Working inefficiently is expensive. The more time and resources required to make a single sale, the lower your ROI. An inefficient workflow not only eats into your sales budget, but can also cost you big time in the results department.
That’s why it’s so important to shorten your sales cycle, remove inefficiencies, and improve sales productivity. There are a few different ways to increase the productivity of your sales team, including streamlining workflows, leveraging sales tools and automation, and using sales data to pinpoint activities and accounts with the highest payoff.
Keep reading to find out how to improve your sales productivity, increase workflow efficiency, and bring in more revenue with the right sales technology, processes, and data.
What is Sales Productivity?
Sales productivity measures the level of output or amount of revenue your sales team (or individual sales reps) generates within a given timeframe and with a specific number of resources.
Productivity can be quantified by return on investment, tasks accomplished or completion rate of goals, or simply by revenue earned within a period.
For sales managers, measuring productivity is most valuable when set against specific forecasts or quotas. It tells you how efficiently your sales reps provide value, how effective your sales processes are, and helps gauge whether your sales team is reaching their sales potential.
Beyond revenue or profit, sales productivity is a measure of how well you’re using your time and resources. Let’s explore how this is measured and how you can increase yours.
How Is Sales Productivity Measured?
The metrics you use to track sales productivity can vary based on your sales team’s size, growth goals, and product type. But the common thread is that sales productivity is a measure of how efficiently your sales team can provide value in the form of leads, output, and revenue.
For example, tracking metrics like growth rate (in terms of revenue, average deal volume, or average deal size), conversion rate (e.g., percentage of positive replies or win rate), and activity-based measurements (e.g., number of sales calls or outreach messages sent per day) can give you a good sense of your sales productivity.
Additionally, you might look at a new team member’s time to productivity—a metric that measures how quickly new hires complete onboarding and close their first deal.
Another high-value metric for tracking sales productivity is sales cycle length or sales velocity. Sales velocity reveals how long it takes a deal to progress through your sales cycle, on average. Although many factors can influence sales velocity (including deal size, industry, and customer type), a higher velocity generally indicates a shorter, more efficient sales cycle.
What Gets in the Way of Sales Productivity?
If you’re struggling to optimize your sales team’s productivity, there are a few potential hurdles that might be blocking your success and slowing down your rate of return.
One of the biggest hindrances to sales productivity is wasting time on non-essential activities—especially any that are strictly non-revenue generating. In fact, the average salesperson spends 41% of their workday on activities that don’t represent any revenue potential. This includes internal communications, such as meetings, replying to Slack messages, and scheduling calls.
Additional factors that cause inefficiency for sales teams include:
- A poorly defined sales process. In order to move leads through the sales cycle, your sales reps need to know how the stages of your sales pipeline are defined and what’s expected at each one. Having a consistent sales process allows you to move prospects through the sales cycle with less friction.
- Unrealistic sales quotas. Whether your sales quotas are impossible to reach or just barely attainable, you should be wary of setting unrealistic goals for your reps. Pressuring your team to achieve more than is reasonably possible can actually hurt your sales efficiency. Rather than acting as motivation, unattainable sales goals are often frustrating and can lead to burnout.
- Lack of qualified leads. No matter what you’re selling or who your audience is, it’s better to have a smaller number of high-quality leads than a huge number of poor-fit leads. Wasting resources on leads that don’t match your ICP is one of the most common inefficiencies in sales.
- Getting bogged down with administrative tasks. According to HubSpot, salespeople spend about 21% of their day drafting emails and another 17% on data entry. Not to mention around 12% of their day on internal meetings and another 12% scheduling phone calls. That’s a lot of time spent on things that aren’t selling—and on things that could easily be automated with the right tools or streamlined with a better process.
10 Actionable Ways to Increase Your Team’s Sales Productivity
Now for the good news: When it comes to boosting your sales productivity, there are quite a few steps, tools, and tactics you can use to your advantage. More specifically, you can leverage the three pillars of sales productivity—technology, processes, and data—to optimize your sales team’s output and grow your revenue.
Here are some ways to boost productivity through a combination of sales technology, streamlined sales processes, and data-based insights.
1. Track & Review Performance Data
Before you can improve your sales workflows, you need to determine how your reps are currently performing. The first step is to begin tracking performance (if you’re not already). You may want to track certain sales activities, such as new opportunities created or cold calls completed, or focus on goal-based sales metrics, like lead conversion rate, quota attainment, or percentage of deals won.
Tracking and reviewing sales performance metrics can help you identify which activities and workflows are working well for your sales department—and which are not. If you find activities that take up the most time and produce the lowest yield, those might be good candidates for automation or outsourcing. Look for opportunities to update, adapt, and simplify your sales reps’ workflows.
2. Prioritize Early Lead Qualification
An easy way to bump up sales productivity is to stop wasting time on leads that won’t go anywhere. If you can find high-quality leads earlier in the sales process, you can focus your energy on opportunities with the greatest potential.
There are a few different tools and processes you can use to identify high-quality leads faster. For example, you can use sales intelligence tools to learn more about your leads and identify high-quality opportunities before investing a ton of time connecting with them. Using sales intelligence can also help you focus on connecting with decision-makers, so you’re only investing in leads who have real purchasing power.
It’s also important to have a solid lead qualification process that includes asking qualifying questions to learn more about your leads’ propensity to buy. Any way you slice it, early lead qualification helps optimize your resources, speeds up the sales cycle, and increases your conversion rate (which means more sales, more revenue, and a healthier bottom line).
