- Understand Sales Productivity to Increase Revenue
- The Role of Technology in Boosting Sales Productivity
- How to Start Tracking Sales Productivity Metrics
- 5 Strategies RevOps Teams Can Implement to Enhance Sales Productivity
- 5 Sales Productivity Tips to Help Sales Reps Achieve More
- Understanding and Catering to Customer Needs
- Your Path to Increasing Sales Productivity
10 Tips to Increase Sales Productivity with Best Practices for Your Sales Team
Sales roles encompass much more than speaking with potential clients and closing deals. According to Salesforce, sales reps only spend 28% of their week selling, and that’s down from 34% in 2018. The rest of their time is spent inputting data, sending outreach emails, creating decks and proposals, and performing a number of other administrative tasks.
While some of these tasks are necessary to successfully close deals, others are inefficiencies that Revenue Operations (RevOps) teams can help address and streamline. To help sales teams increase the amount of time spent selling, we’ll dive deep into how to increase sales productivity with a number of strategies RevOps teams can implement and tips sales teams can use to more easily hit their sales targets.
Understand Sales Productivity to Increase Revenue
Sales productivity is the measure of how much a sales rep or sales team can produce within a given amount of time. By understanding sales productivity, you can optimize time management across sales teams, enhance forecast accuracy, improve customer experience, and ultimately, increase overall revenue. Sales productivity can be calculated as:
Sales productivity vs. sales activity
While sales productivity evaluates the average revenue per rep within a sales cycle, sales activity looks at the number of actions a sales member is taking within a given day.
This could be sending an email to a prospect, calling a client, or putting notes into a CRM. The two don’t necessarily go hand in hand because the sales reps with the greatest amount of activity aren’t always the reps with the greatest productivity.
Keep this in mind as you evaluate the sales team’s productivity and overall performance metrics.
The Role of Technology in Boosting Sales Productivity
While it’s worrisome that reps are spending more than two-thirds of their time on tasks other than selling, fortunately there are many time-saving tools that can help reps increase productivity. Tools like customer relationship management systems (CRMs), revenue analysis platforms, automation tools, and even AI can aid reps with day-to-day manual tasks and help RevOps teams identify how to increase the productivity of the sales team.
Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs)
Over half of sales leaders say CRM usage is one of the most important sales productivity metrics to track. CRM tools help track sales activity making it easier for the individual rep to track each stage of their deals, as well as provide sales and revenue leaders with overall sales performance across the company. CRMs can also help reps prospect and research more efficiently by housing information about potential clients in one place.
Revenue analysis platforms
While CRMs are incredible tools, they’re not always the easiest to navigate, pull data from, or intuitively create reports and dashboards. This is where a revenue analysis platform such as Sightfull can come in handy.
With a revenue analysis platform, you can pull in not only CRM data but also data across all aspects of the business. This gives RevOps teams a comprehensive look at the company’s revenue and how sales productivity impacts the bottom line.
Outside of CRMs, automation tools can also help streamline a rep’s manual activities by automatically sending outreach emails, making it easy to schedule meetings, creating lead scoring systems and lead triggers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
When AI is paired with automation tools, it removes the busy work from sales reps’ plates, opening up to focus on what they're best at: building relationships and selling. Using AI, sales reps can quickly craft personalized emails, put together proposals, and develop pitches. In fact, a study by Salesforce showed that high-performing reps are 1.9X more likely to use AI.
How to Start Tracking Sales Productivity Metrics
To get a better understanding of your sales team’s current productivity and where improvements can be made, start by asking the following questions of sales reps and leaders.
- How much time is a sales rep spending selling vs. other tasks, such as creating pitch decks or time spent in internal meetings?
- What is the average length of the sales cycle? Do customers ever walk because the sales cycle is too long?
- What stages of the sales pipeline take the longest? Why?
- How long does it take to ramp sales reps?
- Who are the highest performing reps and what are they doing differently?
- What types of training are offered? How often?
While you’re asking sales reps and leaders these qualitative questions, take a look at the following metrics for a quantitative view of sales productivity. These will help you evaluate ways to increase sales productivity for both individuals and teams.
Individual Sales Metrics:
- Time spent selling
- Time spent performing tasks
- Number of contact touches
- Number of meetings booked
Both Team and Individual Sales Metrics:
5 Strategies RevOps Teams Can Implement to Enhance Sales Productivity
Once you have the data, you can then identify the tactics that will make the greatest impact on sales productivity.
1. Set clear and achievable goals across the pipeline
Provide clear goals for each stage of the pipeline. This can help you better understand how the pipeline is tracking for the month and reveal areas where deals are stalling.
When creating goals, remember that specificity is key.
For example, instead of: “Increase the number of scheduled demos,” flush out the goal to read: “Increase the number of scheduled demos for the month of October by 15%. This should result in 45 demos for the sales team this month.”
The latter is a much more tangible goal and allows the sales team to better calculate the work they need to put in to achieve this goal.
2. Embrace data analytics for sales insights
By leveraging data analytics, the RevOps team can pinpoint areas of improvement within each stage of the sales pipeline, get a holistic understanding of the sales pipeline, and dive into individual sales rep performance.
