As a sales leader, you know that a new year means new goals to dominate. You’re also aware that despite the unknowns, there is one certainty you can count on heading into 2023: addressing this year’s sales productivity mistakes will yield better sales performances in the new year.
To better understand what good sales productivity looks like, let’s take a look at its definition. HighSpot refers to sales productivity as “the relationship between a salesperson’s efficiency (inputs) and their effectiveness (outputs).” So if striving to spend less time, money and effort for the highest output is the goal, it’s important to eliminate these 5 productivity mistakes before going into 2023.
1. Neither Delegating nor Automating
According to Dooly’s Sales Happiness Index, among the 600+ sales professionals surveyed, 74% of respondents said they spent a lot of time at work on activities that don’t contribute to selling. Consider how many sales they lost as a result of filling out internal reports and handling email correspondence taking precedence. When administrative tasks become a constant distraction for your sales team, it’s time to put a system in place so they can get back to what’s really important — selling.
Automation is one such system your business can implement. By automating CRM data entry, you’re giving back time and resources to your sales reps — allowing them to reclaim the driver’s seat of their own success. Another system is in the form of delegation. Outsourcing the administrative burden to a dedicated party will only serve to reduce admin responsibility for sales reps. However, integrating intelligent sales tools coupled with outsourcing admin tasks is a powerful combo that can have a high impact on sales productivity.
2. Failing to Align Sales and Marketing Teams
Your marketing team and sales team are the Yin and Yang of your business — opposing forces, yet interdependent. So when the sales team isn’t using marketing’s material or marketing is neglecting to capitalize on sales’ strong customer relationships, your company is suffering from a misalignment that will cost you your budget, resources, and time.
Keeping a dialogue between the marketing and sales teams is essential to generating leads and closing sales. By analyzing the areas where the sales team is losing client interest, the marketing team can develop strategies to overcome it, and vice versa.
Using CRM automation, presenting objectives to both parties or even outsourcing sales functions can create a synergistic relationship between the two teams — fostering better collaborations and communications for high-quality lead generation strategies. When both departments feel accountable for the result, they lean on each other more often and increase sales productivity.
3. Not Providing Sales Reps with Proper Training
A sales team is just as good or just as bad as the training they receive — and unfortunately, sales training is often overlooked and undervalued. Poor and outdated sales training will breed poor sales productivity — there’s no two ways about it. Which is why it’s important to make sure your sales reps feel like they’re set up for success.
Additionally, effective sales training alone can improve win rates by as much as 29%. In order to make your sales team feel more empowered, you can change the way you train them with a few additions. One such change involves standardizing your sales team training program to cover addressable markets, product or service offerings, advanced selling skills, and sales tools and processes. Another is personalizing their training based on performance data that shows specific areas for improvement.
In an ever-changing world of sales, where yesterday’s strategies may not work tomorrow, continuous sales training should also be ongoing for sales reps to improve their skills and grow as experts.
4. Still Using Inadequate Content Management Systems
Content management systems should only serve to help, not hinder, your team’s ability to access sales materials. If your sales reps are lacking a centralized hub to view relevant information about a lead or are unable to share resources in order to close more deals, then you’re dealing with a serious blow to your sales productivity. It also results in a strained buyer experience, as sales reps who are exchanging correspondence with them can’t answer customer queries effectively — causing confusion and frustration.
Even after obtaining a CMS, a shift in mindset is necessary to get the most ROI. Consolidating your sales collateral, training the team on using the platform, and keeping everyone accountable for updating content are some of the best practices to bolster sales productivity.
5. Overlooking the Buyer Behavior Data Hinders Sales Productivity
No doubt your sales team can foster a friendly connection with your customers. However, if they’re pushing buyers towards a purchase without first considering where they are in the buyer’s journey or what content they engage with, your sales rep will appear desperate and impersonal in a cold email. Sales teams need to strategize around buyer behavior data to ensure they’re talking to customers at the right time in the buying process.
Not sure where to start? Conduct a few customer interviews to learn what buyers think was responsible for their buying decision. Run an attribution report to figure out which marketing efforts lead to conversions throughout the funnel. Use the right sales enablement tools to uncover meaningful data that helps your sales teams identify which content peaks customers’ interest. There are many ways to collect the data you need to close the deal and improve sales productivity.
Your next year’s sales productivity doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Continuing some of these mistakes can set you back and cost you dearly in terms of time, money, and missed opportunities. Will you be amending these errors before the new year? Get in touch with our team of experts to begin developing a plan of action to revamp your sales productivity.