The sales force is a backbone for any corporate player. No company can afford to demoralize or de-motivate its sales force since it can directly impact a company’s performance momentum and can decline growth. Someone nicely quoted – “The sales team is the biggest strength for any company but at the same time it is the biggest weakness as well.” Being aware of the ground reality importance of sales task force, almost every company take care of every person by introducing different attractive employee friendly policies and by expressing personal interest in motivating them. Companies are always keen to identify certain ways how to utilize the maximum strength of its salesforce and how to achieve the maximum out of it or try to figure out sales force productivity metrics.
Since last decade, the productivity of the sales team has emerged as one of the key concerns in the industry. Sales productivity is the rate at which a salesperson generates revenue for the company. Rather than pushing salesforce to work more and work harder, an increase in sales productivity is concerned with the sales force using their time smartly and more effectively. In order to sustain or to boost the productivity rate, the companies have to set some realistic as well as practical goals like I described below.
An Ideal Game Plan
To improve sales productivity, companies can consider many factors. The responsibility of rising in salesforce productivity does not lie solely with the sales team only. The company is also equally responsible for the same and should invest equal efforts as well. The company can hire some specialist or can use sales productivity software which can be a positive move toward increasing sales productivity.
When it comes to your sales force, productivity is all about making sure you keep your men busy in activities that lead to sales outcomes. It’s up to you to remove as many of the obstacles that prevent sales professionals from selling as is possible and that you keep your team motivated and determined to surpass the sales targets that have been established.
An inter-department communication can be improved to let the sales team access all necessary information. Companies can also support sales teams with the required technology when and where it is needed if sales productivity is to be successfully addressed.
The sales team may require frequent refreshment and motivation in order to maintain the momentum on the field. Companies must be very well aware of this fact. Picnics, parties, plays, movie sessions of package tour can be offered to the salesperson. A mentor can also be hired to conduct motivation sessions.
Before this multi-pronged sales productivity strategy can be implemented, a set of clearly defined sales force productivity metrics needs to be established. Because companies that successfully raise their sales productivity, often establish a roadmap and a set of processes based on which future revenue growth can be achieved.
The Speed Breakers and Roadblocks
Before implementing any new or revolutionary strategy, companies need to identify possible loopholes or roadblocks hampering their sales productivity. Some studies and research have shown that salespersons actually spend only 41% of their time selling every week. What then consumes the rest of the sales person’s working time?
There are a number of factors that may lead to this misallocation of time. Each meeting that sales reps attend should be assessed. Because it’s possible particular meeting may unnecessary sometimes. If their presence isn’t absolutely necessary perhaps the meeting can be struck off their calendar. Companies must also ensure that any administrative tasks that can be automated are not being performed manually as it can reduce the load on a salesperson. For example, sales reps can leverage their unique salesforce software email address by sending a blind-copy of any email to outbound customers or prospects to themselves. By taking this step, it will automatically get updated the activity on the contact or lead’s record, meaning the salesperson does not have to waste time on a manual update. This is just a common example of the non-selling activities salesperson might be engaged in.
If a salesperson is spending more than half of his time in non-selling activities, there might well be a number of other tasks that are unnecessarily being performed manually. One way to identify this wastage is for sales managers to perform a ride-along with their teammates. This minor commitment by the sales manager can free the salesperson from multiple non-selling activities which are actually damaging sales productivity. Entire sales teams may need to undergo a training session or two to incorporate a set of automated tasks into their processes. Through a simple analysis of sales team’s non-selling activities, a salesperson can refocus previously wasted time on engaged selling.
Sales Force Productivity Metrics
The solid step to boost sales productivity is related to the establishment of a set of clearly defined salesforce productivity metrics. The metrics should include sales targets as well as sales productivity adoption techniques like use of CRM and smartphone salesforce apps. The sales team can be trained to get familiar with these types of software. The whole salesforce can be restructured into groups based on individual KPIs. Each group can work independently in parallel.
Such adoption of metrics can be as simple as running a report on the company CRM system and shouldn’t need to involve the other units of the company. It can also help to instigate a system that rewards sales reps for utilizing these new techniques.
Once all these strategies and techniques applied, a review exercises should be carried out by the company to evaluate the impact on sales productivity and to check whether the adopted set of best practices can be enshrined as a roadmap for sustained sales productivity or not. A concerted effort from all departments of the company can increase sales productivity rapidly along with systematic approaches, however, each company does not face same challenges and issues so there are no precisely written steps to boost sales force productivity.