Sales Force Productivity and Performance – How Can You Improve? Two common questions in business are:
- How can you improve sales force productivity?
- How can you improve sales force performance?
Luckily, these two questions, challenges or issues – whichever you choose to name them – go hand in hand. Often, once you find an answer for one, you find an answer for both!
Some may find this hard to hear (or read!) but without a productive sales force: your company isn’t going to get very far.
In some ways, a sales team drives the business best. They are the backbone of making money and keeping the company afloat.
Although that being said, we all know that the other team members of a business are just as important! From receptionists to administrators, each employee is important in their own way.
The fact of a matter is, however, a company needs to make money to stay afloat.
Well, they also need a product to sell or some sort of service, but this is how they make money.
Or rather, this is how a sales team makes money.
So you can see how important it is to have a productive and successful team of sales executives. A bunch of random sales reps just won’t cut it. If they’re not doing their job right, not only are they not bringing in the money they’re supposed to, but you’ll actually be losing money by paying their salary for nothing.
But How Do You Improve Sales Force Productivity and Performance?
Essentially, it’s a mix of all different things.
Every company needs a great boss and great sales leaders – people that can lead and encourage their team. Just like every team needs necessary training and benefits. And every business needs its own tricks and tools of the trade to get ahead – whether that’s a sneaky sales pitch that never fails or a helpful tool application that simply makes life (or business!) easier.
Before we get into what you can do to help your sales agents with sales efficiency and sales effectiveness, let’s first take a look at what sales force productivity is.
What is Sales Force Productivity?
Sales productivity, sales efficiency, sales effectiveness…whatever you want to call it, productivity is an important part of a sales agents team.
Though the meanings of each might differ slightly, overall, we’re talking about how efficiently a sales rep can work to achieve his or her sales. It also means supporting these users in the best way you can, by giving them the resources they need to make their job (and their sales) easier.
Sales efficiency means maximising the time a sales rep has. Getting rid of pointless tasks that can be done elsewhere, and instead using that time efficiency on a useful task (or a task that helps them hit target).
On the other hand, sales effectiveness means, again, the way in which you support your team. It means helping them based on their strengths and weaknesses. Although the role of a sales team is to make sales at the end of the day, one sales person may be excellent at closing deals on the phone, whereas another might struggle to even get past the gatekeeper on the phone. However, it does not mean these sales agents aren’t good at their job! They may instead be better at meeting clients in person or keeping focused by following up many emails to make a sale.
By talking about what is meant by sales force productivity, we’ve already shared one helpful tip. That is, you need to support your team by maximising their time better and focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of your salesforce.
How Can You Improve Sales Force Productivity?
Now let’s talk about ways in which you can improve sales productivity and performance!
Generally speaking, these tips should work for every salesforce hoping to complete the sales process.
But remember, each individual person or team is different!
- Practice sales effectiveness
As mentioned above, you should always try and keep sales effectiveness in mind. Get to know your salesforce and all their individual strengths and weaknesses. Think about how your team can work together with the selling or perhaps with extra training to help with sales productivity improvement. Check-in with regular sales insights and sales analytics too to see what can be improved.
- Try different sales tools for sales efficiency
Practice makes perfect – but there are plenty of amazing sales tools that can do the job for you! A tool like Data Drive is an excellent way to cut down on all that time your salesforce wastes on trying to get past receptionists or chasing ignored emails. Or even some administrative tasks! Data Dive is a tool that will provide all the correct data your team needs – the right person and right decision-makers they need to speak to – and Data Dive provides their actual details too. It’s a perfect example of a way to save time and money on your entire sales process.
- Explore different selling strategies
See marketing: an alternative and creative way you can try and hit sales targets. This alternate sales cycle involves focusing on brand awareness as opposed to sales calls. Get the right marketing team in and they can focus on online marketing, like engaging with customers and potential clients. They can also connect with people across your sector. Even if this team looks after the online side of things then hands any sales activity over to the salesforce, it will no doubt help them feel more productive.
- Practice great customer service
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s still worth pointing out. To make a sale, any customer loves to feel valued and important. To help ring in that revenue, your salesforce must remember that the customer is always right! Customer service isn’t about just picking up the phone to make a sale. It’s about being polite and friendly, remembering facts about your client and regularly checking in with your customer base. Positive Customer experiences are always remembered.
How Can You Improve Sales Force Performance?
Though it goes hand in hand with our other point, salesforce performance is very important in its own way. The above points will help your salesforce achieve a lot more from their day and hopefully make a customer sale more and more often! However, there are some tips that are more specific to performance overall.
- Train your sales executives
Not everyone is born knowing how to sell. The sales funnel can also change often based on sector trends or the rise of online marketing. Some management or sales organisations even have a go-to sales pitch that never fails! You should ensure your team is always learning with various sales rep activities, to help with improved performance and productivity gains. Ongoing sales coaching will always be a good idea.
- Reward your team often
This is a given: management should look after their team! This could be anything from offering commission to rewarding hard-working team members with weekly prizes. This not only helps sales performance but also keeps the team feeling competitive and motivated! This leads to an increase in sales from potential customers or a prospective customer.
- Set realistic targets
One of the most important core selling activities is trying to hit target. But it’s important to make sure the targets are actually realistic. If the target is too low, your team won’t feel challenged. If it’s too high, they’re going to feel like the target is impossible and feel unmotivated. It’s about finding that sweet spot that both challenges and motivates your team, whilst showing you believe in them.
Overall, it’s simply about looking after your team. Play up to their strengths, make them feel valued and invest your time into training them up with sales coaching to become a productive sales team!
Sales force productivity and sales force performance are two areas of business that are very similar and work well together. They’re like two sides of the same coin and rely on each other. Good sales productivity will lead to a good sales performance and vice versa. When one starts to slack – so does the other.
Luckily, both these issues can be solved easily by the same tips. Things like looking after your team, training them up and using different tools will make such a big difference. The right tools and attitude will also help you save time and money.
One prime example of this is putting a stop to your sales team spending lots of time on admin tasks like trying to locate leads. It wastes a lot of time from their day and that time could be better spent elsewhere, like trying to sell to their current customers! By moving these mindless tasks off their desk or investing in a tool that can do this for them, you’ll save time and money. It will also make a difference in sales productivity overall and sales performance.
Don’t be afraid to outsource and invest in tools to help with your team’s performance overall. Even if it means spending money on a tool like Data Dive, in the long run, it will help you make more sales and money overall!
Remember the tips we mentioned above, especially for long term sales growth and sales efforts. Even little things like trying different sales approaches or a different sales channel (ie networking on LinkedIn) can make a difference. Sometimes it’s just about finding what works best for your team and their sales rep productivity.
No team or company is the same. Therefore, experiment! Try different things until you find what works best for hitting sales goals and sales quotas, with your capable team.
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