Improving sales productivity and performance is the biggest challenge for sales leaders to crack. Sales reps are spending too much time on manual tasks causing a hindrance to sales productivity. As per statistics, the average time spent on selling the product by an outside sales rep is hardly 22% of their active selling time. The challenge of increasing sales productivity is getting higher than ever, with additional tasks and interruptions getting in the way of selling.
Numerous strategies could be used to increase sales productivity; let’s find a course of action to overcome these stumbling blocks. Go through the content to better understand how you can enhance sales performance and quickly solve sales productivity issues.
Sales productivity refers to maximizing sales volumes and cutting down the associated resources. These resources may include human power, capital, and time. With an increase in sales productivity, company revenue is also enhanced. It is all about being an intelligent worker, not hard. And ensuring that your sales team has everything they need to be efficient is key to increasing sales productivity.
What is Sales Productivity?
Sales productivity can be termed as maximizing sales results using the least resources. It can be measured by evaluating how effectively a sales team person achieves a sales target with nominal resources. It can also be put into the formula–
Sales Productivity = effectiveness X efficiency.
It can be measured by the rate at which a salesperson generates revenue for the company. A team’s productivity can be evaluated by looking at the relationship between inputs (e.g., time and money invested) and outputs (e.g., total sales or leads generated).
What Causes Sales Inefficiency?
Numerous obstacles prevent field sales professionals from operating at their best efficiency. The challenge is how to lead the team members and structure their performance to the optimal level of productivity. There are a few pointers to understanding some essential features that hinder attaining target-oriented sales.
Channel of Communication
The most significant cause of inefficient sales is the lack of communication from top-level scaling to the ground level. A lack of communication between sales, marketing, and operation teams would lead to poorly established ICP (ideal customer profiles). To overcome such situations, healthy communication is a critical factor.
A field sales person is pressured with higher targets/goals, sometimes unrealistic and unattainable. This practice leads to excessive sales performance pressure resulting in zero results. Sometimes the leads are generated but not achieved. It is caused due to poor route planning and scheduling.
Inconsistent and Unrealistic Sales Target
An unrealistic sales target is something that cannot be accomplished by even the best member of the sales team in the given amount of time. It is unnecessary pressure on the team, including goals significantly higher than the business should expect to achieve. On top of it, inconsistency and constant changes can further lead to distraction and demotivation for the team.
A company should have firm sales strategies and processes to mark its presence in the market. Unfortunately, unproductive strategies lead to inefficient sales. Adopting new sales tools and technology is the real need of the hour, and prioritizing sales activity has to be designed strategically.
Key Pillars of Sales Productivity
The sales team has to face many challenges to prove their efficiency and productivity. To overcome those, here we present a few key pillars that function as the vital building blocks to boost sales productivity.
Consistency & Uniformity
Consistency comprises of firm organizational sales structure, which is inevitably essential. A unique sales process has to be designed to enhance its functionality, though each salesperson can be deployed with different tasks.
Planning a sales representative’s day and considering their schedule and structure go a long way. Share your experience and successful strategies with the entire team.
Attaining your goal is not easy, and numerous distractions along the way keep you pulling away from your goals. The reason lies in the short attention span of today’s generation. These distractions should be eliminated, and daily tasks should be time oriented and must have specific completion guidelines.
With so much drastic change in the production industry, innovation keeps you over the edge and a step ahead of all. Whenever asked by a salesman about the sales graph, the answer you receive is “things are really good” or “things are going well.”
Salesman’s productivity depends solely on their willingness to innovate and present something new to their consumers.
Pressure Free Environment
The sales landscape is highly competitive in nature. This competition makes sales reps and their managers feel additional pressure to perform. All this is done to attain their monthly quotas. At times the best sales personnel are unlikely to have an off-month.
Salespeople taking the first step to perform at a higher rate is an appreciable takeaway, but if pressurized, it can negatively impact productivity levels.
