The Sales team is one of the most important departments in any company.
It’s the engine that generates the revenue that makes it possible to keep the company going and, therefore, all the other departments. Because sales teams drive the bottom line, it’s imperative they stay at the top of their game.
Here are some of the best ways to make your sales reps even more productive and efficient:
1. Track your time religiously
Getting a time tracking app – like Toggl - is a great way to monitor time spent on tasks during the workday. Companies have reported that through the use of the app, they discovered major lapses in productivity. In some cases, workers were only truly productive for three hours. The rest of the time was “dead space,” spent on tasks like reading emails, getting food, or walking around the office. Other companies discovered that some of the tasks that took the most time contributed almost nothing to the company performance.
For example, when Lotta Laitinen, a manager at If (a Scandinavian insurance company) scrapped meetings and administrative tasks so she could dedicate more time to supporting her team, it led to a 5% increase in sales by her unit over a three-week period.
Better time management means thinking consciously about how time is spent, and then deciding which tasks matter most. All non-essential tasks can then be dropped or outsourced for increased efficiency.
By using tools like Toggl to track time, you can identify hindrances to productivity, and then be able to mitigate or eliminate what’s not working.
2. Leverage social proof on your website
The concept of social proof is pretty simple – people don’t trust companies, they trust people similar to them.
The average customer trusts someone’s review more than any kind of marketing copy on your website. In fact, research says that 88% of buyers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That can make marketing slightly more complicated, but there’s still good news.
There are many ways to use social proof to increase sales. If you have positive reviews from past customers, that’s a great place to start.
Some social proof methods include: reviews, testimonials, conversion notifications, endorsements, and others.
You can even email your customers and ask them to write a testimonial if you know they're super happy about your product!
3. Connect the marketing and sales departments better
When sales and marketing departments fail to align, it can result in poor sales performance. This is especially important in larger companies.
But solving the problem isn’t always straightforward, especially if you’re a smaller company. Regardless of size, one way to ensure both departments are on the same page is by giving them both access to the same data and KPIs.
It’s also helpful to utilize a channel like Slack. Through Slack, sales can inform marketing about the exact kind of materials the buyers need to be convinced to purchase. You can also use a simple Trello board to share this kind of information.
4. Make your reps experts on the product
It’s essential that reps have in-depth knowledge of the product. When they do, they have an easier time selling, and thus make more sales, which increases sales momentum.
Increasing momentum can lead to drastic increases productivity. It’s similar to the snowball effect. The snowball is small at the top of the hill, but as it rolls down the hill, it grows exponentially. With better sales training, building momentum towards business goals and objectives becomes a natural consequence. Start small, and build BIG.
One idea to better educate reps is to create a document to keep a running list where all the most commonly asked questions are written down. This is a valuable sales resource because within seconds, you can get the answer to a question you get in a sales call.
5. Chunk your time into blocks
Few people can work for 8 straight hours at a time. This is especially the case for sales roles, where reps are in direct contact with people all day. One of the solutions often suggested by modern-day productivity experts is to use the Pomodoro technique. It entails 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break.
This is often impossible in sales, so I suggest breaking down work into 90-minute intervals, with 20-minute breaks in between. A focused, 90-minute time block dedicated to completing a task is significantly more efficient than three hours on a task peppered with frequent “breaks.”
6. Invest in proper sales tools
There are countless CRM tools. I’m a SaaS founder, and I see three of them launched every week. The choices are endless, and it’s incredible that you can find the perfect CRM to suit your business’ individual needs.
In addition to CRM, there are new sales tools being invented every day that make it easier to build prospect lists, send cold emails, chat in real-time with website visitors, and much more.
But the number of options can be overwhelming. I’ve found that the best method for selection is by listening to your team’s feedback. An app can seem great on paper but doesn’t work for your team in practice. For example, if you pitch a lot of clients and you need a reliable way to automate your business proposals, you definitely need proposal software like Better Proposals.
As the only department that makes a direct impact on your company’s revenue, your sales team deserves special consideration and mentorship.
Get them working more efficiently with these tips and watch their productivity skyrocket!
Author: Adam Hempenstall, CEO of Better Proposals.