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How to Improve Sales Efficiency

October 25th, 2017

Sales Efficiency is about hitting the projected bottom line with optimal usage of resources. Optimal resources could be minimal effort, less number of sales reps in your team, less number of hours and shorter sales cycles. But all of these should yield better growth and revenue!

Well, we are not talking about an imaginary situation when we say that the above mentioned scenario is achievable. Many sales organizations across industries, handling B2B deals, have secured good results by fixing some loopholes in their sales process. Here is what you can do to improve your sales efficiency:

1.) Work on tightening up your sales process

The best way to do this is by engaging your sales reps and by getting feedback from their experiences. Remember that they are the ones who know what works and what doesn’t. So, their feedback in improving the sales process and in eliminating the redundant steps can improve the performance and efficiency.

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 and also unwantedly invest time in training the new member/s.

3) Use technology and data

We all know that sales reps can spend considerable time in entering data if you haven’t yet implemented CRM or other automated tools. Data entry and other admin work shouldn’t come under sales execs scope. For this it is always recommended to use CRM and other sales enablement tools. This not only assists your team in achieving the tasks efficiently 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 lot of resources and effort from every individual in your team to acquire one customer. These individuals are sales people in your team at various echelons such as Account Managers, Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Sales Executives. Every individual and every hour spent by them count towards the ROI. So, it is better to decide if you need an extensive sales team or just few individuals can wear different hats. Later based on the needs you can always expand the size.

5) Value your team’s existence

Ensure that your sales team understands its value. Often times sales team gets ignored. Organizational leaders tend to give more importance to product and marketing teams. As a sales leader your job is to make the organization value its sales team. Make your team members feel that they are the central point, entrusted with the most difficult task in the organization.

6) Training and feedback loop

Don’t ignore on-job training and feedback. It’s not 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 them 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 plus revenue.  Before the sales reps talk to the prospects they need to map their need to the features of your products/ services. This saves time. An outstanding well prepared pitch delivers a powerful impression on the prospect’s psych. Yes, let the awesome customer journey start 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. More so, when there is always a fully functional marketing department close by.

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 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. 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.”

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