Marketing automation has the world singing its praises, and rightfully so. Several companies across the world have sought out marketing automation consulting services to keep up in the race of setting higher targets and meeting greater goals, sales productivity being one of them.
What is Sales Productivity?
Everyone wants to be productive but no one knows how. Sales productivity is akin to the goose that lays the golden egg – simply put, it’s highly rewarding. While productivity means a higher rate of output per unit of input (that is, resources like time, cost, and effort.
Simply put, it is the closing of more deals with respect to the hours put in by your sales force; maximizing sales results while minimizing resources spent.
Don’t mistake your sales team’s lag for laziness. Employees in sales usually aren’t able to meet quotas and end up spending time on non-sales-related tasks due to a poor workflow.
It is believed, only 20% of your sales team consists of star-performers who meet or exceed their quotas. However, 60-80% of your sales team has room for improvement.
So, where does all their time go?
Hubspot* tells us how salespeople spend their day:
- Only 1/3rd of their day is dedicated to talking to prospects
- 21% of their time, they’re writing emails
- 17% of it is reserved for entering data
- Another 17% goes to prospecting & researching leads
- 12% is set aside for internal meetings
- The other 12% is spent on scheduling calls
Basically, salespeople spend more time managing sales, not making sales.
The opportunity for increased productivity lies in streamlining the workflow. Salespeople don’t lack motivation or enthusiasm. They’re just bogged down by superfluous tasks that can easily be eliminated.
What is inherently wrong with the workflow?
- Poor planning and scheduling
- Confusing top-to-bottom communication
- Pressure to achieve targets
- Lack of cohesion and cooperation between teams
And so much more.
Here’s where better sales productivity comes as a savior. Usually, marketing automation consulting services providers can help you deal better with problems.
Hubspot says, over 40% of salespeople believe that sales productivity is the ‘most challenging part of the sales process’. Yet, if processes are in line with the organizational goals, the benefits are immense.
Before we deep-dive into discussing how you can improve sales productivity, let us tell you that increased sales productivity helps:
- Close more deals since you’ve spent time on useful activities like careful prospecting, making more cold calls, and following up on the best leads
- Enjoy a higher conversion rate since your targeting is focussed, and you’re prepared
- Improve the bottom line, eventually leading to the flourishing of your business in every aspect
With that done, we arrive at the crux of the matter: Strategies to Speed Up Sales Productivity
We’ve listed 5 out of the many:
- Automate repetitive tasks
Technology is crucial. It fuels new sales strategies and enables productivity across the organization. Sales tools allow reps to access critical templates, scripts, data, and content at their fingertips. The sales stack tells reps whom and when to call. It also tells you what kind of content can improve sales execution, sales excellence, and sales automation.
Sales Management Association points out – companies that don’t utilize sales technologies have experienced a 12%* decrease in their sales goal achievement rate.
The ideal way to create time for your sales team is to automate basic administrative tasks – those mundane activities that consume / time and effort that could be spent on calls.
Marketing automation consulting services enable you to automate lead distribution and prioritization. You can automate report generation and record creation, too. Marketing automation tools also let you schedule phone calls and meetings to avoid back-and-forth and escape the ensuing chaos.
- Simplify the workflow
There’s only so much technology can do. We’ve said it before, we say it again – simplify the workflow!
Nearly 50% of salespeople say they spend up to 20 hours a week on manual processes like creating reports and other tasks vital to closing deals. In fact, some salespeople spend half of their time just reporting actual selling time.
Sales organizations hold salespeople accountable for their time while making them prisoners to process. The idea is to eliminate as much manual management as possible. Remember, automation and technology tools can help salespeople to an extent, remaining productivity lies in well-structured processes.
- Integrate social media sensibly
Hubspot’s social selling statistics* say:
– 65% of salespeople who use social selling are able to fill their pipeline
– 4 in 10 reps have recently closed two to five deals directly due to social media
However, restraint is crucial.
- Practice social listening: Identify the companies, industries, individuals, and topics you want to follow. Social sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, offer simple settings. Use listening apps and set up alerts you don’t need to resort to random scrolling.
- Be careful when pursuing a prospect. Be equally careful while working with social media. Don’t waste selling time by following up with social contacts who engage but don’t act
- Train the team throughout
It’s believed that 87% of training content and information is forgotten within weeks of training. In a dynamic and constantly evolving sales environment, it is imperative to remain up-to-date.
Having effective sales training sets your team up for success. Start with proper onboarding. Selecting an ideal new employee reduces training time from the word goes.
Having experienced reps mentor new ones will aid in training, and benefit the entire sales process.
- Align sales and marketing
It may sound counterintuitive but aligning the sales and marketing goals is crucial. Companies lose out on qualified leads (and ultimately, revenue) when these two teams are on the outs.
Making them work together is a win-win situation. Salespeople feel more involved in lead generation, and marketers see leads turn to sales. It’s a great boost for employee morale.
Create regular touchpoints between your sales and marketing teams; encourage coordination and cooperation. Again, marketing automation consulting services come in handy.
All things said and done, efforts will come to naught if you don’t keep your employees motivated – and the best way to do so is to recognize and appreciate a job well executed.
Here’s to a productive and successful future!