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Productivity Is Success: 8 Tips for How To Be a Better Salesperson

The most successful salespeople don’t rely on luck. Learn more about the the winning routines that help them consistently close deals.

Editor’s note: This is one of our most popular articles, so we’ve updated it to keep things fresh and relevant.

The most successful salespeople don’t rely on luck. They’re disciplined about building relationships, optimizing their sales funnel, and automating their processes – regardless of whether they’re selling from home or in the field.

Rather than hoping for sporadic wins, these productive sellers create winning routines that help them consistently close deals. In this article, we explore eight ways to upgrade your everyday selling routine to be more productive. Sales success doesn’t hinge on what you do here and there – it’s about the habits and patterns you adopt every day, so think about how you can use these tips to craft a more effective, repeatable selling motion.

1. Proactively disqualify prospects

Productive salespeople focus on investing in leads that are most likely to convert. Determine the exact criteria a prospect needs to meet before you spend time moving them further through the sales process.

Ask specific questions to figure out whether the next conversation will be productive and mutually beneficial. If you determine this isn’t an advantageous opportunity for both parties, take the initiative to inform the client you both will be better served in revisiting the partnership at a later time. Be polite, honest, and empathetic as you build customer relationships.

2. Lean into data from your CRM Platform

Leverage the power of your CRM platform to surface useful information about your leads. Others in your company may have added insights about leads and notes about previous interactions. Armed with that data — on their history with your company, the products or services that already pique their interest, and other notes — smart salespeople can enter conversations with the relevant background information they need. 

Plus, with the right CRM system, you’re able to automate a lot of otherwise extra steps, allowing you to create more touchpoints and connect information across silos. This saves reps dozens of hours each month. That’s important because studies have shown that the average rep spends only one-third of their time actively selling. CRM data will also help you and your leaders forecast more accurately, as shown in the next image of a forecast divided by leader.

A Sales Cloud dashboard

3. Use mobile tools

You’ll be more productive if you can work from your phone instead of only from your desk. Fortunately, sellers have plenty of options for mobile sales tools today, including:

This doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7. It just ensures that you no longer have to feel tethered to your computer. Take the time to set up your workflows and systems on your mobile device so you can stay productive wherever you are.

4. Focus on channels delivering high lead quality

Many inbound and outbound salespeople are naturally inclined to focus on the sales channels that bring them the most leads and keep them busy. This makes sense; more is usually better. However, successful salespeople look especially closely for channels that provide the best lead quality.

By taking a full-funnel look at which lead acquisition campaigns bring the most revenue, you’ll invest more of your time on leads that drive revenue, rather than just maintaining a large pipeline of lower-converting prospects.

5. Ruthlessly prioritize your pipeline

Adding to the previous point, top-performing sales reps also prioritize their sales efforts based on customers who are more likely to buy. They weigh the revenue potential against their chances of closing the sale and then budget their time and resources accordingly. Ruthlessly prioritizing is key to sales productivity.

Effective salespeople deprioritize long-shot accounts and postpone activities that generate little or no revenue. This doesn’t mean you have to burn bridges. Rather, it just means you don’t expend an outsized amount of effort on customers who aren’t ready to convert. That way, you’re more disciplined with your time and resources.

6. Use every conversation to add value

Make good use of customers’ and your own time by adding value at every touch point. If you don’t have valuable information and insights to add to that email or video call, wait to communicate until you do. Once your customers see that conversations with you always provide new learnings and insights, they’ll start to see you as a trusted advisor.

Two examples to bring this to life:

  • Founder & CEO of PepTalkHer Meggie Palmer curated a series of daily #PowerPepTalks encouraging people to find their superpowers and skill-up during extra downtime. The company funneled registrants into Salesforce Essentials to track and nurture leads with customized content.
  • A web services firm recently began offering free webinars and office hours to help their customers build skills in remote education while schools are physically shut down.

Inspired by these examples? Come up with your own creative, useful ways to connect.

7. Reinvest in existing relationships

Renewals and referrals make up a significant portion of most salespeople’s accounts. That’s why it’s important to regularly check in with existing customers to see how they’re doing and discover if you can still provide them with additional resources, support, and value, even if their next renewal date is still months away.

Often, you’ll find that extra effort throughout the lifetime of your relationship with customers pays off in dividends when they happily renew their contract with you, increase the scope of their engagement with your business, and even go out of their way to share customer testimonials and new client referrals. Set aside certain blocks on your calendar (maybe it’s every Thursday afternoon or every other Monday) for reconnecting with existing customers.

8. Meet deadlines at all costs

As your client list grows, it’s easy to accidentally let different projects slip. Rather than abandon your responsibilities, focus on meeting your deadlines before completing any nice-to-have projects. If you can’t meet a deadline, give as much of a heads-up as possible and propose a new deadline. Delegate, automate, or reassess your processes wherever needed. Your goal is to keep your team and your customers satisfied.

Invest in tools and processes that help you streamline repetitive tasks. You may even be able to outsource some of your tasks to other team members or departments, too, to save you time.

Even the most productive salesperson you know could likely optimize their routine in certain areas. The point is to keep evolving your habits and practices as the market landscape and your buyer needs change. Ready for more tips to become an expert seller? Check out our complete guide to building a sales forecast.

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