Time actually is money when it comes to sales organizations. Busy field and in-house sales representatives have a hefty amount of tasks to accomplish on any given day, including prospecting, engaging with customers, managing teams, reporting to sales managers, and most importantly, closing deals.
Because sales professionals wear so many hats and manage so many tasks in one day, they need to complete all of their work as efficiently as possible if they are going to reach the sales goals for themselves and their organizations.
That being said, sales efficiency tools actually need to help in the pursuit of efficiency, rather than hinder it. With all of today’s technology, CRM tools, and data sources, sales teams can get bogged down with all of the information and “stuff” they use to do their jobs.
That’s why it’s critical for sales organizations to implement processes and procedures for streamlining communication and simplifying the vast amount of data available to sales teams. The goal is to be sure sales professionals have the right information about the right prospects and clients at the right time to close deals.
So, how does a sales organization go about finding sales tools that will help them to achieve their efficiency goals? The first step is to find the right software. Sales efficiency software should eliminate steps in the sales process and streamline documentation processes. It also should provide key background data that sales reps otherwise would spend hours, days, or even weeks gathering, populating, and analyzing in order to convert those prospects into clients.
Some sales efficiency software programs provide quantitative and qualitative feedback as sales professionals work. Other software programs recommend case studies and probing questions for sales professionals to use while they work. Still other sales efficiency software programs create custom models for salespeople to track performance and maximize production.
The next step is to provide sales teams with tools that minimize time spent trying to communicate with one another and allow them to work together and share on-demand. Some sales efficiency tools eliminate email by helping sales teams work together through secure video calling and screen sharing. A few sales efficiency tools provide insight about contacts in sales team members’ inboxes and mobile apps so they receive real-time alerts when customers interact with content.
Another step is to identify how much time sales professionals spend scheduling meetings and conferences. Some tools link to sales reps’ electronic calendars to display available meeting times to clients and other sales team members. Other tools enable sales reps to schedule when to send and receive emails so they don’t miss out on a sales opportunity while they are on the phone or are in a meeting.
Finally, a slew of sales efficiency tools can drastically reduce the amount of time and paper spent on creating quotes, proposals, and contracts. The best of these tools have integration capabilities and built-in contact databases, but the very best of these tools digitize documents so that sales teams can securely sign and send documents to clients and managers in the cloud. Some of these tools also automate the creation of proposals, presentations, and contracts to maximize sales reps’ efficiency levels.
Is there one tried-and-true strategy to instantly make your sales organization more efficient? No. But by assessing your organization’s needs and determining where to streamline processes and enact lean management and procedures, you will know which sales efficiency software and tools are the best investment for your organization. After all, time is money.
Fergal Glynn is Docurated’s VP of Marketing. Docurated accelerates sales in companies looking for fast growth by making the best marketing content readily available to Sales teams. Fergal helped produce Docurated's State of Sales Productivity Report, which examines key sales productivity trends and challenges facing sales and marketing executives. Fergal grew up in Ireland and now lives in Arlington, MA. To learn more about Docurated check out their Sales Enablement Tool on the AppExchange.
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