Studies show that up to 65 percent of sales reps’ time can be spent on activities that don’t generate new deals! If you want to generate new deals, you absolutely must focus on your sales reps’ productivity, so they can make more calls in the day.
Below are some top time saving tips from sales experts to help increase your sales team’s productivity:
1. Protect the Selling Time of Your Reps
Lori Harmon, CEO and founder of Quantum Sale and author of “42 Rules for Building a High-Velocity Inside Sales Team,” says sales leaders need to educate the entire company not to waste sales reps’ time. Meeting time for sales reps should be limited to two hours per week – and scheduled outside of prime selling hours.
2. Bunch like activities together
In “Productivity Best Practices for Sales,” Sally Duby, GM for The Bridge Group, Inc., recommends grouping similar tasks together. By grouping calls by roles, sales reps can use the same messaging for the same buyer personas in a series of interactions. This increases efficiencies, so sales reps aren’t jumping around from one buyer persona to another and wasting time pulling up different messaging for each one.
3. Build in break time
Did you know that our brains only focus on tasks for 90 minutes at a time? Brain research shows that after 90 minutes, our thinking quality rapidly goes down the drain. Encourage your team to take short breaks to increase their productivity. They’ll work better afterwards.
4. Time block
Before the day beings, reps should block time for research, meeting preparation, writing proposals or prospecting, according to “Agile Selling” author Jill Konrath in the eBook “Top Sales Productivity Hacks.” By blocking out segments of time where reps can focus specifically on one task, they’ll get more done, faster – rather than wasting time on trivial things that don’t help them reach sales goals.
5. Automate wherever possible
Whether it’s dialing, reporting, information retrieval, or emailing, sales managers need to try to automate any tasks that can be automated and take time away from their core-selling activities, says Lori Harmon. Also make sure that tools also work with existing systems, such as Salesforce – or they might make reps less productive.
6. Give reps training on optimal time management skills
Training can help them take responsibility for managing their day in the most effective manner.
7. Start each day with priority work
Reps should ask themselves what are the three most important things they need to get done that day and write down the “must-do’s” so they’re highly visible to help jumpstart the day.
8. Take 15 minutes to scan email
Nearly two-thirds of the emails we get every day are junk! Encourage your team to take 15 minutes at the start of the day to quickly scan emails. They should address anything urgent and leave the rest for later, so they can focus on top sales priorities right away.
9. Do a time study
Take two weeks to track your sales team’s activities to determine what the biggest bottlenecks and time wasters are for them, so you can address the problem.
In sales, the number of phone calls, emails, and connections made are still the leading predictors for future results. If your sales reps aren’t doing enough of these core-selling activities, the team probably won’t make their number. By increasing team productivity, you can help reps focus on the sales activities that make the biggest difference for your sales organization.
Micheline Nijmeh is the CMO for LiveHive, Inc., whose award-winning sales acceleration platform provides engagement analytics to understand buyers’ interests and improve sales follow-up. A seasoned Silicon Valley executive, Nijmeh has served as Senior Director, Integrated Global Campaigns at Salesforce.com, where she led the market launch of Salesforce’s Chatter and Force platform.
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