If there’s one goal that almost all sales reps share, it’s increased sales productivity. Meeting sales productivity goals makes a rep more valuable to the company, often earning them bonuses and creating a good case for possible promotions in the future. On top of that, productive sales representatives make the company more successful as a whole. This alone can be a great incentive for sales reps who take pride in their work and their workplace.
The responsibility for boosting productivity often falls to sales leaders, but how can an employee increase their own sales productivity? There are a few different ways, but one of the most effective is to establish good habits that build rapport with an audience and deliver your company’s value at every step of the process.
1. Focus on Target Accounts
Understanding who you’re selling to is vital to success as a sales representative. There’s a big difference between trying to make a sale to mid-market and enterprise clients. If your sales reps typically contact individuals from a number of different demographics, try to set up call lists so that each rep will be assigned to a single audience.
If this isn’t possible, configure your process so representatives know which audience they’re addressing before the call is even made. Leveraging the power of a CRM, makes this is a nearly automated task.
This is a great opportunity for sales and marketing to work together. Marketing provides valuable customer data, gleaned from a variety of sources such as trade shows, email campaigns, site analytics, and competitor research.
- Work with Marketing to build an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
- Build and use persona cards to help sales rep understand their target accounts.
- Marketing can score accounts so they are only aligned to the correct ICPs.
- Invest in tools like ZoomInfo to learn more about your target accounts.
- Sync everything you can into your CRM to automate as much as possible.
2. Know Where You Bring Value
Few things can kill a potential sale faster than a sales rep not being able to answer questions about the product or service being sold. All of your sales reps should have a chance to learn as much about new products as possible. Get them hands-on experience or training if they can to help them envision exactly what they’re talking about when they’re on a call. But knowing how to use your product and understanding it are totally different. When you understand your own product, and its fit in the marketplace, you understand your customers at a much deeper level.
Know where you bring value to your customers’ journeys. It is an old cliche, but remember: no one wants a drill, they want a hole in something.
Many sales reps understand a handful of popular (and potent) pain points for their target audiences, but they don’t understand their customers’ entire experience.
3. Start the Day with Goals
To really master sales productivity, a rep needs to learn how to set goals. This doesn’t mean vague or generic goals. Creating a list of specific, achievable goals should be the first thing that a sales representative does when they get to the office. It could be something like making a certain number of calls by a certain time, reducing average call time, or getting to know a new target audience.
But go deeper: break each goal down into tiny, extremely “doable” tasks. When goals are too high-level, it’s tempting to let them slide. But when your reps know exactly what they need to be doing right now to get closer to the end result, that’s when big things get accomplished.
4. Take Breaks
It may seem illogical that stopping work will increase productivity, but a short break in routine can actually do wonders for performance throughout the day. Research has shown that small breaks that take an employee out of their usual work area can have a number of positive effects. These include increased productivity, improved motivation and even an overall increase in health and wellbeing (which can result in happier employees and fewer sick days.)
Encourage your sales reps to take around a five-minute break every hour in which they get up and walk around. Set up a quiet, friendly break environment with healthy snacks, games, and access to creative activities to help gear your reps up for improved productivity after the break.
5. Stop Multitasking
This is another one that sounds counterintuitive: We’ve been conditioned to think that to get things done, multitasking is an essential skill to learn. As it turns out, though, only around 10% of the population is actually capable of multitasking. Time and again, research has shown that attempts at multitasking tend to make task completion slower and can even reduce work quality.
A study at the University of London even found that multitasking can have a negative effect on cognitive ability and IQ while trying to perform tasks! Instead of trying to multitask, sales reps should give their undivided attention to the calls and emails they’re servicing to ensure that each potential customer gets the best possible service.
6. Automate the Basics
There are a lot of little things that we all do during the day which only take up a minute or two of our time. Spread out across an entire workday, however, these little tasks can eat up a decent chunk of time. Instead of trying to take care of every little detail themselves, sales reps should use automation tools to do as much as possible for them. By letting automation take care of the little things, your reps are free to focus on what’s really important: the customer.
7. Embrace the Cloud and Endpoint Devices
In a lot of workplaces, each sales rep sits at a computer where they can check email, look up scripts and account details, make calls and generally go through their day. Reps typically connect to a central file system to access customer and product data, and any locally generated reports or other data has to be manually transmitted since it’s stored on the rep’s computer.
But this can be very inefficient, especially when coupled with the fact that sales reps also do business on their mobile phones, tablets, and other devices.
Use a cloud storage service or set up a local cloud server on location to eliminate inefficiency. This will ensure that documents are already saved to their final location after each change that’s made. A cloud server also makes recovery faster in the event of a computer crash or theft — an added layer of security that both your reps and clients will appreciate.
8. Take Control of Time
A few extra minutes here and there might not seem like much, but those little time leaks can kill a worker’s productivity. Sales reps should examine how they’re making use of their time and how much downtime they have between calls or other work functions.
By making time usage more efficient and minimizing the empty time between tasks, you’ll see productivity soar. Efficient time management also makes it easier to fit in a number of structured breaks throughout the day without falling behind.
9. Use Workflow Tools
There are a number of ways that your employees can increase sales productivity through more efficient workflows. Tools exist to manage sales metrics, create email templates based on your target audience, sync contacts, and conduct meetings online. Many of these tools integrate seamlessly with one another, ensuring that your sales reps have everything that they need all in a single location.
10. There’s No “I” in Team
Perhaps the most important tip to increase your representatives’ sales productivity is to remind them that they are all working on the same team. A number of companies foster a competitive spirit among their sales reps, to the point that each one feels that in order to succeed everyone else has to fail.
It’s great to give bonuses or other incentives to representatives that exceed sales goals or who otherwise excel in the workplace. However, don’t forget to foster a feeling that everyone is important to the company. The more your employees feel happy and inspired, the greater their productivity will be across the board.
PFL has developed a powerful, sales productivity engine for both Sales and Marketing teams called Personal Marketing Center. The Personal Marketing Center (PMC) lives natively inside of your CRM where it bridges Marketing data, customer profiles and Sales’ daily activities. Sales reps use PMC to access, personalize, and deliver all of their marketing materials – no matter if they are digital or physical assets – while Marketing gains a new, invaluable view of Sales data.
See how sales reps can get up to 2 hours a day back from administrative tasks, focusing on sales, not admin.