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Six Ways to Boost Sales Productivity

When sales productivity is low, one might think the immediate solution is to push salespeople to work harder. While this seems like a viable answer, consider that your team doesn't necessarily need to work harder as much as they need to work smarter. By optimizing productivity with time management tools, automated software, and a decent dose of motivation, you could see a boost in sales productivity fairly quickly. Here are some tips to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and morale within your sales force.

1) Automate Workflow
Only about a third of a salesperson's time is spent actually selling. The rest is exhausted on administrative methods meant to streamline the workflow. However, if that method is antiquated and overwhelming, crucial leads can be lost. Consider apps like 17 hats that help create and organize databases. Once a first action is triggered, the app then works to deliver follow-up emails, schedule calls or appointments, and keep detailed notes. When workflow improves, performance improves. And when performance improves, productivity increases.

2) Reinforcement and Repetition
There is no one sales method that works specifically for the technology industry, but training salespeople consistently can certainly be beneficial. By incorporating the same methods with each sales rep across the board, identifying one's weakness and then working on that shortfall can improve his or her overall performance. Once these weaknesses are identified, the reinforcement and repetition of preferred sales methods will ensure the rep has a strong handle on what needs to be done in specific situations. Have them practice and rehearse the pitch so they are confident on how to sell or handle rebuttals. The truth is in the training, and when a team leader gives his salespeople genuine time and effort, that sales rep will return in kind.

3) Motivate, Excite, and Inspire
Sales expert and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, "People often say motivation doesn't last. Neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily." The most productive and successful salespeople in the world will tell you that sharing and practicing inspiration and motivation is one of the primary factors that makes them successful. Innately, we all want to be inspired. Take the time to recognize individuals for their wins. Listen. Share stories. Pay them fairly. When you appreciate and value who they are and what they do, they will return that appreciation three-fold.

4) Individual Weekly Meetings
Spending roughly 30 minutes a week with each salesperson can be the catalyst to a fruitful and successful quarter. During this call or meeting discuss wins and future goals, what their agenda for the week is, and what can be done to help them meet their goals. This call is crucial not just so you can get a handle on where they are, but so you can get a handle on who they are. We are all human. We require interaction. And while being personable and responsive isn't a requirement, it does put you on the same level as your reps, ultimately keeping them enthused and engaged. Staying in touch on a regular basis also enables you to stay up to date with the direction he or she might be heading within the company.

5) Time Management
Time management (or lack thereof) is one of the primary struggles individual salespeople face. From scheduling appointments to tackling the day without a game plan, some sales reps fight to keep their heads above water. But by dedicating a certain number of hours a week to tackle specific tasks, overwhelm dissolves and lost hours are regained. Consider a time management core during training, offering tangible tools they can begin using immediately. In this way, sales reps can better leverage their time to create healthier, more profitable results.

6) Behavioral Profiling
Every single one of us is different. We respond to people and outside stimuli differently. But when we understand the behavioral differences within people, we can drastically improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication. This can be accomplished with an assessment tool. DISC is one such tool that, based on a series of questions, allows team leaders to determine personality and behaviors so they can better manage the dispositions and priorities of team members. When you know your people, you know what to expect. Having a handle on specific behaviors helps you to navigate the wants and needs of your valuable workforce.

Streamlining the sales process and implementing a regular strategy can boost sales productivity. Which of these strategies will you be utilizing today?