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5 Proven Tips to Enhance Sales Productivity

The last couple of years have been hard for sales teams across the world; the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a major crisis for businesses and dramatically transformed the way customers look out for and buy products. In these uncertain times, every sales leader must find answers to two important questions.

  1. How can I make my business more flexible and resilient as it prepares to adapt to the new normal?

  2. What must I do to ensure my reps deliver the desired results and handle challenges of the future with high efficacy?

Enhancing productivity of sales teams plays a big role in the answer to these two questions. Your commitment to enhancing the productivity of your sales personnel will be critical to resolving major problems that arise during these trying times.

Let us now look at 5 sure-shot tips that enable you to maximize your sales productivity and overcome the challenges faced by your organization now (and in the years to come).

Tip 1: Set the Right Metrics to Measure Sales Productivity

One of the key aspects of developing a robust strategy to enhance sales productivity is identifying how well your salespeople are performing. But how can you do that? You may say you’ll set a goal and evaluate their performance against it. Unfortunately, the modern sales landscape is quite complex and using just one method to measure sales productivity will not be effective. Different companies use different methods – these can vary from the revenue generated from each rep to more complicated methods such as computing the ratio of expenses incurred to revenues earned. While each organization may believe the method employed by it is the most appropriate way to measure the productivity of its sales team, the formula given below can be applied to businesses of all sizes across the industry spectrum.

Productivity of a Sales Team = (The Ability of the Team to Utilize the Resources at Its Disposal to Make the Right Selling Decisions / The Number of Hours Spent on Performing Core Sales Tasks Such as Interacting with Customers) *100

While the amount of time spent on core selling activities can be easily measured, you may ask how you can quantify the ability to make the right selling decisions. The ability can be measured by the number of selling decisions that produced results. Let me explain this more clearly with an example.

Two sales teams A and B spend 35 hours in a week executing core sales tasks; both teams make 10 sales decisions i.e., pitching a product to a particular segment of the customers. Team A gets all its decisions right and sells successfully on all occasions. So, the productivity of sales team A can be calculated as follows.

(10 successful decisions / 35 hours) *100 = 28.57

On the other hand, sales team B also makes 10 selling decisions but only 5 of them produce the desired result (closure of deals). So, the productivity of sales team B will be as follows.

(5 successful decisions / 35 hours) *100 = 14.29

Various authors have suggested different versions of this formula but the essence of all is the same – a sales team’s productivity is a product of its efficiency (the time spent to make decisions) and efficacy (making right decisions).

Tip 2: Ensure Your Sales Process is Fully Optimized for Selling the Digital Way

Virtual selling isn’t a new phenomenon; people have been buying online for quite some time, but the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a massive shift towards virtual purchasing. The phenomenal growth in online selling has compelled many organizations to move most of their sales reps to inside sales, and this created serious sales productivity issues – disconnected processes, data and tools created havoc, and the organizations are having a tough time resolving the issues.