In sales, time is money. To be successful, sales reps must pitch to as many potential buyers as possible without sacrificing quality. In other words, in order to be successful, they need to be efficient and productive. It’s not always easy, but with a few tips and tricks, any sales rep can be a bit more productive. This blog post tells you how to increase sales productivity with a few tweaks to your sales process and business tools.
1. Have Your Sales Reps do Their Research
An informed sale is almost always a more successful one. Knowing this, don’t let your sales reps go into a potential sale blind. Make sure they dedicate a chunk of time to researching their prospect inside and out. This will help strengthen their sales approach and prepare them for possible questions or concerns.
Your reps should know exactly when your company has contacted that prospect in the past, what was said during that point of contact, what products the prospect has purchased from your company and which issues the prospect has had with those products.
It would also be helpful for them to check the prospect’s social media accounts to see what they have been saying about your company, industry or product. A solid sale starts with in-depth research. It may seem like it is a waste of time, but in the end it will increase productivity by helping close more sales per attempt.
2. Encourage Follow-ups
Follow-ups are a sure fire way to increase the likelihood of a sale and increase opportunities for up-selling. Surprisingly, however, nearly half of sales reps never follow up with a potential sale if they don’t make it on their first attempt. Yet 80 percent of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. That goes to show that persistence pays off.
Often, it’s easy to fall into the hurrying trap. You want to rush through and make sure that your sales reps hit as many prospects as possible. Your agents don’t want to waste more time on calls or meeting with people who have already turned you down. But what you may not realize is that those rejections could become sales with just a few more nudges. Make sure this is clear and don’t let your reps give up on anyone after the first point of contact. Encourage them to keep pushing because, much like doing a little extra research, even if it feels a bit like a waste of time, it’s not. It will actually increase productivity as you increase your likelihood of closing a deal.
3. Leverage Better Software
While you may not need the latest technology to make a solid sale, some helpful technological tools certainly won’t hurt. Today, there is a wide variety of digital tools that help increase sales representatives’ productivity. There is call center software that integrates with your helpdesk, CRM and other back office solutions to compile all relevant data about the prospect in one place. There are call recording and call monitoring tools that allow managers to listen in on calls and gauge progress. There are online chat tools and email tools that eliminate calls altogether. The list never ends.
Technological tools like these will only help increase the productivity of your team. While you may not need all of the newest technology, it could be worth your time to check out what other sales teams in your industry use. See what’s on the market and determine if any of it will help your team sell more products or services at a faster rate. If the answer is yes, the tool is likely a good investment.
4. Train Well
Working to increase productivity should begin before a sales rep even hits the floor. We’re talking about training. Training a rep the right way will help them work faster, more effectively and allow them to close more sales per call. Thus, it’s always worth devoting a little extra time to the sales rep training process if it means that they’ll come away from it a stronger salesperson. Putting in the time early on will only help them work more efficiently later on.
5. Automate the Sales Process
Productivity enhancements shouldn’t be limited to people. Automation can help smooth out processes and make them more efficient. Rather than make your team manually enter information about a caller, many new systems will automatically input it into your CRM, helpdesk, call center software and any other back office system. Some call center software will also create a new task automatically, and send the agent an email, when a caller leaves a voicemail or when a call is missed. These little automated tasks can result in a big productivity boost for your sales team.
In many ways, automating these processes could help save the company time and increase sales reps’ productivity. Just a note of caution: too much automation or inefficient systems will anger callers, so make sure that you work out all of the kinks before you go live. You want to make sure your process is smooth and doesn’t cause friction with callers.
Most of these tips have one common theme: devoting a little extra time to invest in better software and training helps make for a better outcome and a more productive process. Before shying away from an idea, tool or process because of the time it may take to deploy (or, of course, the money it costs), sit down and think about the potential outcome. Does it have the opportunity to actually help your team and make them more productive? If the answer is yes, it may well be a worthy investment for your team of sales reps.