Sales departments always look busy don’t they? Lots of people talking on the phone, busy reading and sending emails, high-fiving when a big deal is closed. Sales productivity must be good – you’d think anyway with all the activity and hard work going on. But looks can be deceiving and hard work doesn’t always equate to high productivity – in fact research has shown that the longer working hours we tend to do here in the UK are actually detrimental to productivity.
So if we’re not sure we can even recognise high productivity on the face of it how can be increase it?
First of all, let’s take a look at how productivity can be measured – it is quite simply the ratio of value generated vs costs. Maximising productivity means either keeping costs low compared to profit or generating much more profit per pound spent. Measuring productivity should be part of your normal sales process.
Train & Develop Your Sales People
Even the best-of-the-best sales people need to keep up to date with market best practises. Sales processes and methodologies change as businesses evolve and learn how to do things better. Providing sales training in proven methods such as Commitment Based Selling, for example, enables sales people to learn about new ideas or refresh their existing knowledge.
Using a CRM System
All too often organisation use their CRM system as a glorified contact database rather than using the data and metrics within it to improve their sales process. Ensure everyone in the sales department knows how to use the CRM system effectively and the benefits of doing so. This will have a positive effect on current sales and influence future sales.
Improve your sales process
Whether your organisation has a formalised sales process or not your sales people will be following a series of similar tasks with all prospects or, at least, they should be. Again a CRM system can be used to reinforce the process by using standard templates, setting up reminders of when to make sales calls and helping identify good leads via analysis of the CRM data. Resources can then be concentrated on the leads that are identified as most likely to proceed.
Check your analytics
A well-maintained CRM system is a goldmine of relevant data than can inform future decision-making. Detailed analysis can also be used to help improve productivity providing you take note of what the data is telling you. Don’t assume you know what your productivity graph looks like – instead learn from the detailed data held within your CRM system. After all a business that is stuck in its ways and fails to move with the times will itself fail. It is more important than ever in our fast-changing digital world to learn lessons from what has gone wrong before and ensure the same mistakes are not made again. If you are in any doubt about the importance of listening to what your data and the market are telling you just look at the history of Kodak.