A Guide to Sales Productivity
More and more businesses are emphasizing, improving their sales productivity to survive in this dynamic environment. Sales productivity is the organization’s ultimate goal, and they are putting efforts into the attainment of the goal. Increasing competition and the shrinking economy is one of the significant reasons for organizations placing more and more importance on sales productivity. Increasing sales productivity is, therefore, the responsibility of all the employees of the organization, but it is the sales team whose actions directly impact the sales of the organization and hence the sales productivity. Sales productivity is directly related to the business customer service. Better customer service will be your business productivity. It is the customer who will increase or reduce sales productivity. Therefore your sales reps must provide the best service possible to the customer to keep them happy and satisfied.
How to define sales productivity? Sales productivity simply means increasing sales with the least resources. It is, therefore, increasing sales effectively and efficiently. It helps the organization to look at how much each sales rep is contributing to sales revenue and how to improve one’s performance. It will help the businesses to build a strong and reliable sales team that will keep your current customers happy and will also bring in new prospects with the ultimate aim of increasing sales productivity.
There are certain difficulties that are faced by businesses in general and, more specifically, the sales rep in improving sales productivity. These are hurdles that are standing in the way of the organization to achieve its objective.
One major challenge is excessive pressure that is put on the sales team to achieve sales targets. Unrealistic targets tend to lower the morale of the sales reps and reduce their focus on the work. Hence it important to set a target that is practical to achieve, and it must match with the capabilities of the sales rep.
- Poor plans and strategies also reduce the sales productivity of the organization. Proper thinking and research must be done before developing a sales plan and strategies. It is important to take into consideration current market conditions before devising plans.
- The resistance of employees to new changes also acts as a big hurdle towards attaining the overall goal of the organization. Without the use of new tools and techniques for increasing sales, businesses tend to fail.
- Lack of alignment between sales and marketing department keeps business away from improving its sales productivity. These two departments must complement each other to achieve the required objective.
- Negative sales culture is a breeding ground for inefficiency in the organization. This is because when the sales reps work in isolation with each other, the outcomes are usually not so great.
- Another important reason for low sales productivity is the inability of the organization to establish the right sales priority. The organization tends to waste their time on an unnecessary task, which reduces sales productivity.
These are some of the hurdles faced by the organization in improving their sales productivity. But there are certain building blocks that help the organization to overcome these hurdles. These are also known as key pillars for sales productivity. These are consistency, concentration, and innovation, and reduced pressure.
- Consistency: It is important to have consistency in the overall sales process so as to avoid confusion and chaos. Every sales rep must know what to do next and how.
- Concentration: Focus on the task that really matters and is important. One needs to remove various distractions to achieve the goal.
- Innovation: There must be continuous innovation in sales tactics and tools to improve sales productivity, and it is also for survival in a dynamic environment.
- Reduced pressure: The organization should not put undue pressure on the sales reps because it can lead to a negative impact on the performance of the sales rep. One must keep this in mind.
These pillars must be the first priority of the organization to work on for increasing sales productivity. Besides these, it is vital to develop strategies for improving sales productivity. These are mentioned as below:
- Sales Training: Sales training is a basic step toward achieving sales productivity. In today’s world, traditional sales tactics do not work. So it is important for the organization to equip their sales team with new methods and tactics by providing them adequately with training and knowledge. Sales training is essential for making your sales team competent in meeting customer needs.
- Monitor Sales Activities: To improve sales productivity, it is important for the business to monitor current sales activities to get a more accurate picture. This will help you with providing them valuable information such as lead generation, conversion rates, etc. and this let the organization know about how sales rep are performing and who is contributing what to the sales revenue and thus the organization is in the better position to take corrective actions.
- Lead Generation: Lead generation is important as it is the basis of increasing the sales of the organization. Therefore the sales rep must focus on quality lead and put their efforts into converting sales. Failure to focus on the right lead can result in the loss of various opportunities along with the waste of time, money, and efforts. Quality leads depend upon various factors such as location, demographic factors, various challenges, etc. So one must keep these factors in mind while generating leads. The organization can also increase the lead generation process by implementing various new tools.
- Communication: Communication is the key to achieving the sales productivity. It is important to communicate with your sales team regularly to keep them updated about any new change and give them regular feedback as it will help to improve their performance. Sales reps must know what they are expected to do and whom they have to report. It is essential to have good communication within the team as well. Communication helps to avoid all type of confusion and chaos.
- Goal: It is important to set short term and long term goals for your sales team and this will keep in check on the performance of the sales team. Besides setting them, the organization must appreciate their achievement as it will increase the morale of the team thereby increasing sales productivity.
Hence by implementing these strategies one can surely manage to improve sale productivity.