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Sales Efficiency? Part 1

 

One question I have always asked of myself and the sales teams that I have been a part of is this:

 

“How can WE sell more efficiently?”

 

Sales Efficiency = Sales Team Revenue divided by Sales Team Cost

 

I have seen it in teams I have managed and within high performing sales teams in general.  Salespeople, whether deservedly so or not, are perceived as not being very efficient with their time.  Most of the time it is the fault of the sales leadership team and not the salesperson themselves.  Let’s face it, most internal sales meetings or “funnel reviews” as we used to call them are very inefficient and mostly viewed as a waste of time.  

When efficiency is reduced, sales performance is reduced.

Sales teams perform many different activities on a regular basis, from calling or visiting prospects to recording information in CRM systems to reviewing pipeline reports and other key sales metrics.  Each selling process takes time, and time is money. Any way that businesses can speed up the time it takes to perform those operations while maintaining quality will increase sales efficiency.

 

What are the best ways to become more efficient as a sales team?

1. Embrace Sales Enablement Technology

According to Hubspot

https://www.hubspot.com/sales-enablement

“Sales enablement is the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.  The modern seller’s world is driven by data. But a constant stream of information can overwhelm sales reps and hurt productivity. Sales enablement professionals create systems to make data a true asset.”

I will talk more in future posts about specific technologies  that I have found to be extremely useful.

2. Align Sales and Marketing Efforts

 

According to Brenda Stolz in her Forbes article, Sales and Marketing are not BFFs in most companies.

 

“Sales And Marketing Alignment Often Fails For B2B Companies”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2018/02/19/sales-and-marketing-alignment-often-fails-for-b2b-companies-heres-how-to-fix-that/#722f9826a9d9

As Brenda tells us in her article

Aligning sales and marketing has become common practice as a business strategy, improving the dialogue between two separate departments of a business for improved results all around. But I often have clients approach me with the same problem: regardless of a seamless relationship between their sales and marketing strategies, they still find that there are not enough successful sales being generated from their leads.”
Additionally, matching content to where a potential client is in the buying process can greatly increase the “stickiness” of your brand. Provide value at every step so that when they’re ready to buy, you’re ready to help.
Alignment between sales and marketing teams in B2B companies is a continuous process of growth, communication, and commitment to practicing the strategies that will generate high-quality leads and sales.

Here are some other interesting statistics from our friends at Hubspot regarding sales and marketing alignment.

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/stats-that-prove-the-power-of-smarketing-slideshare

  • Misalignment between sales and marketing technologies and processes costs B2B companies 10% of revenue or more per year.

  • Companies with good smarketing practices in place generated 208% more revenue from marketing efforts.

  • When sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.

3. Refine Your Sales Process

As I have mentioned in previous articles…

Along the way, it is imperative to simplify your workflows and track your process so you can measure success and improve your methodology.

http://gokaizensales.com/2018/06/12/48125/

“Not all sales processes are created equal. Companies who take the time and energy to fine tune each aspect of their overall process are the ones who will be the leaders in their industry and create sustainable business practices.”

 

The Salesforce research machine provides some great stats on creating efficiencies in the way your team sells in this article.

https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2017/11/15-sales-statistics.html

  • Among sales teams that cite ineffective internal processes as their top challenge, excessive administrative tasks was the top cause. When sales teams must spend the majority of their time completing arduous administrative tasks, they’re forced to divert their attention from what should be their top priority — selling and meeting team goals.

  • 79% of sales teams currently use or are planning to use sales analytics technology to increase efficiency. Analytics provide sales teams with deeper insights into lead quality and process effectiveness, resulting in more data-driven decision-making and greater visibility for sales leaders.

  • 76% of sales professionals say using sales analytics has significantly or somewhat improved their ability to provide customers with a consistent experience across every channel. Not only do analytics open the door to a more efficient, accurate, and personalized process, but it also give sales teams deeper insights to optimize their selling process.

My next post will focus on specific methods within each step laid out here to improve Sales Team Efficiency.

Thanks

Dave