Why Productivity Matters For Salespeople
Productivity is an important currency for Salespeople. Not only does it define the results of each day, but it can also have substantial impacts on employee development, career progression and happiness at work. Let’s take a look at some of the core productivity killers for salespeople and why being productivity aware should be a goal for all of us.
Productivity Killers For Salespeople
Like most departments, Sales can suffer from swings in productivity. Yet with team members performance much more results orientated and external factors like economic outlook often impacting market demand then it’s a business function which can’t afford too much wasted time on non-sales related activity. Below are some of the principle distractions Salespeople have which takes them away from selling:
CRM Maintenance – CRM has come a long way in the last 5 years but Salespeople with archaic legacy software or without ample training to be able to operate those systems are finding they are spending far too many hours updating CRM records. According to information from Salesforce the average US sales rep updates around 300 CRM records per week.
Email Volume – Emails can be a big drain on productivity, not least because of the physical time it takes to read and respond to messages but also the mental disruption caused each time we stop a task midway through to answer incoming mail.
Internal Communications – Salespeople often need buy-in from other business departments like Marketing & Finance. Sometimes if information isn’t being recorded properly or flowing through the organisation correctly then bottlenecks can occur. Salespeople are often having to stall contact with prospects whilst they wait for the correct approval or correct product literature.
And these issues are just a small cross-section of much bigger business ecosystem, which is constantly vying for our attention and collaboration. Improving Salespeople’s productivity is now a primary goal for many big businesses and employees are now seeking much more control and flexibility in their daily routines. Here’s how to do it….
Digital transformation and the modern business world continue to generate more repeat tasks and record keeping for employees to manage. And whilst data is a cornerstone for future business success, the amount of man hours required to manage it is becoming unrealistic. Salesforce recently claimed that as little as 1/3 of a Salespersons time goes on core selling, which is considerably lower than just a couple of decades ago. With this in mind, organisations and Salespeople need to embrace automation, any tasks which software or algorithms can effectively learn & process need to be passed over. At Ortoo we create automation applications and we can see now that machine learning algorithms can learn processes in lightning quick speed and once setup correctly can carry out administration tasks often with an improved error rate to that of an employee. The future is moving away from hours of manual data entry and you need to move with it.
Switching To An Inbound Model
This trend is sweeping through large B2B organisations on both sides of the Atlantic. As consumers become more inundated with information, traditional forms of advertising are losing their staying power and struggling to break through dwindling attention spans. The answer for now seems to be inbound, creating a business and content which looks to help people. Thus, getting potential prospects to come directly to your website of sales team, reducing the need for as many outbound activities like cold calls or direct mail. Salespeople who are part of an inbound model are often more productive, the evidence points to the fact that inbound leads are more likely to convert into sales and that the customer lifetime value of those customers is dramatically increased. By getting more customers leaving their contact information of their own accord you also reduce the need for as much time consuming outbound sales tactics, which are also reducing in their effectiveness.
Clear Processes & Knowledge Sharing
Salespeople will always have their own tactics and strategies however the organisation needs to be doing all it can to help those team members flourish. Without any clear processes, Salespeople are just left to their own devices and won’t benefit from working together in unison and logically working in a way that helps the rest of the company. For example, standardising the approach to updating the CRM or how frequently call backs should happen helps set clarity amongst the team. Having these written down as reference points also makes it completely transparent about what the company thinks the best modus operandi actually is and helps newer team members settle in to a more comfortable way of working. Optimising the daily processes individuals and teams go through should be a regular fixture moving forward and is one of the best ways to improve Salespeople’s productivity. What parts of the daily routine are cumbersome, which tasks can be batched together and which areas need more training some they can be completed quicker. All these areas should be looked at frequently and all levels of the team should be able to contribute.
Are You Hoping To Improve Your Sales Teams Productivity?
At Ortoo we create productivity apps for the World’s most popular CRM, Salesforce. Our applications complete a whole host of useful, time-saving features which help Salespeople focus on what they enjoy most – Selling. You can find more about our two apps Email-to-Anything and Q-assign further on in the site.