Also, re-evaluate your sales quotas to ensure they’re challenging yet attainable. Quotas that salespersons consider impossible to reach are likely to stop your staff from trying. This is caused by the fear of failing despite how hard they try.
Strategies to Increase Sales Productivity
Here we present to you important strategies to be incorporated:
Identify Your Goals
Your approach should always be goal oriented. Setting goals is the simplest and easiest method to increase sales productivity since they serve as motivation. Salespeople should be given attainable targets to ensure their benefits. Providing hand-holding and identifying their hidden skills have to be ensured.
This approach gives salespeople a sense of direction. It also gives a plan of action to attain their target. The company’s goal should be focused on training their onboard and new reps. Information should be tailored in an ideal way that it can be remembered easily.
Track And Measure Sales Activities
In order to improve sales productivity, you have to know your current position and where you stand. Dashboards fulfill this purpose and help visualize trends to gain treasured insights into each salesperson’s activity-based metrics.
Five metrics for field sales managers show you where your team spends most of its time. The key to gauging activity-based metrics is consistency, and you have to set a benchmark for your team to measure your productivity gains.
Sales productivity is largely based on conversion rates. On the other hand, the conversion rate can be calculated as the percentage of potential customers who complete a specific task, for e.g.- making a purchase.
Communicate and Motivate Your Team
The most important skill for outside sales managers is communication. Sales schedules are tougher than they are for inside sales teams, and this leads to additional interactions over the phone or through text messages.
To enhance sales productivity, the managers must check in with each sales team member to get a pulse on how they are feeling and performing. Increased interactions with new joiners will reap better results while they feel motivated. Taking feedback from team members on a one-to-one basis is the perfect opportunity to clear one’s doubts or struggles in a particular task. Face-to-face settings should also be planned to provide a more personalized experience. Always be sure to motivate salespeople and ask what you can do to help them.
Establish Routines and Schedules
Field sales reps have busy schedules compared to their inside sales colleagues. You have to get things done through a flexible and creative approach
Improving sales productivity needs salespeople to organize their daily schedules. Prioritizing things can do wonders in this field. Their ultimate objective should be focused on higher sales productivity. Placing significant and long-term clients at the top of your list ensure they are receiving finest service.
Focusing on new leads should be arranged after your current clients because it is right to nurture your existing relationships for long-term growth.
You must keep experimenting with your methods until you find something best suited for you. Placing all your commitments on your calendar can be very helpful as it gives an insight into your cold calls and scheduled demos which helps in effectively utilizing your time and energy.
Sales personnel can use voice, artificial, and messaging solutions to enhance overall sales productivity and solve common productivity issues.
Considering that your team is doing wonderful by blowing your sales goals, still there is chance for increasing revenue, maximizing profitability, and boosting sales productivity. Remember that happy and engaged team members are always more productive and efficient. They ensure higher sales and benefits.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Can We Improve Sales For Productivity?
Sales for productivity can be improved by considering the following –
- Aligning sales and marketing on similar goals
- Practicing online sale coaching and training
- Centralizing access to sales content
What Are Four All-Purpose Ways To Increase Sales?
There are four methods to increase sales –
- Increase the number of customers
- Grow your average transaction size
- Increase your product price
- Elevate your frequency of transactions per customer
How Do You Stay Productive In Sales?
A quick pointer to help you stay productive in sales –
- Proper research would provide better output
- Learn about your competitors and provide better deal
- Smartly manage your emails
- Manage your time wisely
What Is The Fastest Way To Increase Sales?
The quickest way to improve sales productivity is by providing adequate sales training and development programs, which help build the company’s resources.
Why Is Sales Productivity Important?
The success of a business lies in its effective and efficient sales. Enhancing your sales productivity can effectively boost your sales and improve profits.
What Is Good Sales Productivity?
It is the connection between a salesperson’s efficiency and effectiveness. If you maximize your sales by reducing inputs such as cost, time, and effort, you can attain efficient sales productivity.