10 Tips to Dramatically Enhance Sales Productivity
Why You Must Focus on Collaboration and a Team Mindset
In sales, two things are abundantly clear. One, sales productivity could always be improved. Two, sales reps get burned out. With compensation often tied to results, it’s little surprise sales reps are notoriously stressed, overworked, and prone to churn. (According to this source, the average turnover rate for sales in the United States is a staggering 34 percent.)
With those two ideas in mind, here are ten concrete ways to increase the productivity and success of your sales organization:
1. Remember What “Productivity” Means
Productivity is not just activity. Any sales team can increase the number of people they’re calling or send out more prospecting emails. What you want is activities that actually yield results. Always keep your eye on the important metrics: engagement, opportunities, and revenue.
2. Improve Burnout at the Source
Personnel churn is expensive and burdensome for a company. Don’t be reactionary about addressing burnout, though. Tweaking your incentive or compensation programs without thinking about your overall sales strategy is a recipe for short-term improvement but not sustainable, long-term productivity and motivation.
Think more deeply about what motivates your sales reps. Consider their challenges and biggest obstacles. Not sure? Talk to them! They are the best source of information about what they want and need to be successful in their jobs. This collaboration can help get to the root cause of burnout and start solving the actual underlying issues.
(Interested in learning more about sales incentive programs and what makes them work—and fail? Check out this on-demand webinar.)
3. Don’t Win the Battle to Lose the War
Maybe you make a change that does increase your win rate. Maybe you close a few more deals in the short term. You have to look at how those changes affect your sales professionals on the whole. If sales reps need to put in lots of extra hours or feel they’ve lost autonomy or are asked to do tasks that don’t align with their professional goals, you could be setting yourself up for an even higher burnout rate.Did you make a few extra bucks on the additional deals? Yes. Are those profits outweighed by the cost of needing to replace your sales reps? In most cases, no. Check out this article that breaks down some of the costs associated with a new salesperson hire.
4. Establish Goals—and Make Them Known
Nothing hurts productivity more than not knowing what you’re trying to accomplish. If your sales reps don’t have a clear sense of what they’re working toward, you can almost guarantee diminished or less-than-optimal productivity.
Just make sure to create goals in a collaborative manner. Give your sales reps a voice in this process. Otherwise, it can just feel like benchmarks being handed down from on high. Give them accountability and ownership, and you’re much more likely to see positive gains.
5. Tie Goals to Overall Business Objectives
Another key point with goal-setting is to make the holistic picture clear for your sales reps. Show them how their goals impact the organization’s bottom line. Illustrate how their work directly affects long-term customer success and revenue growth.
When sales reps know where they fit in the overall picture of business success, they feel more valued and valuable. These are keys to personal motivation and continued productivity.
Yes, landing a big deal can be personally satisfying, but it’s doubly so when the rep knows how his or her actions contributed to the bigger mission or the more meaningful purpose.
If your sales org is currently celebrating individual rep wins, consider including customer wins as well. This reminds all employees that the work they’re doing is tied to the concrete success and betterment of the customer as well.
6. Encourage Mentorship within the Sales Team
Sales is a difficult job. From quotas to rejection, it can be frustrating and emotionally taxing for a number of reasons. Make sure you’re creating an environment where your sales reps feel supported.
The good news here is that you often have everything you need to accomplish that. Your more seasoned sales reps are your most valuable asset. Put them in mentorship roles, and allow them to collaborate with and teach your newer sales force members.
Not only does this pass on their knowledge and increase the chance of improvement and success across your sales team, but it also lends the emotional support that can keep a sales rep motivated and productive.
7. Clearly Define Sales Processes
It shouldn’t be the job of sales reps to create structures and processes. They shouldn’t have to make constant decisions throughout their day that detract from what they do best: selling. When you have clearly defined processes and structure, sales rep know exactly what’s expected of them and how to apply their expertise to the tasks at hand.
Making process-level decisions takes sales reps out of their work flow. It scatters focus and hurts efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.
8. Facilitate a Collaborative Environment
Nobody within your organization should be working in a bubble. This applies across individuals, teams, and departments. Will every employee interact with every other employee every day? Of course not. It is important, though, to create a holistically collaborative environment where every employee is willing and able to seek help from any other employee.
Collaboration is also a good way to utilize the collective knowledge of every department in the organization. Take content and messaging, for example. Nobody knows your customer better than your sales team; nobody knows what would be more impactful in the sales cycle than your sales team. Utilize that knowledge, and then leverage the skills and expertise of marketing to craft the most effective content.
The buying and selling landscape has changed. From the prevalence of remote and hybrid work to the prospect’s desire for value throughout the sales cycle, sales operates in fundamentally different ways than it used to. If you haven’t revisited your collaborative processes in a while, this is a good time to review and to adjust as needed.
9. Leverage Incubator Teams
Incubator teams are small teams within your organization where you can put productivity efforts to the test. Rather than doing a full rollout to the entire company, an incubator team would be comprised of just a handful of people. If you’re seeing success and enhanced productivity at this contained level, then you can start to expand and to scale from there.
Constant communication is important here, especially as you expand the program to include more people. Feedback is important to ensuring continued success as the dynamic of the team changes with additional members
10. Utilize the Right Sales Technology Solutions
One of the best ways to increase the productivity of sales reps is by turning to sales technology solutions. Maybe the tools are automating processes that don’t need to be done manually. Maybe they’re providing valuable data that informs decision-making.
Whatever the specifics of your sales tech stack, these solutions can be game-changers for efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. This is only the case, however, if you’re choosing the right solutions for your company.
In an increasingly complex and complicated sales technology landscape, how can you be sure you’re picking the right solutions? Building a successful, sustainable sales tech stack comes down to having the right process in place. Learn the five crucial steps to sales technology selection, adoption, and integration.
Want to Learn More about Enhancing the Sales Productivity of Your Team?
Interested in learning more about the sales technology solutions that can revolutionize your company? Reach out today. We’re sales technology consultants, and we’d love to discuss the best way for your company to approach sales technology selection for sustainable, profitable growth.