How to Improve Sales Efficiency


Sales efficiency refers to the process and speed at which task or activity is performed with the goal of doing this right the first time. In increasing sales efficiency, examining the current processes as well as their weaknesses is necessary. Afterward, there is a need to determine the solutions to address the inefficiencies. Improving sales efficiency can be tricky, but here are some ways to do that.

Before that, though, we should discuss the importance of improving the efficiency at both the team and individual level.


Importance of improving sales efficiency

It doesn’t matter if you are a startup or an established company—all sorts of incapabilities can hurt the bottom-line. The solutions you bring to the company will consume resources. Not to mention, the time it will take to implement the new process could mean a lull time for the entire sales team.

There are other challenges along the way, too. For instance, businesses that are scaling up in terms of profitability are looking more into their sales team. They aren’t adding more to the team. Instead, they find ways to get more from the team. This is only possible through using sales operation, technology and training to make the salespeople more efficient on what they do.

Thus, improvements on the sales efficiency means:

– utilizing lesser resources,
– highlighting the internal capabilities,
– maximizing the resources at disposal,
– adopting more adaptable and agile processes, and
– dealing with evolving market conditions.


Steps in improving sales efficiency

1) Determine the right sales process

What is the sales right process for you? This is perhaps the question that you need to answer first. Notably, every sales process is unique. Sales processes aren’t universal—what’s right for other sales team may not necessarily be right for your sales team. Once you determine the right process for the team, the second question is – is it scalable enough? If it is, changing a process for the benefit of everyone involved should not be a problem.

2) Evaluate the current sales process

Initially, it is critical to know the current status of the sales process, whether it is despicably broken or not. The goal of this step is determining flaws and weaknesses. A reactive process as it may seem, but once you get the hang of it, reviewing the sales process on a regular basis, it’ll become more practive. That’s how you strengthen the sales process unless otherwise the assessment requires the team to devise a new sales process from scratch.

3) Utilize sales efficiency metrics

The sales people are not alien to quota and other requirements. Thus, introducing metrics wherein the efficiency level can be measured against will be a welcome idea. The process also allows you to measure the impact of the changes made. These metrics could include process or activities that you have control over such as the numbers of follow-ups, meetings, and appointments made and so on.

4) Leverage the economies of scale

At times, increasing sales efficiency lies in the sales operation itself. The basic premise is that the sales representatives should spend their time doing selling and not necessarily the activities preceding the actual selling. This is more so for the closers wherein they should be doing more selling than non-selling activities. Otherwise, the firm would not be able to scale up efficiently toward sustainable profitability. Compartmentalize the team if necessary.

5) Create a coaching culture

When the sales team is created at the time when the company started its operation, the mantra is learning things together. However, as the team moves into company growth continuum, it’ll be different. The dynamic changes, and so should the learning process. A coaching culture, according to Harvard Business Review, might be all the company needs to speed up the time needed to make a new salesperson become productive. It should be the onboarding process of any growing and ever-diversifying sales team.

6) Tap onto the benefits of technology

Sales efficiency tools are on the rise, giving the salespeople an impetus to focus on improving their capabilities. These tools can help from curating relevant contents to scheduling tasks to managing database. If you can find a tool that can address the majority of the ineffiencies at the same time, the better.

There are many other ways to improve sales efficiency. Take it from the sales experts themselves based on the sales efficiency improvement article by Docurated.


Improving sales efficiency is just one part. For more information on how to improve selling as a process, head on to our blog section.

4 Signs That Your Sales Process is Despicably Broken


A process is only effective when all the individuals involved understand the purpose of establishing such a process. A team probably use dozens of processes on a daily basis. The sales team is no exemption. Within the team, there are well-defined processes that aim to bring in more sales as possible. The question now is what will happen if the sales process starts breaking down?

You need not wait to happen. Below are some of the tell-tale signs that your sales process is broken to the extent that it borders the mediocre and the awful. We also offer some insights into how you can fix it.

Signs of an ineffective sales process

1) Low response rates

If you are doing cold calling and email outreach and yet very few people are responding, then there’s a problem. There is nothing completely wrong with email outreach and cold calling for that matter. However, the methods to connect with our prospects are evolving. Perhaps, your sales process should, too.

Some experts argue that cold calling is dead. Nowadays, sales reps should prioritize “warm calling.” LinkedIn is there for a purpose. So, use it to your advantage. Yes, it is tempting to open the yellow pages. But for a more streamlined process that adds value, you need to define your list before you introduce yourself to the person.

