How to Increase the Productivity of Your Sales Team

by Chandler Barr Oct 21,2023
Engagedly
PODCAST

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Your sales reps are struggling to close deals, and the revenue graph looks underwhelming. You can’t help but wonder, what went wrong?

The often overlooked culprit: poor sales productivity

Maintaining good sales productivity is essential for hitting your revenue targets every quarter. Without it, your sales team is losing hours in tasks that don’t contribute to your bottom line. 

You can set them up for success and increase your revenue by tracking sales productivity and proactively improving it. In this guide, you’ll uncover ten different ways to increase the productivity of your sales team.

What is sales productivity?

What is sales productivity?

Sales productivity is a performance metric to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of your sales team. Tracking sales productivity will help you boost your bottom line, reduce investment in the sales ecosystem, and maximize the ROI of your sales efforts. 

If your sales reps are struggling to meet their targets, your sales productivity is low. It can be because of:
    • A weak or absent onboarding process
    • Lack of proper training
    • No concrete workflows or systems
    • Lack of clear communication
    • Not circulating sales goals on time

You’d be surprised to know that salespeople spend less than a third of their time selling, as non-sales tasks reduce their productivity. Instead, they spend more time in data management, tracking and entry, unnecessary team meetings, and creating workflow documents. 

That’s exactly why you need an airtight strategy to maximize sales productivity and avoid draining your sales team’s efforts. Before we get to our practical tips, let’s first look at the steps for measuring sales productivity

How to measure sales productivity

How to measure sales productivity
Here’s a step-by-step formula to track this metric:
  1. Define sales output and input metrics.
  2. Document your acquisition funnel and stages of the sales process.
  3. Collect sales output metrics like revenue, deals closed, customer retention, and satisfaction.
  4. Collect sales input metrics like expense on sales stack, working hours, number of emails sent and calls made, and cost of onboarding per salesperson.
  5. Calculate the ratio of sales output over input.
  6. Compare your sales productivity with your competitors.

Your calculation should be directed more toward revenue and ROI. Maintaining a balance between efficiency and effectiveness is the key to measuring accurate sales productivity.

10 Best Practices to Increase Sales Productivity

Best Practices to Increase Sales Productivity

Sales productivity can impact your entire business. Tracking this metric will help you hit revenue targets—and exceed them. Here are 10 best ways to enhance sales productivity:

Prioritize onboarding and continuous sales training

Sales representatives with scattered efforts, a lack of skill and direction, and a disconnect with your company’s goals are a nightmare—both for you and your customers.

To maximize your sales productivity, begin with a clear, detailed, and focused onboarding process. Inform new reps about key sales goals and offer product knowledge from the outset. You should also create workflows for continuous sales training to ensure the existing reps are equipped to meet their targets and increase conversion rates.

A robust sales onboarding and training setup will also help you set best sales practices, expectations, and accurate reporting. It’ll help you mentor all representatives more effectively.

Develop scalable sales workflows

If your sales team is working to the bone and yet not seeing significant returns, you need to set up better sales workflows. 

A sales workflow guides sales representatives, helps measure the team’s performance, and naturally enhances sales productivity. It also helps you focus more on selling by cutting down admin time spent on repetitive tasks.

Focus on creating a scalable sales workflow for repeatable success. Here are seven things you need to do to create a perfect sales workflow process:
  • Nail down your ideal customer profile (ICP) and target market
  • Map out the buyer journey of your ICP
  • Establish a sales methodology that aligns with your needs
  • List all the tools you use or need
  • Determine stages of your sales cycle
  • Create a sales enablement guide
  • Determine KPIs for your team

Build a robust sales tech stack

Without a sales tech stack, every single sale feels like you’re moving mountains. It also leads to a less productive and underperforming sales team and an unsustainable sales workflow.

A good sales tech stack can save time, resources, and bandwidth while maximizing conversions. To set up a robust SaaS sales tech stack, you need:
  • Customer relationship management (CRM): to collect and track all leads
  • Sales intelligence tool: to get granular details about prospects
  • LinkedIn scraping tool: to collect leads directly from LinkedIn
  • Sales forecasting tool: to predict your sales performance for a month/quarter
  • Project management: to collaborate with your reps and manage documentation

These are some of the most commonly used sales tools by SaaS companies. You can add more to this list based on your unique needs and goals. 

Automate or outsource repetitive tasks

Sales reps spend a whopping 72% of their time in non-selling activities and only 28% of their time in selling activities per week.

Sales Reps Weekly Time SpentSource

To maximize the time and efforts of your sales team, consider setting up automated workflows. Most of the overperforming sales teams have adopted automation and AI-powered systems.

