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.