How To Improve Sales Productivity

A sales manager’s job can be a challenge. One of the largest challenges you face is keeping your sales team motivated and producing results. Fortunately, some of the best ways to accomplish this don’t require you to spend a fortune or send your sales force to another training session. Anything you can do to help them stay organised, motivated, and spending as much time on the phone or in the field as possible will help improve your results.

Ensure Their Technology Is Up To Date

You don’t need to spend on buying the latest gadget for your salespeople every time something new comes out, but you do need to ensure they have the tools they need to efficiently and effectively do their jobs. Working on outdated, sub par technology which may not run the programs they need ends up distracting them from actually selling — or may have them spending more time talking with tech support on the phone than they do with prospective clients.

Softwares like ONDiGO, Odesk, and similar tools help your sales team get and stay more organised and productive. 4G iPads and personal WiFi hotspots are also frequently cited as valuable tools. Either way, you should take a look at the latest technology every year and assess which new tools are appropriate and likely to help your team.

Keep Them Motivated

Not every salesperson is motivated by the same reason. In fact, some may not even be motivated by the idea of making more money or closing more sales. The best sales managers keep their fingers on their team’s pulse and know when they should push and when they should encourage. Figuring out what motivates a given salesperson goes a long way in ensuring the whole team stays motivated. When what works for person A doesn’t work for person B, knowing that usually makes the difference in the whole team’s motivation.

Team building programs can help as well. A good team building program for adults isn’t just a few sponsored meetings — they help encourage your team in the long term, demonstrating that you’re willing to invest both in them as well as in their success. They create a sense of camaraderie and unity, helping them work together smoothly and effectively, increasing productivity as a result. They also help renew the overall sense of purpose. When your team has been reminded of what they’re doing and why they’re there, they approach their work with correspondingly more motivation.

Eliminate Unnecessary Administrative Duties & Get Out Of Their Way

Sales people are constantly on the front lines of your organisation. If you bog them down with unnecessary reporting and administrative duties that hold them off from selling, their productivity will inherently suffer. It’s smart to hire on an administrative assistant who will work with one or several salespeople so that they can focus their efforts on selling instead of ‘pushing paper.’

For that matter, look for any other obstacles which might be distracting members of your team from making new appointments, seeing their prospects, and closing deals. Any distractions which lead them to become disorganised inevitably hurt productivity — it doesn’t matter what the obstacles are. As a manager, you should constantly be watching for these obstacles and figuring out how you can overcome them.

Do Remote Sales Meetings

Many sales managers like to sit down with the team each week to update them on hot prospects and revenue numbers. While this is good, it can also be helpful to conduct this meeting remotely every once in a while, or even cancel it entirely with plenty of notice. Provided you clearly communicate that your goal is to create more time for them to close prospects or focus on new business, this sends a powerful message about your priorities — which in turn helps motivate your team.

Hire On Appointment Setters

Your top-paid salespeople don’t need to be ‘dialling for dollars.’ In many cases, their time is far better spent closing deals after prospects have been pre-qualified. Many outbound marketing companies will provide ‘appointment setting’ as a service, where they call a list of prospects to arrange appointments when the salesperson has time in their schedule available. The result is your best people spend the most amount of time possible doing what they do best, and do most profitably: meeting prospects and closing business. This focus on the bottom of your sales funnel inevitably translates into dramatically higher productivity, and revenue.

Published by

Ohad Oren

Ohad Oren is Co-Founder and COO of ONDiGO. Prior to ONDiGO he Co-founded several start-ups. Ohad has years of experience in Sales and Business Management. You can follow him on twitter on @OrenOhad

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