You can use AI tools to add virtual sales reps to your website, build ICPs, and predict buyer journeys and behaviors. What’s more, you can create automated workflows to maintain an efficient CRM system, generate and nurture leads, and maintain coordination internally. And this will give your team the time they need to sell.

Centralize sales content and documentation

If you’re leading sales, you know the importance of organized sales content and systematic documentation. Ask any salesperson, and they’ll tell you how much they dread an unorganized pile of documents to find the right ones in time.

You can centralize your sales content and documentation in a sales content management system. It will help your team members access the right content at the right time. 

Organized documentation in place shrinks down the conversion time, helping reps focus on customers rather than mundane tasks.

Maintain open communication with reps

An obvious yet often overlooked technique to boost sales team productivity is open communication. 

Things begin to go off track with misleading commitments, fake reports, and wrong sales practices. It builds up into a massive disaster that you dig up after it has done considerable damage to your sales pipeline and management.

Here are four ways to maintain open communication with your sales team:
  • Inculcating transparency in day-to-day interactions
  • Informing important pieces of information via email
  • Setting clear and attainable expectations beforehand
  • Fostering a collaborative environment

Implement a sales shadowing program

Before your sales reps hit the ground, they’ll need a live example of all your sales practices, processes, and negotiations. Throwing them on a sales expedition with no maps and sense of direction will instill fear in them and will result in underperforming sales teams.

To prepare your sales reps for sales shadowing, begin with:
  • Proper onboarding and training
  • Setting sales workflow and sales enablement
  • Familiarizing with sales tech, sales content, and documentation

After you’ve warmed up your reps with all the important details, it’s time for them to observe an experienced sales rep. Allow them to take notes of the observation and trace the use of all the tools you’ve trained them with.

Follow up a sales shadowing program with a debrief with the reps on their observations and add insights to it.

Offer performance-based incentives

Research suggests that incentives—like performance-based bonuses, promotions, and recognition—can significantly influence the productivity of employees in commercial organizations. These incentives can also increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and morale.

There are multiple ways to incentivize your sales reps. Keeping a mix of monetary and non-monetary incentives is the best way to go about it.

Reduce unnecessary meetings

If you are holding meetings after meetings with your sales team to discuss goals, plans, and processes, it’s time for you to stop and reflect.

A Harvard Business Review report points out that 70% of the meetings create resistance to employee productivity. Too many meetings may be a result of a lack of an organized workflow, an absence of a defined communication channel, or a skill gap in your team.

Dig up the reason behind unnecessary meetings to optimize time for your sales team. Helping reps focus on what they’re there for – to sell to the customer – will automatically boost your team’s sales productivity.

Celebrate team and individual achievements

Moving to the next task immediately after completing one is a counterproductive approach. The human mind is wired to respond positively to appreciation and rewards; a little celebration is a great way to nail that.

Research shows that celebrating individual and collective wins will give your team a confidence boost, a dopamine hit, and the motivation to get on the next sales goals.

So, the next time you hit or exceed your sales targets, take a moment to appreciate the achievements of individuals and the team. 

Hit your sales targets every month with high productivity

Sales productivity is the key if you are looking to take your business to the next level. A strategic breakdown of the sales ecosystem will uncover the areas you need to overhaul to maximize its productivity. It’ll also establish better strategies, systems, and processes to ensure maximum ROI on your sales expenses.

Automation and generative AI tools are relatively newer additions to the sales ecosystem. However, they can help SaaS sales leaders significantly cut down mundane work and increase sales productivity. All of this is possible without compromising on the quality of customer experience. It’s time for you to level up your revenue by maximizing sales productivity!


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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What drives sales productivity?

Ans. Sales productivity is driven by various factors. Effective sales training, clear goal-setting, and the use of technology to streamline processes are essential. Motivated and well-compensated sales teams, along with a strong customer focus, also play a crucial role in boosting sales productivity.

Q2. What is an example of sales productivity?

Ans. Sales productivity can be exemplified by a salesperson closing a higher number of deals in less time, thanks to improved communication tools, efficient lead management, and refined sales strategies. For instance, if a sales representative increases their sales from $100,000 to $150,000 in a month through streamlined processes and effective client engagement, it demonstrates a tangible example of enhanced sales productivity.

Q3. Why is productivity important in sales?

Ans. Productivity is vital in sales for several reasons.

Efficient sales processes help maximize revenue, allowing a company to thrive. When sales teams work productively, they can reach more potential clients and close deals faster, resulting in increased profitability. Additionally, enhanced productivity contributes to improved customer satisfaction and can build a positive reputation in the market, fostering long-term success for the organization.


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Author
Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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