In this guide, I’ll be teaching you how you can increase sales productivity among you and your team to increase revenue.
When it comes to driving revenue for your organization, the productivity of your team is everything.
Think about it:
Without a productive team, you and your company won’t get very far down the line.
But creating a well-functioning, highly-productive team?
That’s a different story.
- Sales productivity vs. efficiency vs. effectiveness
- 9 Ways to increase sales productivity
- Common sales productivity mistakes
- The easiest way to boost your sales productivity today
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Sales Productivity vs. Efficiency vs. Effectiveness — Are They the Same?
First up is the question of efficiency vs. effectiveness vs. productivity.
They’re three similar terms that get thrown around in the world of sales quite a bit, but do they mean the same thing?
And if not, is one more important than the other?
To answer the first question: Nope, efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity are three different pieces to the sales puzzle. But they are related, and all work together.
Let me explain:
A sales team’s productivity is the pure output (or revenue) in any given period, whether that’s a quarter, a month, or just a day. The efficiency of a sales team is their revenue divided by the expenses they used to earn that revenue. The effectiveness is the output per sales action (or the revenue divided by each sales activity).
Sales productivity is essentially the efficiency multiplied by the effectiveness. So we’re looking at an equation like this:
All three are super important — but the sales productivity is the bigger picture.
9 Ways to Increase Your Sales Team’s Productivity (and Your Profit)
And now that we’ve gotten that distinction out of the way, let’s talk about the big question for today:
How do you increase the productivity of a sales team?
Tip #1: Use Sales Analytics to Your Advantage
Knowledge is power, and sales analytics are precisely the type of knowledge that can put you ahead in the game.
Analyzing your sales process’s ins and outs is a vital task that plenty of sales teams don’t know how to do effectively.
Don’t worry, though; we’ve written a guide on how you can keep track of sales and use the analytics to become (and stay) #1.
Once you’ve thoroughly tracked your sales data over time, you can then use that data to optimize your sales processes and strategies — which takes us to the next section:
Tip #2: Perform Sales Process Audits Regularly
No sales team is perfect. And no sales process is perfect either.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t aim for consistent improvements.
If you want to smooth out any kinks in your sales process and continue to improve, implement regular “sales process audits.” During these audits, look through every aspect of your sales process you can, from sales rep training to scheduling calls, look for areas where you can improve and keep track of them.
These audits will essentially help you cut out the fat and focus on the meat of your business.
Don’t do this, and you end up compounding your mistakes over and over and over (and over).
And remember, a team that stops improving is one that falls behind.
Tip #3: Evaluate Your Time Sinks
Time sinks are an unavoidable aspect of any complicated process, but some are much more unnecessary than others.
For instance, Admin work takes up a massive amount of time that could be spent elsewhere with more profitable tasks.
When you’re doing your sales audit, this is one of the essential areas to look into:
Where is your team wasting time, how could you remove those time sinks, and where could that time be better spent?
Once you identify those time sinks, you can:
A: Remove them if they’re not necessary.
B: Automate them if they’re necessary but tedious and simple (more on this later).
C: Outsource them if they’re more complicated but necessary.
Tip #4: Take Feedback From the Team
It’s all too common to see management teams that seem to be completely detached from the work that’s going on “down in the trenches.”
When these management teams try to make organization-wide changes, it disrupts the systems they’re trying to improve.
To avoid this, make sure to continually seek feedback from all your sales team members that you can. Oftentimes, you’ll find that reps have some of the best ideas for revamping lackluster sales processes.
So schedule weekly and monthly meetings with your team to discuss any optimizations you can make to your business.
Tip #5: Make Sales Coaching an Ongoing Process
Speaking of sales meetings, sales coaching is another activity you should be doing with your team in those meetings.
Just like the processes themselves need continuous improvement, sales coaching is an infinite process too.
Always seek to be teaching your reps, helping them grow, and giving them proper direction as time goes on. Sales coaching isn’t a one-and-done sort of deal; it’s your job to be their mentor when necessary.
Talk to them about their sales meetings and give them tips on ways to improve.
Another great way to improve is with role-playing. As silly as you might feel doing it at first, it’ll increase your sales skills without dropping the ball with an actual prospect.
Tip #6: Streamline Complex Workflows & Simplify Where You Can
The sales process doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, it tends to work better when it’s not complicated. The simpler you can make your sales systems, the easier it is to get things moving.
Take a moment to see where you’ve got unnecessary steps in your process. Where can you take complex, multi-step pieces and break them down into more straightforward, more comfortable to digest ones?
These are the things you should think about when streamlining the sales process.
Then once you’ve documented the simplified processes, it’s time to outsource or…
Tip #7: Automate, Automate, Automate.
