As a sales leader, you want your sales teams to not only thrive, but strive for success. One of the best ways to get more results from your existing sales teams is to increase their productivity. So, how can you gauge how yours is doing? It’s all about measuring how your sales teams balance effectiveness and efficiency – individually and as a whole. And if productivity isn’t up to par, today we’ve got some strategies to meet and hopefully exceed expectations.
Why Measuring Sales Team Productivity Matters
For highly-skilled professionals like your sales reps, productivity is about measuring how efficiently they are able to use the time in their work day.
After all, in sales and many other professions, time is money. Therefore, if your sales teams are able to use their time on the most valuable activities, you can get greater sales results without having to add many new hires.
And you can’t know how productive your team is without accurate measuring.
The measure of your sales productivity has two components: the effectiveness of each step in your sales cycle, and the efficiency as well. This can be a challenging but worthwhile balance to strike.
If your sales process is very effective, meaning it converts prospects to customers at a high rate, but your reps are spending hours on every email contact, you’re not going to get a lot of overall productivity.
On the other hand, if your reps are so efficient that they can email prospects often but those quick emails have a very low conversion rate, that’s not productive either. Enhancing sales productivity in your teams is about finding the right balance between effectiveness and efficiency that works for your industry and your business.
Factors Affecting Sales Team Productivity
You know productivity is important for the success of your sales organization. But what factors go into sales team productivity?
Here are two ideas to examine.
Time Spent on Admin
Your sales teams are most useful when they are able to spend their time on what they do best – closing deals. Most sales reps can’t spend 100% of their time on making sales. Every professional spends a bit of time on administrative tasks.
But if your sales reps are spending too many hours every week on low-value data entry or tasks like managing expenses, submitting receipts, and updating the CRM, your bottom line will suffer.
Consistent Sales Process
If your sales team is using a different approach for each prospect – starting totally from scratch to create proposals or draft emails – you might be wasting a lot of valuable time.
We believe a consistent sales process is not only a benefit for your teams but a necessity. It drives efficiency by taking reps through each phase of the sales cycle, a process as unique as your company. (This is where a sales playbook can reap huge rewards in efficiency).
How to Increase Sales Team Productivity
Increasing your sales productivity can yield big results for your business’s bottom line without adding a single new employee. And luckily, it’s not so difficult!
There are three key components that go into increasing your sales team’s productivity.
1. The Right Tools
Any time spent on admin tasks that can be eliminated with the right technology should be. And this holds true even if getting the right software, sales tools, or features added in your CRM cost you a few more dollars. It’s a solid investment in your sales team. If a minimal monthly budget increase means your sales team can spend hours more each week actually selling, it will pay for itself sooner than later.
And once you have the right tools in place, don’t underestimate the importance of sales training to increase productivity additionally. With a careful training plan in place for new hires, you can get results from the newest members of your team soon after they come on board.
2. Finding the Bottlenecks
Are you tracking your conversion rates over time and comparing them to both your competitors’ and your historical average?
This is a start, but it’s not enough to actually increase your productivity. It’s important to compare the numbers between sales teams – are your teams all performing at the same level, or is one team rising ahead or falling far behind?
Looking at this data will help you to find the source of any efficiency and effectiveness issues. If your teams are all performing around the same level but your productivity isn’t where it should be, there’s a sales-wide issue.
Take a close look at your complete sales cycle and estimate how long each step should take. Now see if there’s a hold-up at any stage – are your reps waiting days for a response from one critical department, or having to send “snail” mail to get signatures, or another time-consuming snag? Eliminating those bottlenecks can increase efficiency.
If one team has much higher or lower numbers than the rest, you are probably seeing a difference in sales effectiveness. You can do a deep dive and extrapolate where the difference lies – a tweak in the sales process, a more or less sophisticated use of automation for administrative tasks, or another change from the norm.
Is there variance in sales rep activities, or in the sales process itself? This can provide possible ways to increase conversion rates and sales. Finding the secret to your high-performing sales team, or discovering how to fix an under-performing one, can make the path to productivity clear.
3. Great Sales Leaders
Great sales teams start with great sales leaders. Without a sales leader who can set the vision for your teams, your sales reps will lack direction and focus.
If your organization is lacking effective sales leadership, there’s a solution. Sales leader coaching is a powerful solution to an all-too-common problem in sales organizations. Improve your sales leadership and sales records will follow.
The Bottom Line on Productivity and Sales Teams
A sales team that strikes the right balance between effectiveness and efficiency, without being hindered by unnecessary tasks or a lack of tools and training, will be a productive one. And sales productivity will boost your bottom line and help your business succeed.
We Can Help
360 Consulting provides the tools you need to increase productivity, from sales leader coaching to sales process improvements.
We work well with companies in all industries ranging from small to mid-size enterprises that have large sales teams and multiple managers. And finally, we understand that every sales team has unique challenges and needs a custom solution to address them.
To expedite meeting and exceeding your sales goals, it might be time to call in reinforcements. Call us today to find out how we help sales teams break sales records.