When it’s time to connect through a call or an email, your name will be familiar to the prospect. This increases the likelihood of getting a response.

LESSON: The sales process must emphasize the need to establish a connection first before making the first contact

2) Few leads

If you aren’t able to build rapport in the first place, chances are, there will be very few leads to enter the pipeline. If there will be leads entering the pipeline at all. Another problem to look into is the fact that many companies are still buying leads lists. Thus, the prospects are nothing but names and not necessarily people who have a genuine interest in the company or its products and services.

Now is the perfect time to change the perspectives of these salespeople. If you are looking for qualified leads, these are the people who have already expressed an interest in your product. These people definitely need or find value in what you are offering. Yet, if a sales rep cannot distinguish between a qualified and unqualified lead, your process is obviously problematic.

The first place to look for those who have an established buyer interest is through the company’s CRM (customer relationship management). This is a critical tool to determine who reaches out to your company to inquire. They are probably looking for information about the choices and alternatives.

LESSON: The sales process should emphasize the need to differentiate between cold and warm leads

ANOTHER LESSON: The sales process should integrate sub-processes to determine which leads to pursue

3) Low close rates

In creating revenue, the sales team needs to convert leads into sales. If the team conducts 100 meetings in a month and closes 2 to 3 leads, the sales process needs to be improved. The ideal conversion rate is at least 10%. Anything lower than this rate is a sign that you need to evaluate the process that the team is using.

Depending on the industry, there could be some slight variations in the process. Nonetheless, the goal is the same – conversion. Thus, you need to know if the team members understand and complete the required steps to take. They should be able to address the pain points of the prospects.

It takes more than reviewing the sales reports and evaluating the performance of the sales team. The entire process must be reviewed to determine which areas need improvement.

LESSON: The sales process must value the buyer experience, and the team must understand how to do this

4) Longer sales cycle

There are no two sales cycles alike since they differ depending on the industry or niche. There are no rules of thumb when it comes to this. But, this is not an excuse to have a draggy sales cycle. If you can trim down the process into 15 to 18 days, why not right?

LESSON: The sales process should be operationally efficient, so there must be no room for redundancies

Simply, the sales team is only strong if the sales process that they rely on is equally strong. If the process is not doing what it should, it’s high time to do some evaluation. And please, get the team on board not because they are the one who uses it, but because the team members know what makes a valuable sales process. They are completely aware of the loopholes so they can best judge which needs to be improved.


Learn more about selling tips and hacks through our blog.

4 Things That Ruin a Sales Presentation


A sales presentation has three important goals. First, inform the audience about the company, product and service of the company with the goal of painting the brand in an ideal light. Second, captivate the audience. Third, convert the audience into a paying customer. The first goal is the easiest to accomplish. But, the same cannot be said for the second goal and thus, the third one. Why? Because of the flawed sales presentation.

Did you know that there are several ways your own presentation can actually sabotage the entire sales process? Below are some of them.

Things that ruin a sales presentation

1) Being immensely generic

Interestingly, the benefits of your product or service are not universal and apply to specific groups of people. Your sales presentation must not be too general, too. It should be customized to the needs of your audience. By now, you should have already realized that there are no two prospects alike. Each has its own pain points. Thus, the solutions you should present must be tailored to its needs.

If you won’t do this, you are losing the opportunity to let the prospect imagine himself using your product. This will be more apparent when you are sharing with him some success stories. He would be able to relate to the story if the story is relevant to what issues he currently struggles with. Visualization is key here.

2) Discussing benefits to a fault

To continue, it would be better to discuss up to four major benefits of your product in connection with the prospect’s pain point. People tend to remember information they think are useful to them. The knowledge about the relevant benefits you highlight in your presentation will become the basis of their decision.

Don’t bombard your prospect with too many benefits. In the end, she might get confused and doubtful whether all your claims are true or not. What will happen if she discovers that these are just false or unfounded claims? You won’t win her trust and so her business. Not to mention, listening to too-good-to-be-true statements can be very distracting. It also has negative implications on the person’s decision-making process.

3) Sticking to the script

No sales rep would be able to build a momentum if he would start his presentation in an obviously scripted manner. Coupled with a monotonous voice and questionable body language, the presentation is doomed to fail. An emotion-lacking presentation is a lackluster presentation.

