Seven methods to increase the productivity of your salespeople

In a B2B company, sales is what makes the machine keep going. And, a successful sales team is comprised of productive salespeople. So, in this blog, I will examine seven methods to improve the productivity of each salesperson. And the biggest factors that contribute to sales inefficiency.

Before I start breaking down each topic, here is the list of them for reference:

The biggest factors making your sales team inefficient

Seven productivity enhancers for your salespeople

  1. Invest in onboarding and training
  2. Empathise and motivate your team
  3. Establish a dependable schedule
  4. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals
  5. Consistently communicate with your team
  6. Keep developing your reps and implementing new tools
  7. Perfect your demo giving

By improving your salespeople’s individual productivity you will: save time and money, be able to scale faster, and you will have happier more focused employees.


Factors that make a sales team inefficient

To maximise the productivity of your salespeople, you first have to examine what is blocking their way to success. If the way you run your business does not let the salesperson flourish, then no implementation of productivity hacks will work. So, here are a few scenarios that you might want to avoid in your company:

  • Poor quality or not enough sales coaching and training
  • Inconsistent sales strategies and processes
  • Slow implementation of new sales tools
  • Excessive pressure to exceed targets
  • Lack of communication within sales
  • Poorly established ideal customer profiles (ICP)
  • Lack of communication with other departments such as marketing and operations
  • Neglecting to establish productive sales goals
  • Account managers focusing on lead generation
  • Negativity filled sales cultures

The list is not exhaustive so analyse your current sales structure to eliminate any bad habits. That way you will have a consistent base of processes which you can build upon with productive habits.

“If your sales team is efficient, your sales run smoothly, and your customers will be pleased. On the other hand, if your sales team isn’t working efficiently, doesn’t learn from its mistakes, and is struggling to keep up with customers, you may be missing out on vital sales for your business.” – Sales Executive at Kaizen Sales Strategy

I have discussed the factors that contribute to sales inefficiency. So, now let’s explore the seven methods to increase the productivity of your salespeople.


1. Invest in onboarding and training

A good sales team has usually been on-boarded and trained extensively before even starting to sell. It is the basis of a well-oiled sales machine.

“The process of onboarding is critical and, when done right, protects your investment by getting your new stars selling while simultaneously identifying duds much more quickly.” – Dave Mattson, CEO & President of Sandler Training

Why it is important

With onboarding, you impact the future productivity of your salespeople before they even make a sale. You create sales reps who are confident in their sales abilities. As well as knowledgable of the company’s sales process and the product.

How to do it

Create a sales training program explaining the steps that a salesperson encounters every day. Cover activities such as lead generation, call setting, demo giving, negotiating, and following up.

Also, give the salesperson an extensive demo of your own product. They should know all of the ins and outs of it to answer any possible questions from prospects.


2. Empathise with your team and motivate them

A motivated and understood team is more sales efficient than one that is down on its luck and not hitting their targets.

“As a sales manager or director, you can only influence your team’s sales performance in two dimensions: Their skill set (what they can do), and their motivation (how repeatedly or passionately they do it).” – Dan Tyre, Director at Hubspot

Why it is important

When a person is motivated and feels comfortable it floods their brain with positivity. That will help you in two ways. The prospects will feel the good attitude of the salesperson which is infatuating and everybody likes to work with. And, your rep will not be as affected by negative prospects or a string of unlucky rejections.

How to do it

Take the time to assess the personality, strengths and weaknesses of your team. And learn more about their own interests.

Let them embrace the role and develop their own variation of it, within your limits. And, appreciate a win to reward the feeling. Create a loop where hard work leads to a win and a commission, which makes the salesperson happy.

All of those tips will result in a more productive team.


3. Establish a dependable schedule

A salesperson should work with a schedule that allows them to be flexible. But also while sticking to the main objectives and rules established.

“As I’ve learned during my seminars, many salespeople spend as little as 20% of their time actually selling. Image how effective you could be if you doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled that percentage?” – Laura Stack, Founder and CEO of Leadership USA, Inc

Why it is important

A schedule is one of the most impactful variables of a salesperson’s productivity. It can save time, avoid unnecessary tasks, and shift focus to the important ones.

How to do it

Make a list of tasks that a salesperson typically does in a day. Then, make a smaller list of the top two or three priorities. Those have to accomplished every day despite any changes in schedule.

Here are a few tips for a good schedule:

  • Meetings should start and end on time
  • Create a rhythm in your schedule to perfect it over time
  • Register all tasks and appointments in your calendar
  • Implement time blocks for specific tasks
  • Prioritise message responding

4. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals

A salesperson needs a carrot to move towards in the form of a daily, weekly and monthly goal.

