As if sales professionals aren’t already busy enough, their productivity has a profound impact on profitability and overall revenue growth. (No rest for the wicked it seems…) When sales teams are productive, it minimizes the resources that are expended to maximize sales, which means less effort, time, and money drive increased revenues. While it sounds simple enough — more energy = more profit — there are many issues holding pros back from prospecting productivity.
Keep reading to uncover five matters that may be holding back your sales team from winning more business and maximizing productivity:
1) An overcomplicated (or nonexistent!) onboarding and training process
According to research by Aberdeen, it costs around $30,000 and takes more than seven months to bring a new sales rep up to speed. Most often, that’s due to a lack of a formal training and onboarding process. The first step to optimize productivity is to put the proper tools and resources in place.
That way, new sales reps coming in the door are armed with the in-depth knowledge that they need to effectively sell your products and services. Of course, continual training and development are also crucial, so make it a part of your company culture, too. If poor sales lead management is an issue, revisit software solutions designed for continued education.
2) Poor communication between sales and marketing
3) Too much busy work
Chances are that your sales reps spend significant amounts of time on unimportant, repetitive tasks. Whenever they engage in such activities, their focus shifts away from core selling activities to proprietary procedures that are not moving the needle for your business. Wherever you can, reduce or eliminate mind-numbing tasks like these. Consider investing in tools and resources that enable your team to automate their most time-consuming, day-to-day tasks. While you’re at it, work on automating the sales workflow. Have a clearly defined workflow in place for reps to follow, and optimize this process as the need arises.
4) Sales reps depending on outdated content
Sales reps’ productivity nosedives when they have to search high and low for content that suits their current pitch. Sometimes, they have to create it from scratch themselves. Avoid this issue by investing lots of time and effort into creating a truly state-of-the-art content library. Organize it in an intuitive way and train your reps on how to make the most of it.
5) Lack of valuable data
Tracking sales activity is easy. What about marketing activity? By tracking the results of your marketing efforts, you can boost the productivity of your sales team by ensuring they aren’t continually barking up the wrong tree or neglecting actionable insight that gives them a foot in the door.
Collect information about metrics like sales cycle length, sales qualified leads vs. marketing qualified leads, win rates, and conversion rates to more easily understand what works and what doesn’t. You can also use data visualization to more easily understand how various efforts within the company impact sales. Think beyond sales and marketing, factoring in product quality, customer retention, and other company-wide metrics. Include your reps in the process so they can learn from it too.