5 Essential Strategies for Improving the Productivity of Your Sales Team
Across all industries, companies heavily rely on their sales teams to bring in more profit. In fact, there are quite a few companies that don’t sell great products or services but they have killer sales teams that still rake in crazy amounts of revenue. Of course, this model should be avoided and only serves as an illustration of how important it is to have a skilled and motivated sales team.
On the other hand, it is usually the sales reps that suffer from burnout. They can lose motivation, especially when not achieving the goals set before them. This harms the overall productivity and can be detrimental to a growing business. And this is something that every ambitious entrepreneur should be aware of.
When this happens, many business owners push their sales reps harder and make them work more, which only makes the matter even worse. Instead of working harder, the sales reps need to be more productive with their current workload. In this game, like in many others, quality beats quantity.
For this reason, it is crucial to know how you can improve your sales team’s productivity. There are numerous strategies to do it but some of the essential ones include:
- skilled management
- top-notch communication
- forming a sales development team
Through sales gamification, you are turning a regular task into a game. By selecting various gaming elements and implementing them into the team’s task, you are basically creating a healthy competitive atmosphere while getting your sales goals achieved.
To gamify team productivity, use badges, points, scores, and of course, leaderboards. This will make your team more productive without them even realizing it. The sales game in and of itself is a rather competitive game, and by making it even more competitive, you will notice those sales figures eventually rising.
Sometimes sales reps are not the ones to be blamed for poor results. When you have a team of lions led by a donkey, you can’t really expect much. The same goes if you want a professional and productive sales team – their leader has to be professional and productive as well.
A skilled and resourceful manager can make or break a sales team. Therefore, you should use every strategy out there to hire or create the best managers for your sales team. It doesn’t only matter what education they have. As a matter of fact, it is even more important that they constantly keep improving themselves.
There are various strategies that can help a manager boost their sales team’s productivity:
Setting well-defined goals for the team
Setting well-defined and realistic goals as well as communicating them clearly to your reps is essential. They need to be clear about what they are required to do and the goals have to be within their capabilities.
Use the latest technology to your advantage. For example, you can use practice management software to organize administrative tasks, streamline appointment bookings, simplify invoice creation and billing, as well as automate a number of other tasks.
Every manager can criticize their sales representatives but they also need to provide feedback on a regular basis. It is important to let your reps know what they did right and what they could do better. After all, this is a sign of respect and it also boosts engagement along with productivity.
Communication between your sales reps and the management has to be up to standard. Each business has to maintain a great work environment if productivity is a priority. However, there can be no such environment if there is no great communication.
Employee management isn’t only about delegating tasks to your team. It is also about perfecting communication, learning to listen, and implementing every piece of advice. Sales reps have to listen to each other but they also need to listen to you. Also, you need to pay attention to what they have to say. Introduce open-door policies, allow them to express their opinions, and always have project debriefings.
There are numerous strategies that can help you improve communication but nothing beats listening closely and allowing your team to say what they have on their minds. That way, they will feel appreciated, the management will have no difficulty spotting a problem, but most of all, dealing with issues is a lot easier when there is healthy personal interaction between the members and superiors.
It is important that the sales reps can always reach out to their superiors. That is why introducing multi-channel communication is highly recommended, especially if you manage a remote team.
To make your team communication stellar, use apps like Slack, as well as platforms like Jira, Trello, and TeamViewer. This will make it easier for your reps to keep in touch and solve their problems together with you.
Managers should always find new ways to motivate their sales reps. Team members that are excited about coming to work every day will be way more productive than those that feel unappreciated and useless.
Therefore, managing a sales team means constantly looking for new motivational strategies that boost productivity levels in the office. Before you dismiss this idea altogether, keep in mind that these strategies don’t always require monetary rewards or incentives that cost a lot of money.
Indeed, there are a number of ways to motivate your sales representatives without having to spend money. Celebrate each success as a team, praise them for over delivering, open a bottle of champagne with your sales team when they perform well. This way, you will show that you appreciate what they do and they will feel more motivated to keep doing a great job. All of this does wonders for productivity levels.
Remember, just like you should criticize errors or carelessness, you also need to reward both big and small wins. All effort has to be recognized and appreciated. When you build this healthy kind of relationship with your sales team, it will be much easier to get them to work better as a whole.
Forming a Sales Development Team
More and more businesses are starting to form sales development teams when they start to struggle with the productivity of their sales reps. Members of a sales development team do the difficult work that not many people could do. They are the ones cold-calling leads, responding to inbound leads, and evaluating potential leads for your business.
Of course, this is not the only reason why you should create a sales development team. This team is also a bridge between sales and marketing, as they engage leads generated by your marketing team and filter out the ones that should reach your sales reps.
And even though a number of businesses don’t even want to consider gathering a sales development team, these experts are quite important for the whole company.
Imagine how lucky your sales team would be if they had someone working around the clock to filter low-quality leads and only pass them the ones who are ready to make a purchase. This is a solution that perfectly aligns the sales and marketing departments. Ultimately, productivity levels can only go up when this kind of team is around.
It is obvious that there is more than one way to improve your sales team’s productivity. However, it is crucial that you do an audit before you start implementing what you have read in this article.
Determine what tampers with the productivity level of your sales team and then act. Once you find out where the squeaky wheel is, use the strategies above as well as every bit of knowledge available to you to rectify each mistake and improve your sales team’s productivity.
Contributed by Dave Schneider, the marketing manager at Albacross, the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me and runs the churn reduction app, LessChurn.