How can you expect your attendees to respond if the presentation and the presenter himself lack energy and enthusiasm? You can avoid a drab presentation through practice. A dry run in front of your co-sales reps for instant Q&A and immediate feedback specifically on what you need to avoid and improve will be valuable. Ditch the script if possible.

4) Avoiding to answer questions

If there is one thing that can quickly kill your credibility that would be avoiding to acknowledge and answer questions thrown at you. Some sales rep think that their presentation is so great that it will suffice. Little did they know that it leaves holes here and there – black holes that slowly inch your prospect away from you! Additionally, presentations like this leave more questions than answers so you really need to answer questions to the best of your abilities.

Some sales rep dodge questions because of their inherent fear of giving the wrong answers. Misinformation has its costly consequences, too. Well, you need to know your products and services by heart so that you are able to give the right answers. This is also the reason you need to practice. Never say “I don’t know.” If you cannot answer a question, you may tell the person asking and the audience that you will consult a superior first. You can ask for the person’s email address and make sure that you contact her.

Sales presentations are tricky. Even the sales experts have off days and misses. Now that you know the basic presentation killers, strive to avoid them at all cost. Your goal should be acing the presentation. If it means customizing the pitch, focusing on relevant benefits, and practicing over and over including answering questions, then so be it.


Now that you know what must be done and avoid during a presentation, discover more tips and hacks for salespeople through browsing our blog section.

Sales Words and Phrases to Avoid at All Costs


Salespeople are real talkers. They are often articulate, tactful, and direct. Most importantly, they avoid using weasel words or those words and phrases that can subliminally jeopardize their credibility. These words and phrases are noise that is distracting or offensive to the prospect.

Nonetheless, there are still many sales representatives who want to boast and appear important without actually assessing the [negative] impact of what they are saying in front of the prospects.

To these uninitiated reps: Sorry to disappoint you, but your prospects can see right through those words!

Indeed, there are words and phrases that you mustn’t use during a pitch otherwise, you’ll run the risk of ruining your own credibility. And, with the mention of these words, the conversation is lost and there is no way you can get it back.

Things salespeople should not say

“Trust me.”

If you need to blatantly ask for the prospect to trust you, more likely, you cannot be trusted. This is one of the most annoying deflection tactics that only makes your prospect suspicious, thinking that you are hiding something from him. Trust must be earned.

“Honestly” “To be honest…” or “Let me be honest with you now.”

It’s a tell-tale sign that you are not being totally honest with her. In fact, the term or phrase is almost always followed by a lie. Needless to say, this also makes the prospect even more suspicious of your intention. Honesty must be established from the beginning.

“Frankly” or “Quite frankly”

This is one of the most insincere words out there.


Stressing what’s obvious is very insulting. It’s a condescending word that puts out that the prospect isn’t smart enough to take notice or understand the matter. If it is that obvious, your prospect has already noticed it.


Such a big word that may backfire if not used properly.


Such a word has a finality in it; thus, avoid mentioning the word during the first call or meeting. A great substitute is the word agreement.


This word has a negative ring to it. Mention the word in a room full prospects and you’ll only hear sighs. A more appropriate word is challenge.


Mentioning the word is a-okay if you are talking to colleagues. However, if you are talking to a prospect, use the most appropriate term future client.

“You should”

Another offensive phrase, this tells the prospect what they should be doing instead. You have no right to tell her what she must do really.

“I’ll try.”

Maybe you should. Maybe you should abandon the indecisiveness, too.

“I hope so.” “I think so.” or “Perhaps”

It only shows that you are not 100% sure of what you are saying or demonstrating. Phrases like these are not helping your cause. Thus, make sure that you understand every nook and cranny of what you are selling.


Every product or service has its own positioning. Nonetheless, regardless of how cheap it is, you need to position it as valuable. Don’t devalue your own product or service.


Impliedly, the word seems like you are just there for the sole purpose of hitting some numbers. Instead, use the phrase total investment.

“Once in a lifetime” and “The best ever”

The product or service that you are selling must be really excellent hence not using it is a waste of opportunity. But if it isn’t, spare your prospects some unfounded claims.


Never mention the word and any of the names of your competitors. Your prospect will google it to know the difference. Show the buyer that the product or service you are selling meets his needs and exceeds his expectations.


The right term is invest.

“Are there any objections?”

Again, the word objection is an awfully negative term. An alternative is areas of concern.


An industry jargon, it is better to use the word presentation because the word is too salesy. And, you are trying to be discreet about it, right?

