on the other hand, are related to practical activities, that is, the seller’s ability to apply their knowledge to sell.
And attitudes are related to behavioral aspects of salespeople. Successful sellers generally have the following characteristics in common:
By aligning these three factors, the salesperson’s productivity will increase and he will be competent to perform his role.
The company needs to know what skills it needs for the position, even to assess whether the chosen candidate is meeting the requirements in the first months of ramping and onboarding.
Does your company have a sales process?
Although this routine is essential for any company that wants to develop, unfortunately, most businesses do not have a clear and objective sales process that is able to guide their salespeople in their activities.
Sellers have to sell, not pick up broken pieces in the company. The responsibility for providing this rests with managers and directors. If your company does not have a clear sales process, each salesperson will carry out activities according to what they think best.
With that, you lose track of productivity. It is not possible to say for sure whether the company’s routines work or not, because each person works in their own way.
Sales methods serve precisely to facilitate the company’s activities, indicating a path to be followed, which will lead more easily to the objective.
The main advantages are:
- Operational error reduction;
- Time optimization of activities;
- Improved performance;
- Greater control over the end-to-end business process.
To make your process clear, it’s also important to build your sales funnel.
The sales funnel is the process your Lead goes through until you finalize (or not) the sale. In each company, this funnel can vary, depending on the specifics of the business.
For this construction, you need to define the purchase journey of your Leads within the company.
As you noticed, it is very important to have competent people in the composition of your sales team. In addition, you need to establish well-structured sales processes. But how to manage all this?
Perhaps it is not surprising that management is one of the 4 pillars of sales productivity. To be a good sales leader it is necessary, first of all, to know how to analyze results and build strategies.
And, for that, the sales manager establishes KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that correspond to the goals outlined by the company. It also works with sales scoreboards and defines objective sales methods.
But what we often see are lost managers who don’t even work together on their team. And this is not good!
Managers are only able to draw efficient strategies when they are close to their salespeople, as they know exactly where the operation’s failures occur and are able to make timely changes to the strategy.
The manager’s role is one of action. So that he doesn’t waste all his time and energy analyzing only reports and spreadsheets, he needs to have good management tools.
Technology has become a pillar of any activity that wants to be efficient!
But we’re not talking about basic features like cell phones, computers, WhatsApp, email or Excel spreadsheets.
The technologies that represent the essence of productivity in sales are those that were created specifically for this, making these professionals’ lives easier and more practical.
But this is an extensive subject, which deserves a topic dedicated to it. That’s what Blue World City will talk about next!
What are the best tools to increase sales productivity?
There are a number of tools that the salesperson can rely on to gain productivity on a daily basis. Check out which are the best:
Sellers should not waste time on side issues that can be resolved by an automated system. For this matter, the most suitable is the use of a sales CRM.
A CRM is a platform that automates the company’s sales process, making the sales funnel accessible and clear to users. It allows salespeople to better organize their tasks and the manager to have more control over their team and sales results.
Another advantage is being able to give Leads a more personalized and effective service, better guiding them through their purchase journey.
One example is RD Station CRM, which allows you to control the sales process, track salespeople’s performance and record sales activities.
Marketing Automation Tool
The sales funnel actually starts with marketing. Therefore, using a tool that allows you to automate marketing actions, such as capturing and qualifying Leads, also impacts sales productivity.
Marketing automation software such as RD Station Marketing also saves team time in activities such as:
- Email Marketing Trigger
- Landing Pages Creation
- Metrics tracking
Business Intelligence (BI) Tool
A Business Intelligence tool, or BI, helps to look at the results of the company’s actions and monitor them, guiding management in decision making.
Software like MIcrosoft’s Power BI allows you to create updated dashboards in real-time to look at sales metrics, quickly understanding if an action was right.
Cloud file storage tools
Using cloud storage is more advantageous because it allows you to access documents from anywhere, as well as being more secure, as documents are saved externally in case the seller’s computer is damaged.
That’s why it’s recommended that the sales team store contracts, business proposals, manuals and presentations in a cloud file storage tool such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
video conferencing tools
If even before the pandemic, video or audio meetings were already part of daily sales, with remote work being adopted by most companies, this was even more present.
Now, more than ever, it is necessary to have good audio and video conferencing tools, optimizing the sellers’ time. It is important to choose options that allow the recording of calls if the seller needs to record the conversation.
Another interesting feature is the possibility of integrating the tool with other software that the team already uses, such as the sellers’ agenda.
Some good options are Google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype.
Contract Digital Signature Tool
With sales closed more and more remotely, another tool that helps to gain productivity is the digital signing of contracts. This type of software eliminates the need to print documents and mail them for signature. It is also safer as physical documents are subject to loss and damage.
Some options can be integrated into the CRM you use, making it even easier to close the deal. One example is DocSales.
5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Sales Productivity
Below are some practical and quick tips to help you in the process of structuring routines and optimizing sales productivity.
1. Organize the schedule
We know that for a sales professional this is one of the hardest parts to be done, as daily life is full of surprises and unpredictable tasks.
But if you don’t try to organize your schedule, you will always be hostage to the unexpected. Have a to-do list and separate schedules to prepare for client meetings and presentations.
At the beginning of the week, establish an agenda of activities that must be completed, with the appropriate deadlines and information.
2. Control your emails
Define the times in your day that will be destined to look at the email and reply to it. Otherwise, you will lose focus all the time!
A tip is to establish fixed times for this, in the early morning, early afternoon and late in the day.
And it’s important that the people you work with know this, so they get used to the schedules too. So you only need to get out of the routine when it’s for something really urgent.
This is also true for other means of communication, such as WhatsApp!
3. Set priorities
Yes, prioritizing is very important!
This is true for tasks and even for the Leads approach order. Prioritize those that have the greatest closing potential, highest average ticket or another urgency factor.
4. Have challenging but applicable goals
If they weren’t challenging they wouldn’t be goals. But neither should they exist if they are unreachable.
Unfortunately, many companies set impossible goals to be achieved. But this, instead of encouraging sellers, discourages them. If the goal doesn’t have a plausible basis, there’s no reason to waste time trying to reach it.
5. Use a good CRM
As stated in the part where we talk about tools, the use of a good sales CRM is an increasingly essential measure in companies, as it helps to manage the sales routine and facilitates the management of these activities, improving the team’s performance and results. Not to mention the benefits generated to customers, who are delighted and are more easily loyal.
Did you like these sales productivity tips? Do you want to start now? Then take the opportunity to get to know RD Station CRM, the sales solution from Resultados Digitais. With it, you gain control over the business process and a complete view of every step of your funnel!