Remember how I previously mentioned that sales reps spend a ton of time with unnecessary tasks?
It’s probably a bit more severe than you think. Nearly two-thirds of sales reps’ time gets spent doing non-revenue generating tasks like data entry, call scheduling, and so on.
And there’s a problem with this.
All of these tasks that take up sales reps’ valuable time don’t have to be completed by people.
But what does that mean?
Well, there’s a handy tool in the modern sales team tool belt; it’s called automation.
Automation is one of the critical pieces of the puzzle that can help you put yourself far ahead of the competition.
Think of it:
While many of the other sales teams are wasting their time entering numbers into spreadsheets, scheduling calls manually, and doing all of their day-to-day tasks by hand, you could have these processes running on autopilot to save you time — and, by proxy, money.
And it’s not as complicated as it sounds; automation is as simple as using pre-packaged software to take care of the more menial tasks your team handles.
Learn more about how you can automate your sales process here.
An easy way to do the automation yourself (easily too)? See Tip #9.
Tip #8: Operate Along a Structured Sales Funnel
Without a set structure, a sales team has to play things by ear.
And the problem with playing things by ear is that you don’t get as much done. Not only that, but you might not be taking the best courses of action along the sales journey if you’re flying blind.
That’s why it’s so essential to set up a detailed and structured customer journey or sales funnel.
If you operate on a set structure and guide your prospects along it, tracking sales and other valuable metrics become much more straightforward.
Structuring a sales funnel starts with your targeting and ends with closing the sale. All of these steps should be planned and strategized — from start to finish.
Want to know how you can build a sales funnel (and automate it too)? Check out our guide here.
Tip #9: The Secret to an Easier (and More Productive) Sales Process: Use a CRM to Do the Heavy Lifting for You
CRMs, or Customer Relationship Management Programs, are some of the best ways you can transform your team’s productivity and profit margins.
We’ll use our CRM, VipeCloud, as an example.
We take plenty of the strategies I’ve just gone over and combine them into one neat package.
An intuitive sales analytics dashboard? You got it.
Streamlined sales processes? Yep.
Consolidated data to save time? Of course.
Want to learn more about CRMs and how they can help your sales team? Check out our ultimate guide on CRMs.
4 Common Sales Productivity Mistakes
Now, with all of that out of the way — let’s talk about some of the cardinal sins of sales productivity.
Overcomplicated Sales Procedures
Oftentimes, simple is best.
It might be impressive to have an intricate, ultra-detailed sales process, but if no one can learn it inside and out, what’s the good in it?
Rather than focusing on a sales process that gets every step down to the smallest detail, focus on making a simple, versatile process that any sales rep can understand.
If you can document your procedures down into SOPs (standard operating procedures) and outsource it to someone else and have them be 80% as effective — that’s a winning procedure.
Overutilizing Automation in the Sales Process
With all of our praise for automation earlier in this post, you might think that the more of it you can fit into the process, the better, but that’s not exactly true.
As the saying goes: Too much of any good thing becomes a bad thing.
And automation is no exception.
Automation is one of the keys to scaling your productivity, but sales is a very personal process (especially when selling B2B).
To earn the trust of your prospects that turns them into eventual customers, you need to add that critical human touch.
Sales and discovery calls, closing deals, and customer service are all processes that can’t be (effectively) taken over by automation. So remember, when automating the sales process, don’t get carried away.
Operating Without Team & Customer Feedback
As I highlighted earlier, many management teams like to operate without hearing any word from the sales reps down in the trenches.
What this creates is a disjointed, inefficient, and unproductive team.
One of the essential parts of the process is taking in constructive feedback from wherever you can get it. Ask the sales reps and team members for feedback, ask your customers, and even ask the prospects who fell through along the way.
After a sales call, it’s never a bad idea to ask for feedback on how you can improve. And who knows, this might even get you another meeting if the prospect is qualified.
Every bit of feedback you get is information that you can use to improve your process for the next time around, which leads us to the next point.
A Stagnant Sales Process
A sales team that stops improving is one that gets left behind.
Never stop working to improve every aspect of sales. From coaching your team members to streamlining processes, there’s nothing that can’t be improved.
Don’t become one of the teams that fall behind; strive for innovation and consistently change it up.
Never stop improving and never settle.
Try a Sales CRM Like VipeCloud to Take Your Productivity Up a Major Notch
Adding a CRM to your business arsenal can be like hiring another employee (except this one doesn’t need a salary).
Want to see how VipeCloud can help your team drastically increase productivity?
We don’t like to brag — we’d rather show you firsthand precisely what it can do, and we’ll even let you test it out for free.
We’ll even personally help you migrate your current data and systems over to VipeCloud for no extra charge.
So if that sounds interesting to you, request your free demo of VipeCloud today!