Sales productivity guide: how to increase sales productivity?

Doing the right things right

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Boosting sales productivity is one of the most popular ways companies often use to amplify their sales teams’ selling power. By doing that, companies can help maximize each sales team member’s potential, sell smarter, and achieve sales goals.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of sales productivity, including its definition and factors affecting it. You’ll also learn how to increase and measure sales productivity the right way.

What Is Sales Productivity?

Sales productivity is about maximizing time spent on sales activities while minimizing the resources needed to accomplish sales objectives.

Sales productivity is usually considered as a product of sales efficiency and sales effectiveness:

  • Sales efficiency refers to the allocation of resources like budget, technologies, and time. Achieving sales efficiency means prioritizing critical sales activities, automating repetitive actions, and eliminating low-value tasks.
  • Sales effectiveness refers to how well your sales team uses your sales force’s resources to achieve sales goals. For example, how skilled your sales reps are in terms of approaching new clients, negotiating deals, etc. How many qualified leads your team gets from 50 calls each week.

Key Factors of Sales Productivity

Every company wants to build a skilled sales team that works efficiently and effectively. However, doing that faces several challenges as there are certain factors affecting sales productivity.

For example:

  • Complicated sales processes, including onboarding, nurturing, negotiating, and closing.
  • Ineffective sales pipeline management.
  • Hiring the wrong people.
  • Poor communication from top to bottom.
  • Poor sales, marketing, and operations alignment.
  • Lack of adequate coaching and training sessions.
  • Unclear compensation and incentive system.
  • Unrealistic sales objectives, creating high pressure.
  • Resistance to applying new and innovative selling techniques and sales technologies.
  • Unexpected changes from external environments like politics, economics, and society.

5 Strategies to Increase Sales Productivity

The following are 5 strategies you can apply to enhance your sales team’s productivity. Remember, you don’t need to try all of these at once. The key is to test one strategy at a time, measure performance, and then compare results to determine what strategies work best for your business.

1. Qualify prospects more effectively

In CustomerThink’s survey, sales experts agreed that getting more qualified prospects from the get-go is the top opportunity to improve sales productivity.
The reason is understandable: if you’re chasing wrong prospects — those who aren’t interested in your offerings, you’ll end up waiting a lot of time and failing to accomplish your goals.

To avoid this problem, you should sit down with your sales and marketing teams to clearly define what qualifies a lead. Doing this will ensure all teams have the same approach to lead qualification.

2. Connect communication tools

Your sales reps use communication tools like phone, email, voice, online meeting platforms, and social media to connect with prospects and customers on a daily basis. Switching back and forth among these applications leads to interruption and distraction, which reduces your sales reps’ productivity.

The best practice is to use integration software like Revenue Grid. This way, you can automate real-time data capture from all communication channels, access your Salesforce data directly from your Inbox, never miss any appointments, and more.

3. Invest in productivity tools

Productivity tools can help your sales reps streamline working processes, account management, internal communication, etc. These tools are also helpful to share data among teams and improve collaboration across your company.

Examples of productivity tools include customer relationship management (CRM), lead generation, sales enablement, and proposal creation.

4. Provide continuous training and coaching

Training, coaching, and development programs are essential to your sales team’s success. By providing these programs, you can uplift sales reps’ skills, boost their motivation, increase sales productivity, and build a learning culture in your company.

For example, you can create a centralized online learning hub where your sales reps can access to find any learning materials they need at any time. You should also track individual performance, identify their areas of improvement, and provide proper training to help them reach their full potential.

5. Build a transparent compensation system

According to McKinsey, “adjusting the mix of commissions, quotas, salaries, and bonuses for the salesforce can be a driver of growth.” This is also aligned with a research study, finding that “(1) bonuses enhance productivity and (2) overachievement commissions help sustain the high productivity of the best performers even after attaining quotas.”

To build a successful compensation system, you should specify the responsibilities of each sales rep, what they need to do to accomplish sales targets, what motivates them, etc. Then, develop an incentive structure that makes your sales reps feel you understand and appreciate their contribution.

5 Tips to Increase Sales Productivity

Here are additional tips on how to increase sales productivity that can help drive your sales and revenue:

  • Spend more time up-front to research prospects: A clear understanding of a prospect can help you find the best way to present your offerings. When you do that, you also increase the chance of getting a qualified lead.
  • Treat online calls like face-to-face meetings: When you don’t need to meet prospects in person, it’s easy to take a relaxed approach to calls. However, the best sales reps take every call seriously – no matter if it’s online or offline.
  • Encourage referrals: Having an existing customer spreads the word about you is gold. Think about setting up a referral program to encourage your customers to share about you.
  • Develop a deep interest in what you’re selling: It’s hard to sell something if you don’t like it. Take time to try your product, experience its benefits, and develop a deep interest in what you do. This will help keep your motivation even when your schedule is crazy.
  • Slow down to accomplish more: Working more hours and doing everything as quickly as possible doesn’t mean you’ll achieve more. It’s good to slow down or take a break sometimes because that’ll help you focus on the right thing.

How to Measure Sales Productivity

How do you know if your sales reps are working productively? The answer is measuring their progress.

To do that, you can use metrics like conversion rate, win rate, sales length, average deal size, retention, and customer lifetime value (CLV). Check out this sales productivity metrics guide to learn more.

Sales Productivity Tools

Choosing the right sales productivity tool can actually help you improve your sales effectiveness and efficiency. But it’s not easy to do that because there are a lot of options out there. If you’re in this situation, then try RevenueGrid.

RevenueGrid is a revenue operation and intelligence platform named the Best Sales Technology and G2Crowd category leader. This platform offers you a set of powerful features, including:

  • Revenue Signals: Getting interactive, contextual alerts that can guide your sales reps on what’s next to do and when it should be done.
  • Team analytics: Coaching your sales reps, sharing best practices, and measuring your effort.
  • Pipeline inspection: Tracking changes and managing your sales pipeline in real-time.
  • CRM and email integration: Automating data capture and access Salesforce data directly from your Inbox.
  • Sales sequences: Automating your nurturing process with automated sequences and rules.
  • Deal guidance: Getting AI-powered recommendations on key deal milestones, deals at risks, decision-makers, and more.

You can take a product tour to learn more about how Revenue Grid can help improve your salesman’s productivity.