Time is a fleeting asset. Even the best reps have a limited window to perform at their peak, and there’s usually a corresponding window when your clients are ready to take those calls. So anything that lets reps do more deserves your attention.
When a 10% increase in investment in productivity can put an extra $2,400 per employee, per year, on the bottom line, shouldn’t you be looking for an edge?
Maybe that’s why the ‘productivity industry’ is booming.
However, there's a huge difference between feeling productive and actually getting things done.
In the sales profession, confusing one with the other could translate into a rep botching a six-figure account or missing a meeting with a VIP client. When this happens, no one wins.
So, invest in resources that will increase your sales team’s productivity and beat the competition.
The Competitive Nature of Productivity
Every industry is seeking ways to gain a strategic advantage.
Most companies focus too much on addressing productivity killers. Instead of promoting productive habits, they limit personal phone calls in the office. They’re looking for ways to force the systems they’re already using to work. But a positive approach and a willingness to see the benefits of wholly new methods bears more fruit.
Image Source: Infographic: The 10 biggest productivity killers at work by CareerBuilder
Be better than your competitors. Understand that the most productive employees have access to the right tools.
When it comes to productivity and driving sales, top-performing companies are investing in technology at a higher rate than their underperforming counterparts.
Rather than limiting calls, commit to finding a sales enablement platform for your team.
7 Productivity Hacks That Power Sales Reps To Greatness
Empower your sales team to sell smarter and faster. Here are seven productivity hacks that will close more deals.
1. Wow Prospects With Engaging Demos
It’s likely your prospect has seen multiple product demos. That’s why it’s so important to stand out from the competition.
Joshua Robitaille, sales and marketing manager at SurveyGizmo, suggests asking questions before the demo:
When prospects step in and start watching, they should be hearing stuff that’s relevant to them, directly - and they should see the software up, running and doing what it does, ideally inside the two-minute mark or less, says Joshua.
Which would sell you on airplanes - a tour of the Wright Brothers’ workshop, or actually seeing them take off? Until you get your prospects airborne they’re not going to be engaged enough to want to buy.
To deliver custom video demos, sign up for DemoChimp. This platform personalizes video and documents for each stakeholder. Then, your prospects can make a quick, confident purchase decision.
2. Create In-House Competition To Boost Individual Performance
Salesforce reported that “71% of surveyed companies saw an increase in measured sales performance between 11% and 50% after implementing gamification.”
Competition brings accountability. It’s a transparent method of tracking progress to ensure the team is moving in the right direction. And gamification holds each person accountable for his or her actions.
By hosting a contest, you can directly align sales goals with specific behaviors. Then, teams can identify their strengths and pinpoint areas of improvement.
Image Source: Ambition Score Editor by Jeremy Boudinet Ambition
To keep things interesting, use a Sales QBR Leaderboard. It complements the traditional revenue-based sales leaderboards by tracking sales productivity. So, sales reps receive recognition for process adherence and sales competency.
3. Create Drip Email Campaigns To Ensure Timely Follow-Up
Research reveals that 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up. But 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups!
Despite all the new communication tools popping up, email is still an effective way to reach people. But too many sales reps see email as a marketing tool, with the result that most sales teams don't send emails. At all.
Sales reps should stop thinking of drip email campaigns as ‘marketing stuff,’ and start using them to actively manage their pipeline.
Image Source: Basics of Drip Campaigns [Infographic] by Salesforce Pardot
Drip emails allow you to give the right contact the right information at the right time. Your team will spend less time pitching and more time nurturing leads.
Outreach offers the capability to automate tasks and send highly-tailored sales drips. You will also save time with their email templates and follow-up reminders.
4. Save Time By Researching In One Database
Prospect research is a best practice in sales. Learning about the client prepares reps to cater to their needs and rebut any possible concerns.
The challenge is conducting proper research within a reasonable time. Depending on the industry, some sales reps make 100+ calls per day.
Salespeople don’t have time to toggle between databases for information. So, what’s the solution? One system.
Datanyze helps you learn about prospects all in one place. Gain access to up-to-date company information, like revenue and social activity. See historical website data that includes Alexa traffic rank. If you already have a prospect list, just import it into Datanyze, and the data will be instantly populated.
5. Bite The Bullet
Grasp the nettle. Embrace the suck.
My personal favorite is courtesy of Hubspot’s Andrew Quinn: ‘Swallow the frog.’
Sounds disgusting, but if it’s got to be done, should you nibble it, leave it on your desk (staring at you all day) - or just gulp it down and get back to selling?
Whether you dislike logging activity or editing sales proposals, it must be done. There’s no app to escape those administrative tasks. Some parts of your day suck. They’re frogs.
‘Just do the thing you're uncomfortable with and get it over with. In fact, do it first if you can,’ advises Quinn.
Then you can forget about them and return to the rewarding part of your job, without wasting mental energy or time trying to forget that those tasks are waiting for you or inventing ways to avoid doing them.
6. Re-Engage With Your Personal Network For More Leads
Human connections are everything in business. Your friends, family, past supervisors, and old clients are all part of your personal network.
Studies report that ‘91% of customers say they’d give a referral, but only 11% of salespeople ask.’ Instead of mining databases for new prospects, train your sales team to seek out referrals.
Tell your team about Bond. It’s a simple app that reminds you to contact people. Select who, when, and how you want to connect. Then, you’ll receive a notification to keep you on track.
Image Source: Bond
7. Eliminate The Paperwork To Close More Deals
Question the purpose of every document. If it’s not useful, get rid of it!
If it is useful, ask: can we automate it?
There’s a reason sales reps make more than admin assistants. Every minute a sales rep spends filing, manually entering data, toggling between databases or doing any other non-sales task, they’re wasting their time and your money. So ditch every single piece of admin that you can.
For all the necessary forms, get your team hooked on TinderBox.
This CRM platform auto-generates sales contracts and enables electronic signatures for faster processing. You also can see who’s viewing and opening the sales materials.
Compete on Productivity
Take proactive steps to improve sales productivity. To crush your competition, invest in technology that will minimize distractions and produce better client conversations.
Improve selling efforts by saving time with prospect research or setting up drip email campaigns.
Optimize sales productivity. Explore Datanyze to reach the right prospects at the right time.
About the Author
Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter: @shaylapriceFollow on Twitter More Content by Shayla Price