Sales productivity measures the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s salesforce in generating revenues.
Contrary to what some assume, salespeople don’t spend their whole time interacting with prospective clients and trying to close deals. They also need to perform numerous administrative, research, and training tasks, which naturally take time and involve costs.
When sales productivity is high, revenues generated by sales representatives are higher than these costs. In contrast, low levels of sales productivity negatively affect the organization’s bottom line and may even cause the business to post a loss.
Generally speaking, sales productivity can be improved by:
- increasing the time that your salesforce spends closing deals
- increasing the number of deals that your salesforce closes in a given amount of time
- cutting sales-related costs.
- cutting the time spent on administrative tasks without lowering their accuracy
This article will analyze the most effective strategies to achieve these goals.
1. Improving Coordination Between Sales and Marketing
Research has highlighted how businesses are 67% more effective at closing deals when there is a strong alignment between sales and marketing. Recognizing shared goals, drafting a common strategy, and working together to put it into action should be a priority for both these business functions.
Alignment can be achieved through a series of actions, such as agreeing on a common buying persona, creating a single customer journey, and projecting consistent messaging, as well as defining and tracking joint KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Another way to boost coordination between these two functions is resorting to a marketing-first approach. This involves ensuring that prospects receive cold calls and emails from sales representatives only after they’ve been exposed to marketing communications on how a certain product and service can provide the right solution to their problems.
2. Increase the Centralization of Sales Content
Related to the first strategy is also the idea that salespeople should be able to access content created by the marketing department quickly and without hurdles. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and the difficulty sales reps often face in finding the necessary content can be a major source of inefficiency.
As a matter of fact, research shows that sales reps spend 440 hours each year searching for content. Having a central location where salespeople can access fact briefs and other deal-related content can significantly speed up workflows and cut costs. Using content management software to centralize information can also generate significant increases in sales productivity.
3. Redefining Your Sales Training and Coaching Programs.
Research has shown that between 85% and 95% of training for sales personnel only has a short-term impact, which typically doesn’t exceed four months. This means that companies are spending significant resources on training and coaching programs that risk having no long-standing effect on sales productivity. Identifying the main reasons behind the ineffectiveness of your sales training programs is essential if you want to fix them.
- Are you missing the real learning needs of your sales representatives?
- Are you personalizing training based on each rep’s current knowledge, skills, and challenges?
- Are you training your workers only on sales techniques and neglecting the need of turning them into experts on the products and services they are supposed to sell?
- Are you failing to give your salespeople a clear process and methodology they can use in their daily work?
- Are you taking advantage of the opportunities provided by remote learning?
- Have you thought about substituting lengthy presentations with short, regular interactive sessions?
By answering these questions, you may find precious insights that can help you redefine your training programs.
4. Adopting the Right Software Solutions
One trend that is becoming increasingly popular is automation. Why keep your salespeople busy with countless repetitive administrative tasks when you can easily automate them with the right software solutions?
This is probably one of the fastest ways to cut costs, increase speed and boost your overall sales productivity. Automation tools can be used to filter out promising leads, sync capture forms to your CRM, perform lead enrichment tasks, manage email campaigns, schedule meetings with prospects based on your current calendar, distribute deals to salespeople, and process contracts or proposals.
Moreover, sales automation tools can easily integrate with your ERP manufacturing software with additional benefits for your bottom line.
5. Redesigning Your Sales Incentive Scheme
A sales incentive scheme provides both monetary and non-monetary rewards to salespeople based on their results. They can be role-based, region-based, or omnichannel. In order to design an effective incentive scheme, it’s crucial to understand what motivates your workers and adjust incentives to their individual characteristics.
For example, you could use a carrot-and-stick approach for underperformers, a multi-tier scheme for core performers, and overachievement commissions for star performers. Analytics tools can also help you define goals and incentives more specifically based on a detailed assessment of each sales rep’s behavior and effectiveness in achieving goals.