Salesforce reported that an average company spends US$24,000 per person to improve productivity. Today, practically all companies are struggling with sales productivity. The problem has aggravated by the rising pressure to meet or exceed growing revenue targets. Organizations are growing their sales teams and pursuing more aggressive sales goals, but they aren’t scaling their processes and best practices for efficient selling.
A sales expert will tell you, this problem is not new but that doesn’t mean your business has to continue this way! As a sales person your priority is how resourcefully you improve the sales efficiency to maximize sales results.
Time management is most critical for enterprise sales teams where especially sales cycles are long tails and hence it’s important that they remain cautious about ROI while progressing from lead qualifying to closure.
Studies suggest that 31% of sales reps' time is spent on sourcing, identifying and updating their accounts and contacts, and 27% on reporting, administrative, and CRM-related tasks. Only one-third of their day is actually spent selling.
To improve sales efficiency is to ensure that sales people focus their efforts on activities that actually drive sales— qualify right prospects, nurture the right opportunities and build some long term relationships for more engagements. Well having said that, the real problem is how do you know which leads to pursue? And, how to pursue them more efficiently?
To make your sales team more productive following are 5 strategies that help your sales team overcome productivity challenges.
- Define your sales process: As a first step to optimize your sales process you need to define what it is. In very general terms, you have created a map of your sales process and identify the most crucial stages of sales like – Consulting -Prospecting – Qualifying – Objection Handling – Engaging – Closing – Nurturing. Breakdown each stage in a set of standardized process. Eg: Prospecting Stage – Research on LinkedIn – Identify key decision maker – Connect with the target contact – Align to his requirements – Update CRM. This together is one step but drilling it down helps to teach those techniques and how efficiently they can prospect.
- Categorize your ideal customer: Based on your current customers, build a profile of prospects that matches the characteristics of your ideal buyer at both account and contacts level. Do these companies also tend to buy products like yours and why? What are the job functions, skill sets, and expertise they have in common? Are you selling to the top down approach or bottom-up approach? This process will streamline your target audiences and will make sure you always target the right accounts and contacts.
- Accurate and intelligent data: To improve productivity and increase personalized engagement across various channels within an account, B2B selling has to leverage good quality data with insightful information. A good data helps to engage better, reduce your outreach efforts, identify the right decision makers and push right messaging as per the requirements. This helps to improve your efficiency with boost time management and shorten the sales cycle.
- Marketing as Enabler: Align your Sales and marketing teams and see a significant increase in sales productivity. Working together will enhance the quality and qualification of leads like marketing can help identifying the ideal prospects, more insights and intelligence, right messaging and engagement content. Increased collaboration and communications increases efficiency and help sales strategies.
- Automation: Mostly sales executives spend their time on research and redundant activities that doesn’t add value to leads to progress to advance levels and it eventually impacts their ability to focus. That makes them hardly efficient from ROI standpoint. The practical way is to do this via automation wherein you build real-time process and empower sales team with tools that will help them do their jobs effectively.