Sales force productivity is one of the most important elements for a successful business. Whatever it’s about – products or services – sales are always involved. Skillfully done, they increase income for the company and serve as fuel for further development. Keeping track and improving them, you can plan better, apply new strategies, maximize revenue growth and boost the motivation of employees. The main question here is how to do it.
There is no answer that would be perfect for everybody at once. Also, of course, there are many tools that can be used. However, we’d like to concentrate only on the best practices you can start using right away. Most of them don’t require any special training or cash investments. Check these 10 tips and significantly improve sales productivity of your business today.
1. Prioritize Leads
The average business usually acquires many leads every day. All of them should be analyzed and developed, if possible. It means that your salesman productivity is based on how many leads they are able to process and develop. Sometimes there are too many to try working with all of them. In such cases, many specialists choose the order based on the time of the request. It makes sense; however, prioritizing leads is a better strategy and quite an easy method of increasing revenue by working more with those customers who can buy more.
Prioritizing leads can be performed by assigning different levels marked by different colors. For example, you can use numbers from 1 to 25 where 1-5 go to the leads with low priority, 6-12 – to those with moderate significance, 15-20 show quite important contacts, and 20-25 indicate crucial importance and necessity of immediate action. There are also many different tools for convenient marking in many CRMs, so technically it’s very easy. The sorting process only takes a little time, but the results are definitely worth it.
2. Automate Processes
The average sales team member spends only about 36% of time (or even less) on actual selling. According to Forbes, it happens because too much time is being spent on non profit-generating activities. What are they doing? Here are some examples:
- making phone calls
- replying to tons of email
- updating information in the CRM
- organizing meetings
- reacting to various distractions
Most modern people can relate to having troubles with these distractions. However, you simply cannot lose your sales team to them. One of the weapons here is automation of routine processes that is available with the help of special tools. For example, closer.bot offers an opportunity of simplified integration of Slack and Hubspot for more efficient deals management. By installing a special bot, you get to keep all the essentials in one space for more efficient activity logging and follow-up analysis.
3. Measure Results and Track Progress
Keeping track of all the metrics can also help to increase your sales. Most successful modern companies, especially B2B ones, are data-driven. Hundreds of quote requests come in daily, but only some of them turn out to be real clients in the end. Along the way, gigabytes of data can be gathered and analyzed. How potential clients turn into the actual ones? What makes them loyal? What helps to close the deal when it is only a 50% success?
In order to answer these questions and make the process more efficient, you need to carefully note all the transactions and see what factors might have added to the success. It helps choosing more effective techniques and getting rid of those that bring in less income. Individual strength of particular team members can also be used if you measure and use it properly.
4. Create Templates
When you make a schedule for your sales team, you rarely consider the time that gets wasted on routine tasks. This time matters, we already discussed it. However, there is one more way of minimizing wasted time. For example, when it comes to cold calling, there should be a simple template on how to start the conversation as well as several ways of developing it with the potential client.
The same goes for emailing, there is no need to invent good answers every time. Simply spend some time on creating templates, and it will pay off by saving time and reducing stress. Having some good pre-made letters, specialists can spare the headache of not being sure about the ways of answering. At the same time, templates can also help in analyzing and measuring results as they give you a solid base for building customer relations.
5. Use Scripts and Patterns
As we mentioned before, it’s always good to have templates for the cold calls and emails. However, not only the first minutes of a phone conversation can be planned and written as a template. To make it even easier, you can create whole scripts for more efficient communication.
In retail, it’s essential to send a clear message so that the customer is never confused. It’s not always simple. New sales representatives usually require extensive training before they become efficient. Using scripts and patterns is one of the most important skills you can give to your employees during the onboard trainings.
6. Chunk Tasks Down to Tiny Steps
Each sale can be divided into several stages – from the first interaction of a customer with your product or service to the deal closure. It is particularly noticeable if you sell something expensive. The number of steps can vary, but general patterns are quite universal.
First, you make a presentation of your for-sale product. Then, the potential customer might demand more details about it. After the customer gets familiarized with the product, it’s time for them to think if they really want to buy. Then, if the decision is positive, they might require a bit more reassurance and some tips on using it.
For example, demonstration of the product quality or a trial period. Finally, if the deal is closed and the product is purchased, you need to do a follow-up to help your customer overcome potential post-purchase regret. Each step is important, so pay attention to small details. It can be a good idea to write down all the steps following the deal, and see if some of them seem to be more difficult to go through. For instance, if many customers return your product, you might want to ensure better follow-up to make sure the interest is not being lost after the purchase itself.
7. Be Motivated
Sales team productivity is not only about the process of work, it is also about motivation. Positivity is often a key to success in many aspects of life, including business. Corporate rewards for the number of closures and bonuses for successful lead development – these are only the most basic tips. Whatever you can use to keep sales representatives in a good mood, use it. In a long shot, this strategy is always winning.
Staying motivated is especially important for business owners and team leads. They are the ones to inspire the sales team and build the overall atmosphere. Sales representatives are supposed to be excited to go to work as happy people can do way more selling than those who are unhappy and unmotivated.
8. Borrow Experience
Let’s make it clear, stealing somebody’s ideas, and borrowing experience are completely different things. If somebody had already come up with the idea of the wheel, there is no need to keep inventing it over and over again. Just look around and pay attention, and you’ll be able to notice effective tools that can be adapted for your success. For example, you know that X is a successful user of Y CRM software. Why not try it? If there is even a slight chance that it can make your team more effective, go for it.
9. Be in Touch With Your Customers
Working in sales and being productive requires very good communication and even psychological skills. Each product or sale has different aspects that are essential for different customers.
Buying a cell phone, 18-year-old teenager and 75-year-old grandma have expectations that are not even close. It means that the selling process will be quite different for them. With the teenager you can talk about modern technology, unbreakable glass and gaming opportunities, while grandma just wants to be able to talk to her grandson once in a while. Understanding your customers’ wants and needs is often a key to increasing sales.
Additionally, it is quite important to build long-lasting relationships with the customers. One of the best ways to get there is to stay in touch. It is often a slippery road, as reminding customers about yourself without being annoying is sometimes tricky. However, having a specialist who can successfully walk the line without failing is a great asset to the company.
10. Try New Approaches
The World changes very fast, and just about every day brings something new. New technology can create new tools, which in their turn lead to new approaches in human communication. It can easily be noticed if you simply look at how websites were changing over the course of the past ten years. What was effective back then (for example, blinking banners) is plain annoying now. From long articles describing products, we have come to short videos simply demonstrating all the complicated features in a matter of minutes.
The importance of learning and growing cannot be overestimated for those who work in sales. Every single day brings new challenges that require fast responses from the sales department. Being open to trying new approaches is often a key to success.
These are some of the best ideas to increase sales; however, there are more of them out there. Try new tools, sign up for trials and try new approaches. There is no right and wrong as all the businesses are different. Though, all of them are united by the same idea – increase sales to increase income.