If you’re a sales leader, you might think you know what your teams do all day: sell.
Surprisingly, global sales research reveals reps spend less than half of their time selling. According to the survey data from thousands of reps:
Sales reps spend 66% of time on non-selling activities.
The top three things reps say they spend too much time on managing emails, logging activities, and inputting sales data and customer notes.
In light of these responsibilities, 57% of sales reps expect to miss their quota this year.
Every sales leader, from the sales director to the VP of sales ops, wants their reps to be more productive. But that’s easier said than done when internal processes are complex and inboxes overflow.
In talking with sales leaders, I’ve noticed sales teams that crush their numbers focus on these four cornerstones of sales productivity. By focusing on these four areas, sales leaders can help their teams get back to the real work of closing deals.
For a deep dive on boosting sales productivity, check out our guide to getting more from your sales team.
1. Automate everything
Today, automating manual tasks is crucial to keeping sales reps productive (and their morale high). When you cut out low-value and repetitive tasks from their days, reps will thank you for letting them stay focused on sales.
If you use a CRM, explore ways to automatically capture data so sales reps don’t need to lift a finger. That’ll get rid of mundane, yet important, daily activities, like regular updates of a customer’s contact information.
2. Use AI to help reps sell smarter
AI isn’t a pipe dream. Its benefits are here to stay. The best sales teams already leverage AI-powered capabilities to get more out of every minute spent selling. In fact, high-performing sales teams are 4.9x more likely to use AI than underperformers. Use cases range from guidance on which leads need the most attention, to knowing which emails to answer first, to higher forecast accuracy.
3. Collaborate and share through a single source of truth
Internal meetings without real purpose or an agenda are the enemy of sales productivity. At the same time, reps and leaders should collaborate to make the most of every deal cycle. That’s why a formal, central place to find information is vital.
Focus on moving your disparate sales systems and processes toward one source of truth to make collaboration easy. With every team’s docs, spreadsheets, slides, and more in one place, sales reps can work together and communicate in real time. This eliminates the need for unnecessary meetings.
4. Develop every rep’s potential
Sometimes, sales leaders are so focused on revenue growth they forget about individual growth. Developing a rep into a star player doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a result of focused knowledge sharing, targeted training, and long-term coaching from mentors and leaders.
Whether you are onboarding a new rep, helping a tenured rep, or rewarding a top contributor, don’t neglect the human side of sales. After all, not everyone feels like they’re “crushing it” every day. Create a culture of accessible information, transparency, and shared success. Remember enablement has to be fun and engaging for reps. Everyone wants to be developed to their full potential.
Leading a sales team today is complex, but it’s also rewarding. Remember to consistently check in with reps to see what hampers their productivity. Ask for ways you can help. For more insight on what it takes to boost sales productivity, download our guide.