The more your salespeople sell, the more your company — and they — make. While individuals who embrace the selling profession tend to be driven, non-sales tasks can dominate their time. As a result, they spend too much of their day on non-sales activities instead of closing deals. And when your reps aren’t selling, they’re not as productive.
Related Post: Building and Training an Outbound Sales Team: Best Practices and Insights
At least they’re not productive in terms of how you’re probably measuring that productivity. It’s usually through metrics such as how much revenue an individual brings in, divided by their working hours. You might also compare their numbers to last year’s sales cycle to see whether they went up. Boosting productivity so revenue can increase is the goal, but it requires more than drive. Let’s look at four effective ways to improve your sales team’s results.
1. Use Software to Streamline Routine Tasks
What administrative tasks do your sales pros carry out each day? Chances are they deal with the paperwork side of the selling process. Whether it’s managing contacts or contracts, these activities take team members away from making their next pitch. If they have to write contracts from scratch and use multiple programs to ink a deal, it’s even more cumbersome.
To help the group dedicate more time to sales-related activities, implement software that automates the admin side of the job. At the very least, the solutions you give the team should streamline those responsibilities. For instance, contract management software can preload templates, capture signatures, and facilitate negotiations.
Sales employees will no longer have to write and rewrite contracts. Once your company agrees on standard templates, all reps need to do is plug in the variables like customer names. They can send copies to clients for review, route signed documents to accounting, and manage revisions. All of this happens in one platform, so there’s less backtracking through file folders, emails, and separate cloud-based locations. Overall, the paperwork piece becomes much more efficient.
2. Give the Team a Process
Are you successful at something if you wing it? Maybe a few times, but it’s usually because of luck rather than skill. And you can’t develop and execute skills if you don’t have a process. Your salespeople are the same way when it comes to selling. Productivity can’t go up if the group’s unsure of what successful lead nurturing and conversion look like.
Even if you hire someone with extensive experience, the techniques they’re familiar with may not fit your company’s desired process. You may want your team to put forth additional effort when leads raise objections. Maybe your data shows doing so increases conversions. Furthermore, your top performers may have nailed specific objection-overcoming approaches that align with your brand’s values.
Expecting the team to absorb winning techniques by osmosis isn’t realistic. Instead, give them a foundation to build on. Map out what each selling stage should consist of, including how much time they should spend on every step. Maybe pitching involves two demos max, while overcoming objections means at least three phone calls or emails. By setting expectations and providing structure, you’ll lay out where the team can cover the most ground.
Also Read: Upgrading Business: When And How To Select A New Office Space
3. Appeal to Non-Monetary Sources of Motivation
Traditionally, sales leaders try to motivate their teams through financial incentives and sky-high sales targets. Unfortunately, this approach may not work as well as conventional wisdom suggests. A Gartner poll found 59% of sales employees said their leaders didn’t understand how to motivate them. And around 67% of professional sellers think the people setting the goals are disconnected from reality.
In other words, leaders are pushing their reps too hard by giving them unrealistic goals. Although sales employees tend to find the idea of earning more money enticing, it’s not always their only motivator. Say the incentive for increasing sales by 15% is a 2% bonus. But achieving the 15% benchmark isn’t plausible without adding 20 hours to the workweek. And this figure is optimistic given the current market conditions the team faces.
Of course, you may have a few salespeople who will try to reach the goal. However, many — if not most — will look at the odds and say. “No way.” They value their health and time spent with their families more. As a sales leader, you can’t always assume the promise of a fatter paycheck will motivate people. Balance out your approach by finding out what targets are realistic and what non-financial rewards your team will appreciate.
4. Encourage Continuous Learning Through Collaboration
Say you train your sales reps once, putting them through a three-month boot camp before you let them loose. Are you expecting the team to remember everything they’ve learned while executing their newfound knowledge perfectly? If so, you’re hoping for the impossible.
The theory is it only takes up to 48 hours for people to forget 75% of what they’ve just learned. Your sales team may recall a nugget or two from their initial training. But more than likely, they’ve forgotten a huge chunk of it. This probability highlights the importance of upskilling and ongoing training. Training can also be more fruitful if it’s done collaboratively.
Forget solely relying on the in-person or virtual classroom approach. Start a hands-on mentorship program so employees don’t feel isolated and unsupported. While sales environments sometimes get a bad rap for being overly competitive, they don’t have to be this way. Cut-throat workplaces tend to burn people out faster, since most will perceive them as toxic. Mentorship programs can reduce the “in it for me” mentality, as sales teams share knowledge and overcome hurdles together.
Also Read: Europe Punished Tiktok $368 Million For Being Unable To Safeguard Children
Boosting Sales Team Productivity
Productive sales teams don’t happen by magic. They need effective tools, processes, well-conceived motivators, and collaborative training to become successful. By using these methods with your sales reps, you’ll help them raise the bar on what they can achieve.
Source: Cosmo Politian