“I mean that.”

Actually, you don’t. If you really mean what you say, there’s no need to emphasize it. Your sincerity must not be expressed verbally. Your prospect should feel it.

“Free” “Lowest price” “Risk-free” and “No risk”

These are just some of the most overused clichés that are sort of promises and not concrete claims.

Don’t talk yourself right out of the sale. There are specific words and phrases that you should’ve already ditched from your vocabulary if you want to make more sales. So, salespeople, take heed.


Now that you know which words and phrases to avoid, discover more selling tips and hacks from our blog.

5 Follow-Up Mistakes Salespeople Make


We can’t help but emphasize the fact that the salespeople of today are very lucky. They have the tools, applications, and learning materials at their disposal. Technology is their greatest ally. And yet, for some reasons, the salespeople still commit follow-up mistakes and without knowing it. What’s worse, they end up thinking the lead sucks, when it is their follow-up strategy that truly sucks. If you are making the same mistakes below, you better stop because these aren’t doing you any good.

Mistakes salespeople make

1) A slow follow-up

While there is no rule of thumb on the frequency and extent of following up a lead, it would be better to do a follow-up within 30 minutes after making the initial contact. Did you know that a salesperson is 100 times more likely to connect with a particular lead? That’s true. However, the number declines the more the salesperson waits. It’s because you are the top-of-mind person. However, if you are going to wait for a day or two to do the follow-up, the lead may not even remember talking to you. What more remembering your name?

2) A scripted follow-up

If you haven’t realized the excruciating truth yet, scripts are no longer relevant today. Some still find value in it since they can always deviate from it. But, if they are doing just that, it means they are actually using a template and not a script. The difference? You read a script verbatim. On the other hand, you tailor a template based on the context of the lead on hand. It is a personalizable framework because let’s admit it, the context differs from lead to lead. In fact, in the sales world, there are no two leads exactly alike.

3) An oversimplified follow-up

During the initial contact, perhaps the first call, you know nothing about the lead’s pain points unless he initiated an inquiry and told you about them. It is completely okay to fumble because you are not aware or completely sure about the details. Nonetheless, this can be avoided if you’ve just done your research. In the case of an inquiry, for example, you already have minute details that you can build your follow-up from. Usually, they mention the name of the company. You can start from there. While it is impossible to have a dossier for each of your leads, it is critical to do adequate research to understand where the prospect is coming from and what she cares about. Then, you can tailor the follow-up based on the information you gathered.

4) A “touching base” follow-up

Many a time, a salesperson fails to do an immediate follow-up. And usually, what he can do is to send a ‘just checking in’ email specifically a generic one because he hasn’t done his research just yet. #EpicFail. With the third item in mind, first, your messaging won’t evolve if you are not doing any research. Second, when messaging the prospect, your message needs to be as specific as possible. So, okay, you don’t have any dossiers yet, but you can always send content suggestions that the lead may peruse. Definitely, it would be much better if you can send contents that are somehow related to the nature of the business of the client. The prospect is more likely to give you a response if you can demonstrate that you’re not just after a sale.

5) A misaligned follow-up

While you are always ready to make a sale, a buyer may not always be ready to buy. A sales reality. Indeed, the buying process happens in four stages: awareness, consideration, evaluation, and decision. At each stage, a prospect’s activities will be very different due to the varying needs. Case in point: A salesman cannot offer a demo right after the lead discovers the product, service or both. It’s not how you should do it. As a salesperson who connects with a lead that was just building her trust and confidence in you, you must tailor your follow-up to her current needs.

The bottom-line

These mistakes don’t add value to the process. In fact, with each mistake you commit, you are taking away what little value you’ve already offered. Don’t be surprised if your follow-up tactics aren’t closing any lead. Act as a consultant, not necessarily a seller, and with a goal of providing value every step of the way to make your prospects happy and stay that way. Anyhow, the mistakes noted above, while they are serious, can be avoided. The most important lesson here is to build your follow-up around the needs, preferences, and requirements of your lead. Remember, the leads don’t suck. So, stop blaming them.


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8 Cringe-Inducing Body Language Mistakes Salespeople Make During Meetings


Body language kills – the sales process, that is. Indeed, the non-verbals can be the single most destructing factor that hinders you in closing that supposedly mega deal. Are you committing these disastrous mistakes when delivering your sales pitch? Well, not every sales representative is completely aware that he or she does, so it would be better to digest each of the below.