“Sales goals that help your organization truly grow live at the intersection of realistic and challenging.” – Ryan Robinson, Blogger at Ryrob.com

Why it is important

Setting goals is a simple and easy way to increase sales productivity because they serve as motivation. They give salespeople a sense of direction and an incentive to create a plan of action to hit their target.

How to do it

If the leads coming in the sales funnel are of high quality, then a salesperson’s job comes does to effort. The more they put it in setting calls, following-up and giving demos, the more will they succeed.

To calculate the amount of, for example, sent emails necessary to get one demo, then you need to backtrack. If you get one demo scheduled from every 20 replies, and you get a 20% reply rate, then you need to email 100 prospects.

With the information on conversion rates, you are able to set daily, weekly or monthly goals and achieve them consistently. Of course, assuming that effort stays up and there are no market changes.


5. Consistently communicate with your team

Communication is an essential skill for sales managers to possess. As a sales team grows it becomes harder to maintain contact with every single sales rep.

Why it is important

Managers should get in touch with each salesperson to understand how they are feeling and performing in their role. It will show them that the manager cares and its a source of motivation.

Also, if something is not working quite right for the salesperson, then you are able to tweak and adjust immediately. Chances are that if one person is struggling in an area, then others are too.

How to do it

The more recently a rep has joined the team, the higher number of interactions you need with them. Over time, if performance stays consistent, then you can give more autonomy to your salespeople.

Check-ins do not need to be planned, but they should be regular. Ideally, they should be a mix of group meetings and one-on-ones.

Be sure to ask what you can do to help them become more productive. The more specific they can be, the better.

“Your primary aim should be to create a sales communication strategy that has these two goals: 1. Reduces the amount of time it takes to create and consume sales communications; 2. Improves understanding, retention, and following of sales communications.” – Ellie Wilkinson, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Highspot


6. Keep developing your reps and implementing new tools

In sales, continuous learning is essential to withstand and thrive in ever-changing markets. So, continuous coaching of reps and implementation of automation tools is necessary.

“Sales leaders who help their sales reps develop highly effective daily habits enjoy better results over time, with less need to manage.” – Lisa Rose, Regional VP of Sales at The Brooks Group

Why it is important

The world of sales is always evolving. It could be a new sales technique or a saturation of a market. Either way, a salesperson should be up to date with trends to perform at the best of their capability.

Continuously exploring customers’ needs and pain points may also give the salesperson new approaches to convert prospects.

How to do it

Establish a culture of constantly improving your sales process, in three key areas. Monitor and implement new relevant sales techniques. Research and introduce tools that facilitate your reps’ lives. And, actively update your ideal customer’s pain points and needs.


7. Perfect your demo giving

As a sales rep, it is important to have a structured demo, persuasion and objection handling skills to show your knowledge to prospects.

“A real demo should start with one of the specific problems or challenges the customer or prospect said they are having.” – Keenan, CEO of A Sales Guy

Why it is important

A structured demo is necessary because it takes the pressure off of the salesperson. They can focus on personalising the demo to the prospect. Once you perfect your demo you will resonate better with prospects. Consequently, you will close deals faster, increasing your sales productivity.

How to do it

Keep the length of the demo between 30 to 60 minutes and follow this process:

  • get the prospect to relax with engaging small talk
  • let them speak by asking questions (to assess fit, build rapport and tailor the pitch)
  • move to demoing the product according to SQL’s needs
  • keep answering questions and objections
  • linger in a pause at the end so that the prospect can show intentions
  • send follow-up post demo

Conclusion

Increasing the productivity of your salespeople is paramount to have a scalable and happy sales team. Hopefully, with this blog post, you will be able to increase the efficiency of your salespeople. And minimise the effort that they dedicate to each task. Here are the main takeaways from this blog post:

Factors that make a sales team inefficient:

  • Poor quality or not enough sales coaching and training
  • Inconsistent sales strategies and processes
  • Slow implementation of new sales tools
  • Excessive pressure to exceed targets
  • Lack of communication within sales
  • Poorly established ideal customer profiles
  • Lack of communication with other departments such as marketing and operations
  • Neglecting to establish productive sales goals
  • Account managers focusing on lead generation
  • Negativity filled sales cultures

Seven productivity enhancers for your salespeople:

  • Invest in onboarding and training
  • Empathise and motivate your team
  • Establish a dependable schedule
  • Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals
  • Consistently communicate with your team
  • Keep developing your reps and implementing new tools
  • Perfect your demo giving


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