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If you're a sales manager, you know how challenging it can be to motivate your team and keep them on track to achieve their goals. Sales is a demanding and competitive field, requiring constant effort and focus from your reps.
But how can you help them boost their productivity and performance without burning them out or micromanaging them? In this blog post, I'll share nine ways to increase the productivity of your sales team based on proven strategies and best practices.
Implementing these strategies will empower your team to work smarter, not harder, and close more deals in less time. Let’s dive in.
Sales productivity measures how well your sales team uses its time and resources to generate revenue and achieve its goals.
It is closely related to sales efficiency, which is about minimizing the cost and effort of sales activities, and sales effectiveness, which is about maximizing the impact and outcome of sales activities.
According to a report by HubSpot, only 42% of salespeople exceeded their sales goals in 2021 and only 41% in 2022. This indicates a decline in sales productivity and performance across the board. Therefore, sales leaders must find ways to boost their sales team’s productivity and help them sell smarter and faster.
One of the best ways to increase sales productivity is to ensure that your new hires are well-trained and ready to hit the ground running. A good onboarding process should cover product knowledge, sales skills, and the company culture, values, and expectations.
A strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Therefore, you should invest in creating a comprehensive and engaging onboarding program that includes clear goals, feedback, mentoring, and support.
Example: Shopify has a six-week onboarding program for its sales reps that covers everything from product demos to role-playing exercises. The program also includes a buddy system, where new hires are paired with experienced reps who can offer guidance and advice.
More than onboarding is needed to keep your sales team productive in the long run. You must also provide ongoing training and coaching sessions to help them refresh their knowledge, learn new skills, and overcome challenges.
You can use various methods, such as online courses, webinars, podcasts, workshops, peer-to-peer learning, and one-on-one sessions. You can also leverage data and feedback to identify the areas where your sales reps need improvement and tailor your training accordingly.
Example: HubSpot offers its sales reps access to HubSpot Academy, an online learning platform that provides courses on various topics related to sales and marketing. The company also has a coaching culture where managers and mentors offer regular feedback and guidance to their teams.
Another way to boost your sales productivity is to align your sales and marketing teams around the same goals, strategies, communication, and systems. This can help you create a seamless customer journey, generate more qualified leads, increase conversion rates, and reduce friction and duplication of efforts.
Aligned organizations achieve an average of 32% year-over-year revenue growth, while less aligned companies report an average 7% decline in revenue.
Hence, you should foster collaboration and alignment between your sales and marketing teams. You can define common objectives and metrics, create service level agreements (SLAs), share data and insights, use integrated tools and platforms, and hold regular meetings and reviews.
Sales automation is the use of sales automation systems to fulfill mundane tasks such as sending bills and follow-up emails and responding to consumer inquiries. These administrative chores can consume a significant amount of necessary employee time.
Sales automation saves time and resources by streamlining these tasks and providing more accurate data. It can also help you improve your customer experience by providing faster responses and personalized interactions.
Many options in the market can help you automate various aspects of your sales process, such as lead generation, qualification, nurturing, communication, scheduling, proposal management, invoicing, reporting, and analytics.
Meetings are often necessary for sales teams to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate their efforts. However, not all meetings are productive or efficient. In fact, some meetings can be a waste of time and energy, especially if they are too long, frequent, or unfocused.
Professionals spend an average of two hours per week in pointless meetings, up to 13 days per year. Moreover, 44% of respondents said that poorly organized meetings lead to a waste of time. They didn’t have enough time to do the rest of their work.
You can do this by setting clear agendas and objectives for each meeting, inviting only the relevant people, keeping the meetings short and concise, and following up with action items and next steps.
Pro Tip: You can use tools like Cal.com to schedule and create personalized links for different meeting types and share them with your teammates or clients. It also checks your availability across all your calendars and automatically adds video conferencing to your events. By using Cal.com, you can avoid the back-and-forth of finding a suitable time and focus on having meaningful conversations.
Time blocking is a popular time management technique that involves segmenting your day into smaller chunks or blocks dedicated to specific tasks. For instance, you can block an hour in the morning for prospecting, another hour in the afternoon for follow-ups, and another hour for reporting.
This technique can help you improve your sales productivity by helping you prioritize your most important tasks, avoid distractions and interruptions, maintain focus and concentration, and achieve a better work-life balance. Moreover, time blocking can help you reduce stress and anxiety by giving you a clear plan for your day.
Pro Tip: You can use time management tools like TimeCamp to create and manage your time blocks.
Sales scripts and templates are pre-written texts that guide your sales reps through different sales process stages. For example, you can have scripts and templates for cold calls, emails, voicemails, presentations, proposals, objections, and closing.
Sales scripts and templates can help you increase your sales productivity by helping you standardize your sales messages, save time and effort in writing and editing texts, and increase your consistency and professionalism.
Incentives are rewards or benefits that motivate your sales reps to perform better or achieve specific goals. Incentives, such as commissions, bonuses, prizes, recognition, feedback, or career advancement, can be monetary or non-monetary.
Incentives can help you boost your sales productivity by helping you attract and retain top talent, increase motivation and engagement, encourage healthy competition, and foster a culture of excellence. Moreover, incentives can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Pro Tip: You can set clear and realistic goals, align incentives with desired behaviors and outcomes, and provide timely and transparent feedback. You can also use tools like Ambition to gamify your sales process and track and celebrate your team’s progress.
Lastly, to improve your sales productivity is to measure, analyze, improve, and repeat. You should constantly monitor and evaluate your sales performance using relevant metrics and indicators.
Some major metrics to keep an eye on are revenue, quota attainment, conversion rates, sales cycle length, customer satisfaction, and retention. You should also analyze the data to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your sales team.
Sales is one of the most essential parts of any business, and it is pertinent to equip your sales team with all the necessities to get the best return.
Your sales team can get the most out of their time and efforts by setting up the right strategies, time management skills, and tools. As a result, you can maintain a healthy sales pipeline and bring in better conversion.
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