Looking for ideas on how to increase the productivity of your sales team? Here are some ideas that will help your sales reps become more effective and improve their sales results.
Teach Your Reps to Work Smarter, Not Harder
The best thing a sales manager can do to increase the productivity of their sales team is to show them the difference between being busy and being effective. Just making more sales calls will not make a sales representative more productive. But making more of the right type of calls at the right time will. It may be an old cliché, but you just need to teach your team to work smarter, not harder.
For example, I was working with a sales representative who was a cold calling buzz saw. From morning until night, he would bang on doors, rarely stopping to even eat. Was he busy? You bet! Effective? Not even close! In fact, this sales rep was on the verge of dismissal for lack of sales production. This sales rep knew he had to make prospecting calls to be successful. The problem was that he really didn't know how! On every call, instead of qualifying the prospect, he was just dropping off his business card at each door he called on. When you think about it, a Canada Post letter carrier could have done that for him!
Better Prospecting Makes Your Sales Team More Productive
The purpose of any prospecting call is for the sales representative and the prospect to agree to move to the next step in the sales process, normally the fact find. Not only must it be the right solution, it also must be at the right time. In other words, a prospecting call is considered successful if your sales representative can answer the following questions:
- Is this company actually a prospect?
- If yes, are they a prospect today?
- If not today, then when?
Whether your sales representatives are knocking on a door, telemarketing, or about to send an email to another social network contact, if they do not plan to answer these questions, they are only wasting their and the prospect's time. They may be busy, but they simply will not be as effective as they could be.
To make your sales representatives more productive, have them first rehearse a headline that generates interest before they make their next prospecting call. Then, have them create 3 to 5 qualifying questions to help determine if they are working with the right prospect at the right time. These questions should be designed around discovering the prospect's buying cycle and when they may be purchasing your product next.
The Most Important Tool to Increase The Productivity of Your Sales Team
Lastly, and most importantly, for those that are not prospects today, your reps need a follow up file system to make sure they contact them when they will be.There are many apps salespeople should use to be more productive. However few are as important as a well designed CRM that maximizes B2B sales.
Most salespeople take the time to enter contact information like name, phone number and email address into their CRM systems and PDAs. However many forget the most important information, that being “Next Sales Contact Date”. Without this, even the most expensive CRM programs are only glorified phone books.
Any time I coach salespeople, I ensure they understand their prospects buying cycles, and change their filing method of contacts from alphabetical to the date of next contact. This simple change always improves their follow-up call effectiveness, and more importantly, their sales results improve dramatically!
How to Design a CRM System
Automation Will Make Your Sales Team More Productive
Many studies show that salespeople only spend about 25 percent of their time selling. That is actually only ten hours of selling time a week, or only 500 hours per year. Taking a step further, if your reps have a $1 million quota, their time is worth $2,000 per hour!
Now imagine how much more your reps would produce if you could free up just one more hour a week for them to spend on selling! One of the best ways to do this is with automation. Automatic price calculators and a proposal generation tool like Proposify are great automation tools. Taking that a step further, even hiring more admin staff to handle non selling tasks will free up more time for your sales rep to sell.
I include a number of automated sales and sales management tools in my eBook, Action Plan For Sales Management Success. This book not only discusses what to do, but more importantly, it shows you how to do it!
How to Increase The Productivity of Your Sales Team
When it comes right down to it, a sales rep can only be productive if they manage their time properly. As their sales manager, it’s your job to teach them how to do that.
To help you show your reps how their should organize their time, here are 6 simple steps your sales team can follow to get more out of their sales week.
Remember as the Sales Wizard, Brian Jeffrey, once said, “We can’t manage time, but we can manage ourselves. So time management is self management.
How Sales Reps Should Organize Their Time (With Template and Example)
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”