November 18, 2021

7 Tactics to Increase Sales Productivity

Written by The Apollo Team

Sales productivity is the dream state of both the sales leader and the sales rep. A state where each seller is both efficient and effective:

  • Sales Efficiency: that means using most of their time actually selling.
  • Sales Effectiveness: being able to close deals and drive revenue.

Reality, however, is a different thing altogether. The average sales rep only spends 37% of their time actively selling (prospecting, cold calling, following up, making presentations, etc.). The rest of the time is spent planning, processing orders, doing paperwork, or eating lunch.

This lack of efficiency results in not hitting sales targets, which in turn affects their sales managers and their companies. Fortunately, there are a number of sales productivity tools and tactics that can help.

In this article, we’ll look at 7 tactics you can implement today to increase productivity.

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1. Train for sales productivity

It’s not enough to learn basic selling techniques and a quick overview of the product features. Sellers must know the product and the buyer persona intimately; they must be well versed in the latest selling tactics (neurolinguistic selling, for example); and they must hone and practice their sales pitch to make it perfect.

Most sales training and sales enablement programs address the above.

But they also need to learn how to be more effective, by training in goal setting: how to set daily, weekly and monthly goals. 

One way to do this is focusing on leading and lagging indicators, the numbers that will tell each sales rep how many attempts or visits he or she must make each day to hit the sales target.

Let’s say the sales target is $5,000 per week and you need at least 3 sales to hit that target. If a sales rep closes one sale for every 10 visits made, then the rep needs to make 30 visits each week (6 per day) to hit it.

Finally, sellers should train to be leaders, to be initiators and to feel ownership over their work.

2. Focus on qualified leads

Make sure you have the access to the best data and sales intelligence tools to obtain qualified leads. The ideal is not to chase every lead the marketing team generates, but only the right leads. That way you can close more deals with fewer, higher quality leads.

A high quality lead has already shown interest in the solutions you offer or perfectly matches your ideal customer profile. Plus, the lead has a defined budget that falls within your price range.

Sales intelligence data allows you to: 

  • Save time by identifying and reaching the right people
  • Personalize cold emails and cold calls with detailed information about the prospects
  • Identify the needs and pain points of prospects

With Apollo.io, for example, sellers can access company information (revenue, company size, industry, location, technologies used, etc.) and personal information (job changes, title, etc.) at the click of a button.

3. Use the best sales engagement tools

Does your sales organization have an engagement tool as part of its sales tech stack?

A sales engagement platform will dramatically increase any sales team’s efficiency and productivity.

A sales engagement platform allows sales representatives to automate the process of keeping track of every call they make, every email they send and receive and any other activity they conduct with their prospects and customers.

Using a sales engagement platform will save you time and allow you to analyze your results. Sales engagement tools provide analytics about open rates, click-through rates and more, to improve process effectiveness.

4. Automate routine tasks

Sales automation the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) tools to carry out sales tasks that would normally be carried out manually. It’s any software-based solution that helps a salesperson perform their tasks faster, easier, and more efficiently.

One-third of all sales tasks have the potential to be automated. Just imagine how productive you could be if 33% of your manual tasks were handled for you.

With Apollo, for instance, you can automate tasks related to prospecting, messaging, and pipeline management.

5. Gather reports and evaluate

Sales productivity metrics are key for success.

Most sales teams use a CRM to keep track of the buyer’s journey of each client, but not many use it well. Make sure you know how to use the CRM at its full potential. If you input all the relevant data, you can automatically generate sales analytics reports to understand your current sales performance and to identify what to improve.

Furthermore, these reports can help your sales manager forecast sales revenue more accurately and optimize the execution of the sales plan.

6. Reduce paperwork and other non-selling activities

As mentioned above, the average sales reps spend only about 37% of their time actively selling. What do they do the rest of the time? They write proposals, input data into the CRM, create sales reports, attend sales meetings, write expense reports and other types of paperwork and administrative tasks.

How much revenue could you make if you freed up some of your time? Even if you reduced non-selling activities by two hours per week, you could make a big difference in your sales targets. Sales managers can reduce it through software, admin staff, proposal writers or other support staff.

But even if your team doesn’t have that external support, you can learn a technique called batch work. It consists of grouping tasks together and keeping at them until completed. For example, make 20 calls at once. Then enter all the data into the CRM and do the follow-up work for those calls. This technique has proven to be faster and more efficient than simply working in a linear sequence.

7. Celebrate and reward wins

Finally, it’s very important to stay inspired and motivated most of the time. Your work is not easy and it comes with a lot of rejections and frustration. So celebrate your wins (even the small ones) and see that your team rewards sellers for their achievements.

Leaders should use sales meetings to inspire and motivate sellers to do better and sell more, communicating the company’s mission and values.

Remember that your job is more than selling and making money — it’s about making a difference and helping clients succeed with your product or service.

A motivated sales rep will be a more productive sales rep. So keep up the good work!

Are you ready to take your sales productivity to the next level? Apollo.io is the sales tool you need!

It’s an all-in-one sales technology tool that includes intelligence data, engagement features, and as well as analytics and sales metrics.

Sign up for a free account today and give it a try!

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The Apollo Team