Using an analytics platform such as Sightfull, RevOps teams can identify top-performing sales reps and dig into who has the highest win rate, best pipeline creation, and shortest sales cycles. On the flip side, teams can see which team members need more support and training by analyzing the reps with higher rates of deal slippage. By analyzing top performers, your whole team benefits by better understanding what tactics work best to close deals.
Bring Go-to-Market (GTM) teams together
Sales is often held accountable for much of the revenue that is produced for SaaS companies. However, marketing and customer experience can have an outsized impact on pipeline and overall revenue. RevOps teams can determine how to improve sales productivity by helping marketing and customer experience teams identify high-value leads.
Consider a data analytics platform like Sightfull to help you analyze, visualize, and monitor metrics across your GTM teams.
4. Automate manual tasks
While some administrative tasks are necessary within a sales reps’ role, other tasks can be automated to improve sales productivity. Here are a few examples of what can be automated within your sales cycle:
- Lead enrichment: Understand more about potential customers by having information automatically pull into lead profiles within the CRM
- Outreach emails: Send pre-created outreach emails to prospects that hit specific criteria
- Scheduling of meetings: Set up automatic scheduling to create hassle-free meeting invites
- Lead scoring systems: Implement a scoring system so that when a contact has engaged with enough marketing content, the contact is automatically added as a lead
- Lead triggers: Set up triggers so that if a contact requests a demo or submits a contact sales form, they are automatically considered a lead
5. Improve lead management and qualification processes
RevOps teams need to create clear lead management and qualification processes to ensure the leads that sales reps approach are truly interested in your business.
5 Sales Productivity Tips to Help Sales Reps Achieve More
As RevOps experts, you only have so much control over the sales team’s day-to-day—ultimately, it’s up to the sales managers and sales reps to implement best practices. But, you can help sales teams identify where there are roadblocks within their process. Here are a few methods to overcome common obstacles that block a sales rep’s productivity.
1. Create a comprehensive onboarding program
The average ramp time for a new salesperson at a SaaS company is 5.3 months according to a study done by Bridge Group. If the ramp time of a new hire can be sped up, sales productivity will also improve.
To increase ramp time, consider:
- An onboarding plan that is consistently updated with new information
- Access to the product or platform so that sales reps can understand firsthand how a customer would use the company’s offerings
- Progress checks to ensure the new hire is making strides in their learning and addressing any issues early on
2. Offer frequent trainings and continuing education opportunities
Working in SaaS, not only are there frequent product developments, new features, and offerings, but these products are often technical in nature. Your sales team needs to know the ins and outs of these product offerings in order to sell them, but that means they need the support and education to learn the value of these technical products.
By prioritizing training and education, sales teams will feel comfortable and confident speaking about the latest and greatest product developments.
3. Create centralized resource hubs & content templates
Make it easy for sales reps to find resources. By using a content management tool or centralizing sales enablement resources, like case studies, playbooks, product one-sheets, trainings, and pitch decks, the team saves a lot of time searching for the information they need.
If you find that the sales team is crafting their own pitch decks from scratch, you’ve identified easy ways to improve sales productivity. Sales leaders can work with marketing to prioritize the creation of pitch deck templates that are pre-filled with images, the company’s vision, relevant stats, pricing, and any other relevant information.
4. Streamline communication within the sales team
A lack of communication and collaboration within the sales team can lead to missed insights and poor collective performance. By leaning on one another and learning from each other, sales teams can use regular feedback and sales reviews to help each other identify areas of improvement and strategies to more effectively sell SaaS products.
5. Hold regular performance assessments
While metrics help RevOps teams and sales leaders understand the health of the business, they don’t tell the full story. Sales leaders should hold regular reviews and performance assessments for each sales rep using the above metrics to help guide the conversation, provide areas for improvement, and discuss new tactics based on the performance data.
By offering sales reps critiques and methods to improve, sales leaders can create a more engaged, motivated team, and reduce turnover.
Understanding and Catering to Customer Needs
While the goal to increase sales team productivity often involves cutting manual tasks, it should also refocus sales reps on the most important tasks, like understanding your customers. The most successful sales reps are able to identify customer needs, wants, and pain points. To better understand your customers, consider:
- Implementing customer feedback: Customers are a treasure trove of information. Find out what they liked and disliked about the sales process. What could be improved?
- Effectively segmenting customers: Segmentation can help sales reps cater their conversations to customers. Bucket customers according to key characteristics, such as size of business or industry. Then, analyze each segment to identify its unique needs and wants, and use that information to create more targeted pitches.
- Personalizing sales pitches based on customer insights: Use customer insights such as the lead profile within a CRM as well as segment information to tailor pitches for each potential customer.
Your Path to Increasing Sales Productivity
Increasing sales productivity is an ongoing process and the path may look a bit windy. As your company scales and grows, hires more people, and implements additional tools, you’ll need to reevaluate your productivity—what is considered “good productivity” now may look different in the future.
Fortunately, tools like Sightfull make it easy to evaluate sales rep performance and sales productivity—and that only scrapes the surface of Sightfull’s capabilities.
From revenue analysis to campaign attribution, book a demo to see how Sightfull can help you make data-backed decisions for your business.