Here’s the top 10 tips on how to improve the efficiency of your sales and strengthen your organization:
- Work on tightening up your sales process.
- Retain the best sales reps.
- Use technology and data.
- Build the sales team brick by brick.
- Value your team.
- Training and feedback loop.
- Emphasize on thorough research.
- Let marketing and sales work in tandem.
- Shun the pitch, let them talk.
- Communicate, coach, and optimize.
Smart use of your available resources is one of the best ways to improve your bottom line. If you remove redundancies and tighten up your pipeline, you will be surprised at how much better your end of the quarter numbers will look. Closing deals faster, needing fewer reps to do the work, and increasing your win rate will all play a huge role in getting your organization to the next level.
Here is what you can do to improve your sales efficiency:
1) Work on tightening up your sales process
Activity tracking software would allow you to have your own eyes and ears in the field without becoming too intrusive.
Once you implement a tool like this, it will act like a sales efficiency software. It will allow you to figure out where your reps are doing well and where they’re struggling so you can mitigate redundancies. It’s a powerful way to boost efficiency and optimize your sales process.
2) Retain the best sales reps
As a sales leader, your job is to identify the best reps in your team. Give them incentives, promote them so that they grow with your organization and vice versa. You don’t want them to switch companies because if they go, they take the contacts they have made in your industry with them.
Apart from this, in case of Account Based Selling model you need highly skilled managers to consistently improve relationships with your existing customers. Hence, if the attrition rate is high in your sales team, you might end up losing the customer. Not to mention investing time in training new sales reps.
3) Use technology and data
Data entry can be one of the biggest efficiency busters in sales. We all know sales reps can spend ungodly amounts of time entering data if you’re not using a CRM or other automated tools.
Admin work shouldn’t come under sales execs scope. Using a CRM and other sales enablement tools boosts sales efficiency significantly. It not only assists your team in achieving the tasks in a timely manner but also gives an insight on sales cycle, goals, strategies, etc.
4) Build the sales team brick by brick
In case of Account Based Sales (ABS) you need a lot of resources and effort from every individual on your team to acquire one customer. These are salespeople at various echelons such as Account Managers, Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Sales Executives.
Every hour they spend is an investment and affects your ROI. So, it’s beneficial to figure out the most efficient way to go about it. Do you need an extensive sales team or just a few people who can wear different hats? Later based on the needs you can always expand the size.
5) Value your team
Ensure that your sales team understands their value. In terms of recognition, sales teams are often last in line. Organizational leaders tend to give more weight to product and marketing teams.
As a sales leader, your job is to make the organization value their sales team. Make your team members feel that they are the central point, entrusted with the most difficult task in the organization. Nothing breaks a person’s morale and ability to work efficiently like feeling unappreciated.
6) Training and feedback loop
Don’t ignore on-the-job training and feedback. It’s not a waste of time! Before you give feedback to each team member, get them to give feedback to themselves. This is much faster than you giving feedback to everyone.
Bring your team under one roof and ask them to share their experiences in selling. Also, let them get ideas from each other on how they can handle their current prospects.
7) Emphasize on thorough research
Let the sales reps do thorough research on their prospect’s needs, requirements, history etc. Half baked knowledge doesn’t lead anywhere but towards panic, frustration and loss of time and revenue.
Before the sales reps talk to the prospects, they need to map their needs to the features of your products/ services. This saves time.
An outstanding and well prepared pitch delivers a powerful impression on the prospect’s psych. Yes, let the awesome customer journey begin from the very first touch-point!
8) Let marketing and sales work in tandem
For the previous point to land as targeted, it is extremely important that your marketing team is used as a tool to enable sales team to function.
Sales reps can do research on prospects, market, competitors etc. but their time shouldn’t be wasted in updating or personalizing the marketing collaterals. Even more so, when there is always a fully functional marketing department closeby.
9) Shun the pitch, let them talk
Encourage your sales team to have a smooth conversation with the stakeholders on the other side. Don’t let the pitch come across as pitch. It should be an effortless, confident, smoothly flowing two way conversation.
This can be honed with practice, experience and thorough research. Sales pitch can put off the prospects and interest can fizzle out.
Hence, highly efficient sales teams know how to save their time and effort. It’s about concentrating on basic things and pushing the revenue up.
10) Communicate, coach and optimize
Communicate with your sales team as often as you can. No amount of tools will change the importance of communication. Allow reps to come to you when they have a problem. Coach them when they’re having difficulties.
As a sales manager, it is your job to optimize your team’s performance and ensure your people are working as efficiently as they can. But you can’t achieve that without allowing them to communicate with you first. After all, they are your eyes and ears in the field. When they talk, a good sales leader listens. And then makes decisions. Not before.
Finally, we’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom. As John Richard II, the CEO of Venture Medical says, “As a CEO of a company with a small sales staff, I recognize that the efficiency of our sales team is one of our top priorities.”