Body language mistakes salespeople make

1) Avoiding eye contact

Some prospects are heavy on eye contact. Having eye contact means instant connection and inspires deeper conversation. Thus, oppositely, avoiding such may draw the prospect to think that you are hiding something from him. Demonstrate your sincerity by connecting with him through eye contact. But, be discreet about it because too much of it may only freak out the prospect.


2) Rolling the eyes

Sustained eye contact makes a salesperson appear more confident and in control of the conversation. However, when she starts to roll her eyes, it means she’s growing impatient with the process. It won’t make a good impression to any prospect. Did you know that the eye roll is the visual form of sighing? Don’t be disdainful and avoid rolling your eyes most especially when responding to questions.


3) Clasping the hands

A culprit that distracts the attention of the prospect on you and your message. There could be enough distractions in a room so the very last thing your prospect wants to hear is clapping, knuckle crunching or even cuticle picking. Keep your hands on your sides always unless you are making big movements or pointing to something important.


4) Drumming the fingers

Drumming one’s fingers on the table may mean an anticipation over something that should already be happening. Put simply, the act is indicative of frustrations especially those that are internal in nature. At worse, it means that the person wants to leave because she is already bored with your presentation. Perhaps, the prospect wants to say something but you won’t let her interrupt you. Take heed. Ask her if she wants to say something.


5) Facing elsewhere

A big no-no, some inexperienced salespeople always turn away from their audience to the extent of speaking to the screen. A prospect may think unfairly of this situation more so when you have his full attention. Instead, think of the think, turn, and talk method. Turn your back if you have to gather your thoughts, face your audience again and start speaking.


6) Watching the clock

Impatient as they are, some salespeople themselves especially those with multiple meetings within the day tend to gaze at their watches more often than necessary. That’s if it is even necessary to do so while conducting a meeting. It only means you want to be somewhere else. Don’t be like that. Give your full attention to your prospect while you are sitting on the same table, at least.


7) Checking the phone

As notorious as the above, this cannot escape your prospect’s eyes. The prospect agrees to see you because she wants to hear you speak. If you are sending the wrong signal of not focusing on her, you won’t be able to build your sense of trustworthiness. Again, be in the moment and never lose eye contact. The messages can wait anyway.


8) Slouching

Slouching is melancholic, leading the prospect to think that you aren’t interested in his or her business. Likewise, psychologists say that when a person slouches, he tends to use more negative emotion and sadness words than when he is sitting up straight. You won’t win the prospect’s confidence so sit up straight.


What can be done instead?

Robert Philipps, a body language expert, there are many ways to understand body language. First, you need to know your own positive signals and negative movements. The above are the negative movements you yourself make, and, of course, some opposites are the positive signals. Examples of these are open hand gestures and eye contact.

Second, you have to learn the proper way of mirroring. Mirroring is a technique of reflecting back your prospect’s body language. Pick up subtle hints from the prospect himself. The easiest to mirror is the person’s posture. If he is sitting straight up, he means business. Make sure that you convey the same message by sitting up straight yourself.

Third, you should learn the proper way of adopting and adapting behaviors. Adopting means taking something as your own while adapting means changing for new situations. So, adopt the right behaviors of a salesperson and adapt them to situation to situation. No prospect is created equal, right? Just emulate, don’t copy.

And, if you find some difficulties as to what body movements are acceptable, here are some of the subtle moves that may influence the direction of the presentation towards the favorable. It may take practice before you can master each.

– Raising your eyebrows slightly to show objection. The same with tilting the head.
– Pausing after asking a question while holding your breath. It means waiting for an answer.
– Pressing your lips down slightly to demonstrate disagreement.
– Smiling gently to show acknowledgment and appreciation.
– Breathing slowly and deeply to show confidence. The same with showing a relaxed face.
– Wincing slightly when something outside your intent is mentioned.
– Gesturing with an open palm to show openness and honesty.
– Having soft eye contacts regularly to show care. Not staring or looking away.

Philipps also mention that incongruence is the most detrimental thing in body language. You might have the greatest sales pitch in the world, but your non-verbals may have other plans than helping you in closing the deal. Another good opportunity lost, isn’t it? Just because you aren’t completely in charge of your own body language.

Likewise, it is not just about learning and understanding body language. What’s more important is using such knowledge to leverage your chance to close a deal. In simpler terms, stand, speak clearly and loudly, make eye contact, open your arms, plan for success, look good and, of course, smile.


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