How much of your time do you actually spend selling? It may be less than you think. Most sales reps today spend more time managing their sales than making them. The latest research shows that good sales professionals spend less than a third of their time selling. The rest of their time goes to administrative tasks around sales and demand generation.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to boost your sales productivity—the amount of time you actually spend selling. Doug Davidoff, CEO of Imagine Business Development, has outlined five ways sales reps can spend more time selling and become more efficient at the backend tasks.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Davidoff’s strategies to maximize sales productivity.
1. Map out how you acquire customers. According to Davidoff, the first step in maximizing your sales productivity is examining how you get your clients. Instead of building out your entire methodology, Davidoff encourages sales professionals to map the customer acquisition process and look for waypoints. This allows you to make your repeatable process a series of repeatable mini processes that you can input as needed. The process is similar to how football teams execute their playbook or how hitters adjust to pitches and situations in baseball.
2. Establish a service-level agreement. Another way to enhance your sales productivity is to be sure you have a service-level agreement (SLA) in place. An SLA defines what every lead definition means and how to manage those leads. Davidoff says that a strong SLA enables everyone to spend their time focused on selling situations rather than figuring out what to do and when to do it.
3. Scale back on all the systems. Sales professionals often use a dizzying array of technology to do their jobs. From forecasting to lead scoring to marketing automation, many sales reps use CRMs, document sharing, video, chat and other tools to try to be more efficient. However, the opposite is often true. Trying to maximize each system’s efficiency ends up slowing everyone down, notes Davidoff. The solution? Use the apps and tools that make sense, but make sure they all connect to a single system and a “database of truth,” he says.
4. Build and execute contextual plays. Most sales reps either execute their sales cadences like robots or have little time to have a focused conversation. Davidoff says you can boost your sales productivity by designing contextual plays—or ways to free up a sales rep’s genius to engage with the prospect or customer.
5. Tap into the power of the playbook. A well-defined and documented playbook gives your sales team a leg up on those without one. Playbooks are powerful, says Davidoff, because they help sales professionals move swifter and more efficiently. The goal is to ensure those on your team do not get bogged down by manual processes, so be sure to integrate and automate your playbook into your existing systems.
To truly be more productive in your sales efforts, think about how you spend your time. It also helps to consider how your various systems and tools may be bogging you down rather than helping you increase your output. When you apply the strategies above, you can help your sales team stay focused on the high-value actions that lead to sales.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Doug Davidoff is CEO of Imagine Business Development. He has worked with more than 1,500 small and medium-sized businesses to make sales growth predictable, sustainable and scalable.
Used with permission from PPAI