Ways to Drive Sales Manager Productivity
Many sales representatives spend a lot of time selling, coordinating with marketing and finance teams and interacting with customers to receive feedback. It’s a taxing job and often leads to a downward spiral in sales teams’ productivity. Improving sales productivity is a challenge for many leaders.
There may be a disconnect between time with customers and expectations. Improving productivity requires collaborating with sales representatives. There are various strategies you can use to boost it. This blog reveals six of these strategies.
Sales productivity entails maximizing sales volumes while cutting down the associated resources. These resources include human capital and time. The rate of increasing company revenue is the best measure of productivity. For team leaders and management, and the sales team itself, the goal should be to improve efficiency.
Track your sales
Improving sales productivity requires an understanding of your current position. Dashboards are excellent for achieving this. They enable you to understand trends and gain insights into each employee’s activity-based metrics.
The metrics will let you know how the sales representatives are spending most of their time. To measure activity-based metrics, you need to be consistent. Don't allow your sales team to delay in entering their activities. This will make it difficult to define a benchmark to measure your outcome.
The sales productivity levels are not just measured in monetary terms. Measuring the level can be done in different ways. One of the best methods to use to measure productivity is conversion rates. This refers to the number of contacts and attempts the sales representatives make. The idea is to find the percentage of customers who complete specific actions.
The range of targets can vary depending on the sales type. Conversion rates will give you insights into the performance of each team member. The number of deals completed depends on the sales activities completed. For instance, if a sales representative closes five accounts out of 60 leads, this means they are inefficient. However, you need to know that sales are not universal. In some companies, even a single deal may be significant.
Another sales key performance indicator is the average hourly sales. Understanding your team's efficiency is an important aspect of a business. To boost your team's productivity, pay attention to the time employees spend completing activities. Exclude anything that is not related to deals. For instance, time spent attending company meetings is not necessary.
Average hourly sales is an excellent metric to determine whether the sales team uses time effectively. If the number falls below average, the sales team is not efficient. You can also compare actual sales with forecasted sales. This metric measures whether an employee exceeds or fails to meet their target.
Establish a routine
Sales representatives who go for fieldwork normally have schedules. They are busier than the employees who spend more time in the office. Getting things done should be your ultimate aim. The method of achieving results may not always matter. For field sales persons, there are opportunities for creativity and flexibility.
Achieving more results requires the sales team to create a daily schedule. After laying down what they need to do, they should prioritize the items. Encourage them to say no to anything that does not help them to meet their goals.
Better sales outcomes require a good structure. The meetings must start and end at the scheduled time. Sometimes frequent business trips may interfere with meetings. This puts the employees in difficult positions in trying to reschedule the meetings. They should focus on prioritizing. This requires you to encourage the sales representatives to place long-term and significant clients on top of their list.
Set daily goals
The key to improved results is setting goals. Goals help to motivate the sales team. They give them a sense of direction and encouragement to meet their targets. The goals should be SMART, that is:
Use past data to make realistic and attainable goals. Analyzing the team's past and present performance will also help you to succeed. Understand how your team is performing. You can divide the total annual leads by the total sales over the same period.
The other step to setting smart goals is to determine the sales minimums. This requires determining where you want to be in the next few years. Failing to define business goals may make it hard to set sales goals. The idea is not to do the minimum but to help the business grow. The goals should be above the minimum. Encourage the individuals to follow up after a sales call. This will help the team to meet the sales goals.
The trick here is to be realistic and ambitious. Don’t go too high in your estimate. Additionally, avoid shortchanging your organization and set targets that don’t challenge the sales team. In the end, this could demoralize them. A good sales goal will do the following:
- It accounts for past revenues and future projections.
- It is based on the entity’s expected product roadmap.
- The sales quota accounts for the market size.
- It includes growth in other departments within the organization.
Automate administrative tasks
Sales productivity entails maximizing sales volumes while cutting down the associated resources. These resources include human capital and time. The rate of increasing company revenue is the best measure of productivity. As a manager, your goal should be to improve efficiency. Automating administrative tasks could help to improve efficiency.
Administrative tasks take up a lot of sales representatives' time. It is practical to automate tasks by investing in a digital engagement platform. This will reduce low-value work that lowers efficiency. It will also save a lot of time and employee effort.
Entering activities and contacts into CRM consumes over five hours a week. Think of how much time it is in a year. Selling and closing business deals should not be a time waster. Some key tasks that can be automated include:
- The day-to-day sales plan
- Data entry
- Emails and texts
- Logging visits
- Data management specific to sales targets
One of the ways through which automation can boost productivity is by optimizing sales processes. Some tasks are difficult to automate. In this case, sales software may be an alternative to take care of technical aspects.
The sales software works fast and properly with a computer of the right speed. Learn more tips on how to free up memory and optimize your work device to enjoy the benefits of process automation. Always check your computer storage regularly to ensure that it functions smoothly. Remove viruses and uninstall unnecessary apps using special software.
Automation can enable sales representatives to make better decisions when interacting with customers. A good example is when they use lead scoring. Instead of analyzing and responding to many dozens of emails, special tools could simplify the task. This may help them automatically detect buying intent.
Use sales tools
There is a need to embrace sales tools to achieve more results. The most effective tools will help to automate unproductive administrative tasks. It becomes easier to boost sales after automating repetitive tasks like expense tracking and reporting.
CTM tools can help to increase the team’s effectiveness. CRM platforms significantly reduce the time employees take on redundant tasks. The idea is to let the employees create time for revenue-generating tasks.
A great way to use these tools to boost sales is through triggered events. These are particularly useful in dealing with follow-up emails. The trigger will let the sales representatives respond faster and do minimal work. Following a defined workflow can help you to boost your organization's overall performance.
Establish effective communication channels
Communication is one of the most important ingredients for success. Managing the field sales team is more difficult than managing the inside sales team. Many interactions have to take place over text messages or the phone. To boost sales, you need to consult each salesperson to know how they perform.
Interact more with new hires. Understand that check-ins do not have to be always scheduled. Besides check-ins, you can conduct one-on-one meetings. The frequency of meetings may vary with the team. The face-to-face interactions could promote more in-depth engagements.
Find opportunities to tailor your training to individual sales representatives
For a newly launched business, you need to create more time engaging with the sales team. This is because the team is yet to understand the communication channels in the business. One-one one interactions also help you to get timely feedback from the team. This will help to find room for improvement. If an individual is struggling in a particular area, others could be struggling too. Always ask the team what you can do to boost their productivity.
Driving sales manager productivity is the best way to grow a business. As a sales manager, you should collaborate with your sales representatives. Understand the reasons for business existence and set goals based on that. Your role is to create an environment to help the team meet their targets. Evaluate your results regularly and design strategies for improvement.
Featured image by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash