An annual survey of sales and marketing teams showed that improving the productivity of sales reps was one of the top three drivers of growth in nearly 79% of the firms. But there is little evidence to show that organizations actually invest in sales productivity.
The survey found that sales reps spent just over one-third of their time actually selling. The rest of the time was spent on non-sales related activities like creating content and completing admin sheets.
Technology can remove redundant tasks and boost productivity. The onus is on leadership to identify bottlenecks in sales operations and use technology to fix them. In this article, we will list four ways sales teams can dramatically improve their productivity levels with technology.
1. Automate your sales pipeline
Sales teams spend a staggering amount of time on tasks like monitoring leads, touching base with prospects, following up with past clients and identifying new clients. While this is essentially part of the job, it takes your reps away from what they do best – selling.
Sales force automation tools and professional services automation software solutions do a good job with automating new prospects and adding them into your sales funnel, sending out initial outreach emails and also following up with them after a conversation
2. Integrate your sales tools
Technology tools like PowerPoint, MS Word and Outlook are critical components of a sales team’s armory, as they help build sales pitches and manage their pipeline. However, they are inadequate when it comes to needs that are unique to the sales industry.
For instance, sales personnel have online meetings several times a day and also travel to multiple client locations each day. Keeping track of the day’s events and juggling apps for Uber, Outlook and Join.me could be exhausting, if not a drain on productivity.
A simple workaround is to make use of add-ins and plugins to bring third party apps to your core tools like Outlook so sales reps spend as little time as possible managing apps and instead hop on from one client meeting to another.
3. Invest in sales intelligence software
Identifying a business that will need your product or service is only the first step in sales outreach. The next step is to use tools like LinkedIn to identify the right person within the organization a sales person should reach out to. This is followed by digging out the prospect’s contact details. Extracting these details is painful and saps productivity.
Thankfully, there are tools that do this exhausting work for you. Sales intelligence tools like DiscoverOrg serve as search engines for sales managers. DiscoverOrg lets sales people dig out all of the relevant details about people in an organization automatically. Sales reps can also easily add these details to their sales pipeline. All they need to do is call the prospects and pitch.
4. Synchronize your workflow
Engaging with prospective customers does not always happen over one communication channel. It is common for sales reps to make their initial outreach over email, then call the prospect over phone and then follow up again over email or text.
Managing sales workflow can be quite unnerving, especially when sales reps are handling dozens of prospects at any point. In many organizations, sales managers tend to push prospects from one rep to another. In such cases, the new rep may have little idea about how the previous engagement worked with the particular prospect. Tools like RingDNA can let one automatically call your prospects from within your Salesforce dashboard.
Also, with the ability to record conversations, such tools provide complete documentation of all communication with sales leads that can help sales managers organize their workflow better.
This article has been edited.
Shawn Arora is the founder of LaunchSpark Video, a Toronto-based explainer video agency with a focus on ROI. LaunchSpark works with SaaS and tech vendors to distill complex messaging into clear and concise insights that increase conversion rates. Connect with @shawnarora on Twitter.