Welcome to our “Question of the Week” series of blog posts where we will address some of the most common issues sales teams deal with on a daily basis. We welcome your questions and comments, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have anything to add.
Most small business owners will agree: sales productivity is the single biggest challenge they face daily.
The goal is to maximize sales productivity while reducing the amount of resources spent – and that includes time spent on mundane tasks that do not send value to the bottom line.
The good news is, we’ve got some tips that can help change all that! Here are our top four, in no particular order:
1. Automate repetitive tasks
The vast majority of your time in the office is usually spent by doing mundane daily tasks that don’t deliver any value beyond keeping your desk tidy. In fact, even the best salespeople only spend about a third of their day actually talking to prospects. The rest of the time is spent on scheduling, updating the CRM, sending emails, and so on. Luckily, quite a lot of these things can be automated using technology, and the proof is in the numbers: high-performing salespeople use an average of six tools to support their efforts.
2. Measure your KPIs
KPIs, or key performance indicators, help you keep tabs on your progress and tell you how you are really doing. KPIs are generally specific to the industry niche combined with your company’s goals – in other words, elements that are easily quantified and measured. These could be monthly sales, new sales, sales targets, sales growth, the number of new leads, or the contact method.
3. Email and correspondence management
According to HubSpot, only 39 percent of a salesperson´s time is spent in direct contact with a prospect. Much of the rest of that time is consumed with lower-value tasks, like reading emails. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the time you spend with your nose buried in your inbox. Set aside time dedicated explicitly to emails, either first thing in the morning or at another time of day when demands on your time are not so high. Make sure you give yourself enough time to respond to those messages, so you don’t have to waste more time on them later.
4. The fine art of prioritization
The difference between a productive day and a non-productive day often lies in your ability to prioritize. And, it’s something you can start doing today that will yield immediate results. It’s a simple concept: work smarter, not harder. Take the time to go through your tasks and sort them by their level of urgency. Tackle your most immediate concerns and get them off your desk right away. If you start from any other standpoint, you are guaranteed to spend too much time on tasks that don’t have any discernible value. If you don’t get to the important things right away, you might not be giving them the time or attention they deserve because you’ve left it to the last minute. In the end, you’re just leaving money on the table.
Do you have any sales productivity hacks? Let us know how you do it!