3. Establish a Consistent Sales Process
Consistency is good for productivity. The more familiar your sales team is with each step of the sales process, the better they can prepare for and understand what to expect at each stage. In order to create that sense of consistency and confidence, you need to establish and define the steps of your sales cycle and the stages of your pipeline.
It might seem like a major undertaking to define and optimize every step of your sales process—all the way from prospecting through to closing the deal—but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel, simply replicate and codify what already works.
Effective sales management involves the ability to recognize what your most successful sales reps are doing right and find ways to bake those habits right into your overall sales strategy and process. From there, make the effort to ensure your team members understand the goals, challenges, and expectations specific to each step.
4. Use Templates and Scripts
Another way to build consistency into your sales process is to create a library of reusable scripts and templates for sales calls and outreach. Rather than starting from scratch with every new cold call or sales email, your sales team can speed up their outreach workflow by creating, refining, and following a proven outreach formula.
Having access to reliable sales email templates allows your reps to be more confident in their outreach messaging. They can focus on personalizing and tailoring each message instead of staring at a blank page and struggling with writer’s block.
5. Create an Onboarding Program
Your seasoned sales reps will have higher levels of productivity than new recruits. The faster new team members can get up to speed, the faster they’ll be able to ramp up their output and increase productivity.
That’s why it’s a good idea to establish a sales onboarding program to set up new reps for success. Creating a more effective onboarding process can boost new hire productivity by 25%. Plus, proper onboarding reduces employee churn, which saves money and time that would otherwise be spent hiring and training replacements.
6. Adopt Tools that Work the Way You Do
Using sales tools is an easy way to improve productivity—but only if you’re using the right tools that make sense for your team. One of the most important considerations when introducing a new tool is whether it fits into your existing sales stack.
To choose sales tools that align with and support your workflow, ask yourself the following questions:
- How well does it integrate with the tools you already use?
- What are the added benefits of this tool (or what problem is it solving)?
- Is there a learning curve?
- How quickly can your reps begin to get value from the tool?
For example, if you do most of your browsing in Chrome, you might want to introduce sales tools with dedicated Chrome extensions to optimize your workflow. Or if you’re choosing between sales intelligence platforms, you should consider whether all options can integrate with your customer relationship management tool (CRM).
7. Automate Admin Tasks
A huge part of time management is finding the right tools to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks. In fact, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, over 30% of all sales-related activities can be automated with the right technology.
Even if you don’t automate quite 30% of your workday, there are so many ways to save time and increase productivity with sales automation.
For example, you can use a calendar tool like Calendly to simplify scheduling and allow prospects, customers, or team members to book a meeting without emailing you back and forth to confirm. According to HubSpot, scheduling calls eats up 12% of the average sales rep’s workday—so something as simple as automated bookings could save you hours 4-5 every week.
8. Start Building Email Lists Faster
Not only will embracing sales automation save you precious time and resources, but it can also bump up your earning potential. Simply put, more leads mean more potential sales (and increased sales productivity).
Wondering how it’s possible to generate more leads with less effort? One option is to outsource your lead generation to a third party. If you’re looking for a completely hands-off approach, there are plenty of lead generation companies that will find and provide leads for you. Of course, the downside to purchasing leads is that you could end up with the same list of contacts as your competitors.
Alternatively, you can use sales tools to help build a prospect list as fast as possible. If you’re looking for the most efficient way to increase your lead gen efforts, a prospecting tool like Datanyze can help. The Datanyze Chrome extension helps you build a high-value list of qualified contacts while you browse LinkedIn—so you can focus on establishing real connections, not searching for contact data.
9. Ensure Your Data is Accurate & Updated
An email list full of unverified email addresses, outdated data, and incorrect contact information is one of the best ways to kill your productivity. The more time and energy you waste trying to connect with leads who either don’t exist or no longer use the contact data on your list, the less time you’ll have leftover to connect with prospects and nurture relationships.
So, whether you’re collecting data manually or using third-party sources and prospecting tools, it’s crucial to ensure your information is accurate and up to date. Make sure your data is GDPR-compliant, verified, and provided by a reputable source like Datanyze.
10. Source Lead Data While You Browse LinkedIn
In the world of B2B prospecting, LinkedIn is kind of a big deal. As the largest professional network in the world (with over 830 million users!), LinkedIn is one of the best places to discover and reach new prospects. Not only do LinkedIn profiles often include the information you need to pre-qualify a lead—including industry, job title, and company size—but they also contain relevant contact details.
With the right sales technology, you can turn LinkedIn into your own lead-generating machine and start connecting with qualified leads ASAP. We built Datanyze to make your lead generation process smoother and easier than ever, whether you’re searching for specific individuals or searching by job title.
The Datanyze Chrome extension reveals contact info—including email addresses, direct dial phone numbers, and mobile numbers— with a single click, so you can build a reliable list of high-quality prospects while you browse LinkedIn. Datanyze also makes it simple to segment and export lists, so you can optimize your outreach efforts with relevant messaging.
Increase Your Sales Productivity by Prospecting Smarter
Ultimately, increasing your sales productivity requires a combination of the right tools, sales data, and processes. With Datanyze, you can streamline your lead generation process, collect accurate data on your prospects, and use technology to unlock your sales team’s full potential.
Ready to find and connect with B2B prospects? Try Datanyze and increase your sales productivity by spending less time on finding the right data