Between client visits, phone calls, emails, internal sales meetings, creating proposals and stressing about achieving quotas, it’s no wonder that more salespeople are struggling to meet their goals. According to CSO Insights, 50% to 63% of salespeople missed their targets in 2016..
How to increase sales productivity one hack at a time
In this blog, we share nine time hacks that can increase sales productivity. Some are simple and can be implemented right away, while others will take some planning to incorporate into your day.
We have broken them down into three categories:
Accelerate your sales cycle
- Make meetings count. Sales interactions can be challenging when not structured, and in cases where you’re selling complex solutions, making sure that you cover ground is essential. One way to ensure that your sales calls are productive is to set an agenda before your call.
If you’re planning a discovery call, let the prospect know that you are going to be focusing on learning about their business to better understand their challenges. Agreeing an agenda presents a consultative, less pushy approach. A set agenda also shows your prospect that you’re prepared and that you respect their time.
- Use content to support your sales cycle. Modern marketing has changed the sales process, yet few salespeople know how and when to use the right marketing collateral.
Having a clear understanding of when to send a specific white paper, data sheet or case study can make all the difference, as B2B sales usually include more than one party in the decision-making process.
Get the most out of your marketing collateral by mapping it to your sales process. Here are some questions that will help you determine what content to provide and when:
- What are the most common product concerns of prospects and do you have content which addresses them?
- Which case studies are the best examples of your solution in practice?
- When you meet with a client for the first time, what information are they typically interested in when it comes to your company's history?
- End each engagement with clear action items. It’s always a good idea to end a sales interaction with a clear understanding of what happens next. This way the right expectations are set for you and your prospect, which in turn speeds up the sales cycle as your next interaction will be well prepared and expected..
Batch your tasks
Batching tasks is an effective way to save time. It allows you to focus on completing similar tasks in a set time, enabling you to decrease the complexity of completing multiple tasks.
For example, making a call, and then following up with an email which includes finding a PDF and attaching it, and then updating your CRM breaks the natural flow of completing one task, such as only making phone calls.
Here are three ways to make batching work for you:
- Prospecting calls. Most time is lost on prospecting calls when salespeople break their rhythm to send an email. Instead of turning to your computer to send the email after your call, have a pen and a writing pad ready to take notes under each prospect's name. This way you’re able to capture the most important info while on the call and send all emails later.
- Emails. Use templates for your emails as much as you can. Templates won’t work for every interaction, but they will save a lot of time each day.
- Proposals. Having a pre-designed proposal template at the ready is a great way to save time. If your company uses proposal software, or Qorus for Office 365, you'll be able to quickly build proposals using approved content sections and pre-created templates. If you have tried Qorus forOffice 365 yet, why not take advantage of our free 15-day trial?
Always be prepared
When it comes to sales, planning makes achieving what appear to be an insurmountable sales quota possible. Here are three ways to increase sales productivity through planning:
- Review and plan each week and day. Reviewing each day gives you the opportunity to look back on what you accomplished and think of better ways of performing certain tasks. It’s also the perfect time to plan for the next day or week. The planning process makes success more predictable. Knowing exactly what you need to do the following day also removes performance anxiety.
- Stay on top of your pipeline. Building a pipeline can be challenging, yet it’s the only way to maintain structure when it comes to managing leads. Update your pipeline at least once a day. This way, your sales leadership team can pull accurate statistics and you can see where each prospect is in your sales cycle, making it easier to run effective sales calls.
- Pay attention to detail. Sales calls are often met with objections; it’s just a part of the process. In most cases, sales reps are able to answer objections, however most buyers don’t feel that reps are doing a good enough job. According to research, buyers are more interested in mathematical and scientific responses, whereas sales reps focus on sharing history.
Paying attention to detail, like practicing the most effective rebuttals that showcase mathematical and scientific proof, saves a lot of time and enhances credibility for you and your brand during the sales process.
Becoming a highly productive sales person is possible. By focusing on accelerating sales, batching tasks and always being prepared, you’ll be able to achieve more meaningful results each day than most people are capable of in a week.
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