Before we talk about sales productivity, let’s talk about Usain Bolt. Since 2008, he has won every race he took part in, except one where he had a false start.
So, what’s his secret. Why is he the fastest runner in the history of mankind?
Does he move his legs faster than anyone else? Scientists say no
Research confirms the reason is longer and stronger strides. Top runners spend less time on the ground and more time moving forward in the air owing to their muscle power.
It means repetition may not always yield to higher efficiency. Right footing and propulsion are equally (or more) important, at least in this case.
Does it hold for salespeople as well? Does the output depend upon the number of leads entered in the system, or the number of calls made, or emails sent – I guess not!
So how can you equip your sales team to take stronger and powerful strides forward? How do you ensure that they are always doing the right thing without micro-managing? Sales execution software may be the answer.
What is a sales execution platform?
In simple terms, a sales execution platform helps you get sales-centric actions done easily.
It ensures no missed opportunities, helping you stay on top of both the parties – leads and sales. Let’s go deeper.
How does it improve sales productivity?
These are a few tips that can help plug the gaps in sales performance and increase productivity:
1. Create a seamless lead capture process:
Okay, you run a marketing campaign, and it’s a success. But, are you sure that you captured all the leads? Or was there a leak somewhere?
The most important step while prospecting is undoubtedly lead capture from all the channels with zero lead leakage. This can be through social media channels, APIs, landing pages, marketplace integrations, webhooks, call captures, webinars, offline campaigns, web forms, or any other source.
Instead of investing in multiple channels or paying individually, you can have an integrated marketing tool that captures leads from all Social Media applications, lead generation websites, chatbot inquiries, telephony services for inbound leads, and all other sources.
Speaking of forms, when was the last time you visited a website that did not include a form of some kind? I’m talking about registration form, customer feedback form, billing or shipping form, survey, or even simple email sign up form.
Forms are implemented on the organization’s websites to provide visitors with a way to sign up for an account, purchase a product, pay for an item, and more. The main objective is to capture the lead details and that is why its design matters so much.
— without an easy to use, user-friendly, aesthetically appealing form, how are you supposed to attract your visitors to take the time to provide you with all of that personal information?
Well, you really can’t
That is where a website Form Designer feature helps you create attractive web forms and landing pages to capture lead data that are relevant to their departments, products, or processes.
You can also make self serve applications easy by creating a self serve application form and portal. This would increase your application completion ratio without any sales intervention, ensuring that sales agents only intervene here when needed (Increasing their overall efficiency).
2. Reduce your turn-around time with lead distribution
Once the leads are captured from all channels, the next step is to divide them logically among your sales agents. You might want to distribute leads by two-different kinds of attributes: the lead’s attributes, or the agent’s attributes:
- Lead location
- Products they are interested in
- The languages they speak
- Other demographic attributes
- Languages they speak
- Availability (based on their off days, or shift timings)
- Seniority and expertise
- Or more….
Leads can be quickly assigned to the best-fit agents, based on agent-criteria, like seniority, performance, because it is all about the first impression so you might want to consider assigning it to the right sales agent. You can further consider potential deal size, preferred language of communication, and other parameters to set your distribution criteria.
An important factor while distributing leads is to make sure your sales agents do not have too much on their plate at a time. While it is important to maximize follow-ups, it should never be at the cost of quality. The process can be automated ensuring that agents aren’t assigned more leads than they can handle without compromising on call quality. For example – if your agents can handle 10 prospects daily, you should refrain from assigning beyond that number.
All leads can be organized and categorized under different lead buckets, for example – new leads, active leads, dormant leads, etc.
Allow the reps to view the leads on a single dashboard without switching screens, ensuring high task efficiency. Make the sales rep’s life easy by making them focus on the most important task buckets at a time.
3. Identify and prioritize a “Sales Ready” lead
Ideally, this is a lead that’s highly involved with you. Lead scoring plays an important role here. You can assign scores based on the lead’s involvement level towards your offering. (A high involvement level is usually when a lead frequently checks your emails, spends time on your website or interacts with your content).
You can thus differentiate between a high and a low priority lead and reach out to them accordingly based on urgency. A high priority lead is usually the one to reach out to first.
Once the leads are prioritized and bucketed into different stages – prospects, targets, opportunity, customers – your sales agents would know what conversations to make.
For instance: a prospect (a lead with low involvement, higher up in the sales funnel) may not have much idea of your offerings as compared to an opportunity (a lead with deeper involvement and towards the bottom of the sales funnel). So, while your agents would try and educate prospects about what you offer, they would have sales-centric conversations like competitor comparison with opportunities.
Having a proper lead qualification mechanism would help your teams reach high-priority leads faster, enhancing their productivity.
4. Never miss a sales follow-up
As your lead volume grows, you’ll start getting leads from referrals, social media, organic search, and other channels. It’s almost impossible to keep tabs on the leads and follow-ups when the lead volume is high, and you might end up losing several good opportunities.
Irrespective of your vertical, be it Real Estate, Automotive Sales, Insurance, Healthcare, IT, etc. leads are precious and a proper follow-up is required.
This is where a sales follow-up software comes into the picture. Task reminders will ensure you complete an assigned task, and only then move on to the next one. This way you never miss out on a call. Sounds more efficient right?
5. Intervene when necessary:
You have a client call scheduled and you miss it for some unfortunate reason, while your client waits endlessly. Does not sound like a happy ending, does it?
But what if you can track the daily sales operations for your teams – calls made, emails sent, follow-ups missed, etc – and intervene when necessary?
Here is what you would be able to track with a sales escalation tool –
- Emails sent by your sales team as well as the click and open rates.
- Call volume, connect rate, and successful conversation numbers.
- The number of leads in each stage of the sales pipeline.
- The meetings your field teams have every day, week, or month.
- The deals your reps close or commit to the pipeline.
- The revenue contributed by the sales rep vs. the activities performed by them.
You can closely monitor your teams and tasks. If something seems off, escalate it to managers or other sales agents.
6. Out of sight not out of mind:
This is how your typical sales funnel might look like: You call 10 people, 6 seem interested in knowing more, 3 check out your product, and finally 2 convert.
But does this mean you forget about the other 8 as they do not have an immediate requirement? No way!
If not today, these prospects might require your offering later and these cold/dormant leads need nurturing so that they do not forget about you!
You can achieve this through a marketing automation tool. You can design communication flows for your leads based on their activities, interests, and more, to move dormant leads to active stages, and ready for another conversation.
So there you have it!
Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas on ways to increase the efficiency and productivity of your sales agents. Remember that the process is fairly simple, but it takes a little bit of thought:
- Create a seamless lead capture system
- Reduce the turn-around time
- Qualify and prioritize
- Never miss a follow-up
- Build transparent systems, and escalate where necessary
- Nurture your leads to reactivate dormant leads.
It is not just the selling skills that define sales efficiency – the tools that you use play an equally important role. A skilled salesperson and a great sales management tool are two sides of the same coin.
You probably already have a sales team in place, try LeadSquared to make high sales efficiency a norm in your operations.