If your company is anything like ours, then your sales reps work very hard. They are motivated to succeed and it can be tough to figure out how to help them do even more. You've probably heard the saying "work smarter, not harder," but what does this really mean? How can you get your sales team to work smarter? We suggest that you start by looking for improvements you can make to your sales process. You can't give them more than 24 hours in a day, but by improving your sales process, you can ensure that your team is wasting less time and increasing productivity.

Here are 7 techniques we have seen companies use to improve their sales processes. You may be doing some of these already, but perhaps there are others that could help improve your sales process and your sales team's productivity. 

1. Be More Organized

Look for ways to better organize your data and tools. This is especially important as your team grows. Start by looking at your CRM. Is it set up so that the data and documents needed by your sales reps are easy to find? Any documents or files that your team needs to access regularly (such as FAQs, slides decks, competitive positioning, etc.) need to be easily found and accesible by any rep. Have your reps "walk the process" to ensure that they really know how to find what they need, especially when they are in a time-critical deal cycle.

2. Obtain Buy-In From Management

Before you make any changes to your sales process, share and review the changes with management. Get buy-in before you introduce the changes to the sales team. Ask for feedback, and then get management support. That way when you roll the changes out to the sales team, they know that management is behind them, and have bought into the idea that what you are changing is in the best interest of the company. This will help you drive adoption of any new or changed processes.

3. Communicate

After you have spent time organizing your information and processes as suggested above, and have shared the changes with management, you are ready to share with your team. When you communicate the changes, be sure the sales team knows how and why you are making the changes, and how it will help them. And don't assume that explaining it once in an email is enough. Review it again in team meetings and other channels of communication that you use internally.

4. Team Selling

If your company doesn't currently employ team selling, it's worth exploring. It can create a powerful learning opportunity where your reps can learn from each other and identify individual strengths. It can also reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed because each sales team member can feel like they have a comrade in arms. And team selling can enable sales reps to work with others who may have unique areas of expertise, expanding your company's credibility in the sales process. 

5. There's An App For That

No matter what you want to accomplish, you can probaly find an app that helps you do it. That's not only true for your personal tasks, but it's also true for your professional tasks. You don't need to build your own solutions since there are so many great ones that are already built, tested and proven to work to help you improve your selling process. The right apps can help reduce the time you spend quoting, prospecting, enriching data, and much more.  If you use Salesforce, check out all the sales productivity apps on the AppExchange. You will probably discover solutions that you didn't even know existed.

6. Practice Good Database Hygiene

Having lists of thousands of potential prospect names can seem incredibly exciting to your sales reps, but it can also turn into a huge distraction and waste of everyone's time.  You need be to sure the data you have is accurate and can be eaily imported into your CRM system. You don't want to add thousands of names that are lacking the information needed to assign them correctly to your sales team members. And you don't want to waste time (and hurt your credibility) by reaching out to the wrong people with the wrong message. Be sure your data is clean before you bring it into your CRM, and ensure that the data that's already there is accurate and relevant. This takes time, but the results are well worth it.

7. Keep Up With Salesforce Release Notes

If you use CRM and other tools from Salesforce, you probably know that they regularly make changes to their products based on customer feedback. These changes are intended to make your job easier, and keeping up with the changes in each releases can bring great benefits to your team. Be sure you are aware when each new release is available, what's changed and how new features can help your team increase productivity.