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How to Increase Sales Productivity and Drive Revenue

It goes without saying that sales professionals who are more productive tend to be more successful, deliver bigger deals, and drive demonstrable business growth. But what does that look like in a changed sales landscape, one that’s more hybrid than ever before? Here’s how some of Australia’s most innovative sales leaders are boosting productivity — and how you can, too.

At Salesforce, we define sales productivity as the result of a combination of sales efficiency and sales effectiveness.

Sales efficiency is about maximising the amount of productive time that your sales team has available in a day, eliminating low-value activities, and creating the space for high-value activities. A simple measure of increased sales efficiency is how many additional prospecting calls are being made each day.

Sales effectiveness is all about how those additional calls are used and what they deliver. An effective salesperson might translate 50% of those additional calls into qualified opportunities, while someone less effective may only convert 20% or less.

So, if sales productivity is sales efficiency plus sales effectiveness, then the key is integrating both effectiveness and efficiency with the right tactics to ensure maximum productivity. Some of the most impactful tactics focus on prioritisation, maximising sales engagement tools and effective automation, all through the lens of a unified system.

Keep reading to see five strategies that are delivering measurable improvements in sales. And don’t forget to register for our Pro Sales Tips webinar for even more insights into staying ahead of the hybrid sales landscape.

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1. Prioritise activities that deliver the highest impact

Effective prioritisation is a big driver of success, but prospect prioritisation can be extremely difficult. It can be tough to identify whether a deal is of high or low value and salespeople may not have the time to sift through all the information necessary for coming to a conclusion.

Now, new AI capabilities can guide salespeople and their managers through that process, helping highlight the opportunities that really matter. These sophisticated systems can unify customer data across a multitude of departments, gain a holistic 360-view of customers, predict which prospects are most likely to close and unpick insights that drive a company’s business strategies.

Sales Cloud Einstein analyses CRM data and applies algorithms based on prospect conversion trends and recent engagements to automatically prioritise the most promising opportunities, as well as the deals needing the closest attention.

The founder and CEO of Trinity Perspectives, a sales training and consulting company, says this sort of approach can be far more effective than simply throwing discounts at customers.

Focus on the tasks your team undertakes each day, week and month, and zone in on the highest value activities, plus the most monotonous or time-consuming tasks. Then research solutions available in the market to remove the most repetitive, time-wasting tasks, freeing up the team’s time and energy for higher value activities.

Cian Mcloughlin | CEO, Trinity Perspectives

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2. Maximise every sales team member’s potential

Today, the coaching and training of sales staff can be data-driven and personalised to meet the needs and ambitions of each individual and to maximise their value to the team.

With modern sales engagement tools, managers can access insights and analytics at a forensic level, providing extensive visibility into sales performance, identifying areas for improvement, and maximising return on investment in sales training.

This visibility can also enable you to more easily learn from different approaches or configurations. For instance, IT provider and consulting company Datacom recommends agile experimentation and then sharing any lessons with the wider team.

Regularly run short sharp experiments, break your team into smaller groups and have them share what they’ve learnt with the wider group. Group learning is motivating and effective and helps your overall team culture.

James David | Associate Director of Enterprise Sales, Datacom

3. Automate, automate, automate

Automation is transforming the efficiency of sales teams, cutting out low-value, repetitive tasks and empowering them to focus on selling and less on administrative work. Today’s intuitive, connected, and integrated sales systems provide everything salespeople need — prioritised task lists, prompts, insights, and trends — to maximise sales productivity.

As a curated hub of online workplace learning and development resources, Go1 helps its users access the exact material they need without having to switch providers or manage multiple subscriptions. 

But for its sales operations to keep up with fast growth, Go1 needed to replicate that simplified experience for its own employees. As part of that, the Australian startup uses more than 47 Slack integrations to speed up the sales workflow, automate repetitive tasks, and give teams more time to assess strategic priorities and determine which tasks are higher-value.

Technology is there to help us and we need to learn to use it to the best of its ability. Be sure to get a CRM with as many different plugins with AI features as possible. The aim with any new system should be to increase the percentage of time selling, which will automatically increase revenue.

Emma Rutter | Senior Learning Solutions Consultant, Go1

4. Collaborate and share data via a single source of truth

Having a single source of truth for sales teams and their leaders makes collaboration and driving sales productivity a whole lot easier. Reducing the need to toggle between systems and having to sift through mounds of data can be time-consuming and can ultimately distract you from the task of handselling.

A unified system maximises your chances of providing the best customer experience. A detailed understanding of each customer — including the stage and health of each deal — can ensure you create the most personal and relevant customer experience possible.

First impressions count — you want to be honest, genuine and understanding to your customer and their needs to build trust. If you can’t solve someone’s problem, be honest and explain why you can’t solve it.

Emma Rutter | Senior Learning Solutions Consultant, Go1

5. Blend digital convenience with human connection

Understanding customer needs is one of the most important steps when trying to get a deal over the line. With rich, customer-related data now available, salespeople can appreciate in more detail the challenges their customers face, anticipate their problems, and make informed and timely proposals of how their business can help.

By enabling the right conversations at the right moments, and demonstrating an empathy built on accurate information and insights, today’s most productive sales teams build a pipeline of opportunities that can deliver revenue growth and increased value for their customers.

For example, manufacturer 3M needed to respond quickly to a pandemic-fuelled spikes in demand for N95 respirators — but, unfortunately, these spikes were accompanied by scammers looking to profit from the increase in demand. A successful response required a blend of fast, digital options and the ability to reach case workers when necessary.

Take a blended approach with in-person and digital interactions. Online customers have certain expectations, such as speed of response. In person they need human triggers. Using both will help build trust and grow your business.

Eoin Geaney | Regional Business Leader, Transportation & Electronics Business Group, 3M

Looking for more ways to stay ahead of a changing sales environment? Be sure to check out our on-demand Pro Sales Tips webinar, where leaders will explore a blueprint for the modern sales team.

Update your sales strategy:

Hear from experts in the Pro
Sales Tips webinar

Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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