Unless you are working in a non-profit organization, revenue from sales and the treasured bottom line. While every department in an organization does its own part to contribute to providing the company with improved results every year.
What is sales team productivity?
A productive team is a team that provides the best output using as few resources. And in the case of your sales team, your output is made up of closed deals and revenue. While your resources are your time and company costs. There are three main ways to measure team productivity:
- Sales efficiency gauges how a salesperson uses their time on their different tasks as sales professional. From administrative tasks to sales calls and sales proposal development.
- Sales effectiveness, which measures how a salesperson drives revenue or closes deals with clients
- Sales production is the actual value of business or revenue the salesperson brings to the company.
7 Initiatives Sales Leaders Can Implement to Improve Sales Team Productivity
1. Prioritize coaching and training
Continuous improvement is key in keeping up with the ever-changing sales trends. Each of your sales representatives must be able to keep up with the times and must make the effort to study market trends and customer insights. Learning can be done individually or through seminars and training initiated by the company. Additionally, sales representatives must learn from past deals—both closed deals and those that fell through. Encourage them to take notes on what went well, what went wrong, what can be improved on, and client feedback. Aside from training and learning, sales leaders should also prioritize coaching and mentoring so new members are provided with insights from their more experienced leaders.
2. Set goals or key performance indicators (KPIs)
You must set productivity routines and regularly align expectations with your team to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Setting goals will also help you measure each salesperson’s performance during your regular performance reviews.
- Average time for customer relationship management efforts
- The number of calls made and proposals made
- Rate of the proposal to deals closed or win rate
- Actual sales or the value of actual deals closed
The above goals are just some of the key performance indicators, but the goals depend on your company’s structure and products or services.
3. Encourage the team to use their paid time off (PTO)
Prioritize the individual’s health over the numbers. This may seem counter-productive, especially when the sales team is largely expected to bring in the numbers or revenue. But when employees feel their best mentally and physically, they can perform better. It’s important to show that, though closing deals is important, the company’s best assets, its people, are more valued by the company. Taking paid time off will help your team members feel more well-rested, not burnt out, and maybe even take fewer sick days. If you’re worried about tracking who’s on leave and who’s in the field, you can rely on user-friendly software for stress-free leave management.
4. Improve team and inter-departmental collaboration
Companies that are truly inclusive and collaborative are poised to see great results. Every department in an organization must do their work efficiently and effectively for the company to succeed. And the sales team can even expect even better results when inter-departmental collaboration is encouraged and implemented. You as a sales leader should be an advocate and encourage collaboration with the working teams. Maintaining good working relationships and open inter-departmental communication can help sales teams better equip themselves with the right tools and information that they need when they go out into the field.
Break down silos between the teams in your organization to work together for better and bigger results. With more diverse working teams, you get insights from different perspectives. You can include insights from your marketing team’s competitive reports and other relevant data as part of your team’s arsenal. For example, you can include what sets your product or service apart from the competitors in your sales proposals. While information or feedback from your product development partners can greatly help with your sales spiels when doing product demonstrations, An additional benefit of working closely with cross-functional teams is that sales teams are better informed on important issues like product roll-outs, stockouts, inventory issues, and much more. The sales team can better develop their sales strategies depending on updates like these.
While the sharing of valuable information can help the sales team with their pitches, feedback also helps when it’s from the other way around. Inputs from sales representatives or client comments can also help support teams improve internal processes and products or services as well.
5. Make well-informed strategies with data
Make sure to equip your team with valuable insight from data or analytics. These reports give your team more well-informed ways to develop your sales strategy. Do you invest more time and effort in targeting areas or accounts with high potential and deals that bring in large revenues? Or do you focus on closing low-deal size accounts quickly but in huge numbers?
While managing huge amounts of information may seem overwhelming, adding quantifiable information plus good sales sense will help yield better results. To gain access to actionable data from your tech stack, you can work with your IT or data management partners to either receive proper training on how to navigate Power BI tools or request reports that your team will need on a regular basis to plan out your sales strategy.
6. Embrace technology
Help your team be more efficient by adapting tools that will help automate low-impact tasks. This way, your team can take some of the daily routine tasks off of their plate and focus on their core tasks. You can automate tasks like the below:
- Meeting invitations
- Calendar management
- Auto-replies with clear desired calls-to-action
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- LinkedIn Inmail invites and messages
- Administrative tasks like filing reimbursements
Aside from automation of tasks, you can also provide sales tools that make the task of actually selling much easier, such as:
- Customizable sales proposals: There is no one-size-fits-all approach for all clients. But creating a basic framework for sales proposals may help your sales team increase efficiency. Doing so can also mean your sales team spends less time being preoccupied with layouts, formulas, and basic formattings like headers, indentations, and spacing requirements.
- Spiels for sales calls: While the most seasoned salespeople prefer to do voice calls off the cuff, it may also help to create sales spiels or even basic outlines to make sure that no relevant information about your company or product gets left behind.
- Email templates: You can standardize emails based on your client’s industry, where they are in their customer journey or your desired output. This can save your team time composing emails to help them focus on their core functions.
In addition to data and automation, your team can increase productivity by making use of project management tools. These days, there are readily available and even free applications that your team can use to make sure everyone is on the same page and that you are on track to achieve your sales goals. You can monitor performance using email project management or work with your IT team or an external service provider to successfully track activity and measure sales targets.
7. Maintain open communication lines
Establish an open line of communication between you, as a leader, and your sales team not only to ensure that everyone is on the same page with business objectives but also to demonstrate that management values an open and collaborative working relationship. Open communication lines encourage teams to provide timely updates, maintain a feedback loop, and celebrate both small and large victories. Strong teams value openness and communication to not only provide the best results for the company but also develop a great working relationship among the teams.
These seven initiatives can help make your sales team stronger and more productive. Over time, you’ll be able to position your whole team as a valuable asset that contributes to tangible financial results for your company.