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6 Ways to Make Your Sales Team More Productive

on August 26, 2019

Your sales team drives revenue, which is the key to growing your business. Therefore, you need them operating at the highest level possible. And in the words of the legendary business expert Peter Drucker: “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.” 

So if you are a business owner or sales manager, follow the proven strategies below to make your sales team more productive than ever:

1. Define Exactly What Needs To Be Done

To hit your sales targets, you have to know what they are. Vague goals simply don’t provide the level of focus and motivation necessary to keep your team on target. Sales productivity starts with specific, quantifiable goals that give you a roadmap to success.

Instead of stating that you want to “boost revenue,” break this bigger goal into manageable chunks that can be measured. For instance, a goal of increasing revenue by 20% this quarter is a metric that is quantifiable. When your team hits it, it gives them a sense of satisfaction and encouragement to keep making calls, booking demos, and closing deals. 

This level of specificity also allows you to attach a dollar value to each sales activity. If an average sale is worth $3,000 in revenue, and it takes 3 appointments to generate one sale, then you know that one booked appointment is worth $1,000 to your business. 

Having these dollar amounts attached to smaller milestones in the sales cycle will boost productivity by keeping your team laser focused on each step along the way.

2. Is The Metric Right for Your Business?

Productivity is about more than simply ensuring your sales agents are motivated to take action quickly. They also need to be doing the right actions. How do you determine this? By understanding the difference between metrics that are beneficial to the salesperson vs. the company’s larger mission.

In an ideal world, the incentives for your salespeople and your company would always be aligned. While this is often the case, don’t take it for granted. While sales is largely a numbers game, your team might fall into the trap of making calls and taking shortcuts just to hit their daily volume numbers.

Make sure their incentives are tied to smarter metrics, such as the number of appointments your agents set or the quality level of the sales calls. After all, productivity is about efficiency and effectiveness together.

3. Schedule Blocks of Time for Different Sales Tasks

Research has shown that multitasking has a negative effect on productivity. Avoid having your sales team rapidly switch back and forth between answering emails, prospecting, and hopping on demos with prospects. 

Being busier does not equate to being more effective in the sales world. Instead, encourage your team to schedule longer, predefined blocks of time for certain types of tasks. This allows them to focus more singularly on those actions, resulting in them being more creative and productive.

4. Confirm Appointments

It’s frustrating to spend so much effort, time, and money on identifying a potential client and scheduling a consultation, just for them to cancel or ghost at the last minute. Your salesperson may have spent hours of quality time preparing for the demo — time that is now wasted. 

The opportunity cost of “no-shows” can be immense, because the sales rep could have spent that time on a client that was actually serious about having a conversation with them.

Due to human nature, there will always be a number of your prospects that flake on appointments. There’s nothing you can do about personal emergencies and other legitimate reasons to cancel. However, much of the time a potential customer doesn’t show up because they simply forgot.

For the latter situation, you can help reduce flaking by confirming the appointment a day beforehand with an automated email. Keep it friendly, simple, and short. The goal is to stay top of mind so they remember to set aside the time for your call. The following is a basic template you can follow:

Subject Line: Appointment Confirmation 

“Hi [Name],

This is a friendly reminder of our call on [Day] at [Time]. I’m looking forward to discussing [topics and reasons for the call].

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Looking forward to talking with you!”

5. Streamline Your Data Management

Sales activities require mental energy. And no matter who is responsible for generating revenue in your business, they need to be able to focus on that singular goal without distractions. One of the most common time wasters for sales teams is troubleshooting their CRM.

Many companies use multiple CRMs to manage their leads through the pipeline, or they have gone through the frustration of migrating from one CRM to another. In these situations, your sales team might spend hours or even days trying to merge or delete their duplicate contact entries. 

Instead, use a tool that can automate the deduplication process for you, allowing you to merge CRM duplicates by exact match and even fuzzy (non-exact) match with a single click so your team can focus on what they do best: selling.

6. Don’t Be a Bottleneck

Whether you are a manager or business owner, you will be tempted to keep a close eye on your team. However, the more time you spend on the lower level activities, the less time and mental energy you have to focus on the higher leverage activities such as defining the big picture strategy of your business.

If you become a bottleneck for every email, call, and problem, it will limit your team’s productivity by slowing them down. Instead, learn to trust and empower your team to handle most of the smaller challenges and decisions they will face on a daily basis by creating detailed training. 

As an example, give your sales closers a predefined negotiating range on your product pricing to avoid unnecessary back-and-forth communication with you that could derail progress with a potential client.

When your team is more productive, you will boost revenue faster while eliminating the downside of time wasting activities. And it all starts with your leadership. So ensure you are reviewing your sales team on a regular basis based on the criteria above. Then, your company will be poised for more growth in your marketplace now and in the future. 

Ready to see how Dedupely can help your sales team increase productivity? Sign up today!