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Sales Productivity: Why It’s Important and How to Improve It

Sales Productivity: Why It’s Important and How to Improve It

Learn how technology can boost sales productivity and why businesses don’t need an IT department to get innovative.

Improving sales productivity is a key concern for any business. The more effective and efficient their sales department is, the more successful the business will be.

Imagine if there were some quick and simple ways that businesses could drastically improve their sales productivity without breaking the bank. Well, there are and they begin with understanding what affects sales productivity.

What is sales productivity and why is it important?

Sales productivity is a widely used term that’s become something of a catch-all for describing the efficacy of Sales, but it actually has a very specific definition. As a matter of fact, it even has a specific formula:

Sales productivity = efficiency x effectiveness

Even more confusing, the terms ‘sales efficiency’ and ‘sales effectiveness’ are often used interchangeably. The people who use these terms may not know the difference, so let’s quickly sort it out:

Sales efficiency refers to how well resources are allocated. Resources can refer to anything from budgets and technologies to man-hours. The latter is by far the most valuable resource at a company’s disposal. So it’s important to maximise the productive time a sales team has.

Sales effectiveness refers to how well the sales team uses the resources that have been allocated to them.

So if a rep fits in some extra sales calls during their allocated time, they’re improving efficiency. If they convert those calls into customers, they’re improving effectiveness. Simply put, efficiency is creating as many opportunities as possible, while effectiveness is how well a team capitalises on those opportunities.

Sales productivity, then, is the factor of both.

So, the benefits of optimising sales productivity are obvious, but how can it be done?

How technology can help improve sales productivity

Improving sales efficiency is the easier, faster way to boost sales productivity. It doesn’t require the workforce to skill up and learn how to be more effective. Rather it simply helps employees use their time in more productive ways.

In one of our research studies, we found that reps spend 66% of their time on non-selling activities. That’s a shocking amount of time being spent on tangential tasks.

The top things that reps say eat into their productive time are managing emails, recording activities, and logging sales data and notes about customers. The burden of those mundane tasks is evident in their results, as 57% of sales reps say that they’ll miss their targets this year.

Eliminating these low-value activities is a good way to immediately boost sales productivity. New technologies can help do just that. Getting the IT department to understand the pain points of the sales department is a nice place to start.

An effective IT department should work across departments to deliver on-point solutions to their problems. However, companies that lack a robust or available IT department can empower themselves with Salesforce solutions — and they can do it right now.

How Salesforce can turbo-charge sales efficiency

Not all businesses have access to huge IT departments and not all leaders are experienced developers and coders. That’s why Salesforce developed the Salesforce Platform, a low-code app development platform where users can simply point and click on components to build their perfect mobile application.

Need something to automate business processes, free up your reps and increase sales efficiency? Well, you can build it on the Salesforce Platform, even if you’ve never created an app before.

Even better, the Salesforce Platform offers a big selection of pre-built apps as well, meaning you can choose to buy rather than build, and then customise your new app with all the bells and whistles you require. Just check out the AppExchange to find the perfect app with core functionality already built in.

How Salesforce can improve sales effectiveness

Improving sales effectiveness is a slightly more challenging proposition. It requires the workforce to improve their skills or learn new ones, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.

To tackle these concerns, we developed Trailhead, a gamified learning platform where users can hone their skills or learn completely new ones. Trailhead creates self-guided learning journeys based around fun and engaging bite-sized units. Users can learn at their own pace, when and wherever they please. For businesses looking to skill up their sales department to boost sales effectiveness, Trailhead is the start of a great adventure.

To discover how businesses are creating new and innovative paths towards tomorrow, check out the CIO Playbook.

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