Sales Productivity – The What, Why and How
Looking to supercharge revenue and profit growth? Target productivity. Sales productivity, that is.
When salespeople are freed from many of the admin chores that sap time and energy, they can focus more time on connecting with customers, building meaningful relationships and closing more deals.
More than that, with intelligent insights and guides, there’s no more need for guesswork. Reaching the right lead at the right time with the right info becomes automatic.
The result: more deals get closed. Time is better spent. Productivity goes through the roof. And the proof’s in both the top and bottom lines.
Opportunity? Meet opportunity cost
Studies have shown that a significant chunk of the average salesperson’s day is wasted, or misspent. Meaning: each day, the average salesperson has to dedicate a significant chunk of their time to activities that are not selling.
There are a number of ways time drains away. Everything from reporting to planning to email sifting to prospecting – administrative tasks like these take up a huge amount of salespeople’s’ time and energy.
Definition: Opportunity cost: The opportunity cost of a given action or choice is the benefit that that person could have received, had they taken another course of action. Put differently, it’s the alternative given up when any decision is made.
What is the opportunity cost of a salesperson’s admin-focused hours? Sales.
From time wasters to time maximisers
Energy dedicated to admin could be far, far better spent. On what? Building key customer relationships. Closing deals. Focusing on that one big client the firm has been trying to snag for years. Building interested and engaged prospective buyers who’ll fuel the company’s next waves of growth.
Yet, when salespeople spend time on activities that are merely sales-adjunct, they forego those opportunities. That’s the opportunity cost of admin. And it’s real. And a real productivity drainer.
There’s good news, however. The majority of those time sappers can be automated. Activities that are repetitive, boring and drain salespeople’s enthusiasm don’t need be feature in their day-to-day lives.
With the right systems in place, admin needs no longer take up lots of time. In fact, with the right technology, it’s easy to empower any sales team to be more effective, efficient, engaged – and more productive.
The best salespeople are, by definition, the most productive. They focus their attention on the best prospects. They know exactly who is getting ready to buy and who needs a little more help. They give exactly the right information at the right time and connect with customers on their own terms. They understand customers’ buying histories and tailor interactions to suit every individual. They can – and do – work anywhere and everywhere.
In other words: sales superstars spend every day focusing on value-generating activities, not value-sapping ones. They spend their time wisely, knowing what it means for their targets – and the business’s bottom line. In a nutshell: they close more deals. They work smarter, not harder.
These sales stars aren’t superhuman, however. They’re just plugged into the intelligent technology that makes superhuman performance possible.
It’s about more than simply having the time to close more deals. It’s even about more than building your company’s bottom line.
Today, more time spent selling can mean the difference between market share losses and market share gains. When your salespeople aren’t selling, your competitors’ sales teams are.
When sales time-drainers care of themselves, sales teams can knuckle down and make the most of every day. The result? Customers feel happier and more cared for. Sales people are more active and engaged. The competition’s edged out. More deals get closed. And revenue growth? The sky is the limit.
Making sales productivity a number one priority
Optimisation. Maximisation. Relationships. Results. These are the targets all sales managers aim for. The key to reaching them? Working smarter, not harder. Working from anywhere. Knowing who to contact and when, and how best to guide the buying journey.
What is a sales solution? How can it change how a business sells?
Innovative and intelligent, sales solutions are the digital powerhouses businesses need to drive top-tier customer relationship management.
They boost authentic customer engagement. Connect business and process data. Assist and prompt salespeople with intelligent recommendations at every stage of the sales process. Provide insight into sales performance.
More than this, a sales solution – like Dynamics 365 for Sales – powers massive gains in salespeople’s productivity.
Here are some of the ways the right tech can make incredible, everyday sales productivity a reality:
Sales process management
Take the guesswork out of the sales process.
With hundreds of deals on the go – and hundreds of potential buyers all at different stages of the sales process – salespeople often begin to struggle. What is the next best step for customer A? What about with B? Who needs more information? Who is closest to making a purchase? Who should get a follow-up mail? Who needs more nurturing?
Particularly for salespeople at companies with complex products, it’s hard to always make great recommendations suited to specific customer needs. As salespeople often rely on simple decision rules, they need a lot of feedback from the customer about what’s working, and what’s not. This means time-consuming interactions and missed opportunities for on- and upsell.
Yet, there is another way. When salespeople in the thick of the deal-making process are prompted with next best steps, productivity begins to skyrocket. And guesswork decreases to zero. Not only that, but easy-to-use dashboards, help and guidance make it easy to get new team members up to speed in no time at all.
Make the world your company’s sales office. With the right sales solution, wherever your sales team is, is the right place to be.
Through a mobile app that links into your core CRM solution, salespeople can access everything from task flows to social data on the go. Add this to the full array of customer data, whether they’re offline or on.
With all the necessary information is just a click away, it’s easy for salespeople to make the most of every moment, whether at the office – or anywhere else.
Office 365 integration
Sales productivity drainers aren’t always obvious. Consider the few minutes a salesperson spends searching for a personalised sales document for a client. Doesn’t seem like much, does it? But now, multiply that time by the ten, twenty or maybe even fifty customers for whom the salesperson will need to repeat the process that day. It starts adding up rapidly.
What else saps productivity? Unfamiliar processes and steep learning curves. Trying to figure out an app or interface that’s new, clunky or just plain hard to use.
With familiar systems and programs – and Microsoft Office 365 integration – time spent searching for personalised sales documents is drastically reduced. More than that, relevant content is suggested automatically based on the opportunities salespeople are working on at that very moment.
Better still, all the programmes salespeople are already familiar with are already right there. Whether it’s Excel or Outlook, there’s no longer any need to spend valuable time navigating or learning how to use unfamiliar platforms.
When it’s easy and simple, it quickly becomes intuitive. And that means sales productivity becomes automatic.
Make your inbox amazing …
Great salespeople send and receive dozens, even hundreds, of emails every week. All that activity can be both a blessing and a curse. More importantly, the right technology can reveal a whole new world of intelligence waiting in your inbox.
How? By tracking which recipients viewed, replied to mails or opened attachments, salespeople can learn which of their contacts are the most receptive to being engaged – or which might benefit from a different approach.
More importantly, when leads and opportunities are managed and tracked directly from Outlook, time wasted sifting through mails becomes a thing of the past.
When priorities are crystal clear, it becomes so much easier to connect, close and stay productive.
… And manage every day right
It’s not only about email. Phone calls, meetings, Skype chats, appointments … they’re all critical for building relationships and closing key deals – but they tend to pile up fast.
When salespeople can track their activities at the click of a button, and access contextual sales data instantly alongside key contacts, it’s possible to make every interaction instantly meaningful. To prep for critical meetings under even the most severe time pressure. To surprise and delight customers with knowledge of what might suit them best. And, most of all, to stay productive without having to wade through clutter.
More than that, when it comes to new clients, qualifying leads quickly is amazingly easy. Conduct what-if analyses directly in Excel, without ever having to switch between applications.
The wrap up
Sales productivity is crucial, but sometimes hard to crack. However, with the right technology, salespeople see their most routine tasks automated. They can work from anywhere. Tap into insights and intelligence instantly.
In other words, the right technology means the edge that boosts productivity significantly. Salespeople aren’t naturally superhuman, but with the right technology, their performance can be.
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