I hear the same complaint all the time from different sales teams, “…but if only we had MORE people on our team, THEN we’d bring in more sales!” I have one fundamental issue with this complaint. I believe that a small sales team that has clearly stated goals and a game plan can still be incredibly effective. Sometimes it is about adding more people to the team, but often times it is stemming from your team feeling overwhelmed with work that isn’t directly bringing in revenue. Get your sales team focused on revenue driving work by taking advantage of my 5 ways to simplify your sales team:
1.) Utilize Marketing Automation
Set up automation to help with more than JUST response time and rate. Make sure you are looking into ways that help you provide meaningful material in your response. If someone visits your pricing page then you want to make sure you follow up is handled in a different way than someone who stopped by to download a resource.
Track Customer Experience (https://www.kissmetrics.com/):
Look for tools that show customer experience on your site (what pages were visited lifetime, what pages were visited prior to requesting site)
Track Referral Source (https://www.google.com/analytics/):
Look for tools that show data beyond the boundaries of your website. Did they receive an email from you? Did they visit your help desk? What led them to this point?
Set-up Automated Responses (https://zapier.com/):
Make sure you add personalization (name, company etc.) and are totally reflective on the experience your customer has had up to this point.
Segment Customers (https://mailchimp.com/):
Use the information provided in the inquiry form, different purchase behaviors or site behavior and more to create segments. Use these segments to send triggered, tailored emails or notifications to help in your customer’s journey (don’t overdue it!). By segmenting your leads and customers, you can take advantage of those groupings to easier convert them or raise lifetime value.
2.) Automate The Administrative Task
Let your sales team network and close deals without sweating the small stuff. According to Docurated’s 2015 State of Sales Productivity Report, Sales reps spend 32% of their time selling and pitching prospects, 31% of their time searching for sales collateral or creating their own branded content, and 20% of their time at work managing their CRM, tackling administrative tasks and producing reports. These non-revenue generating responsibilities can be the difference in your rep meeting their quota or not.
Automate Sales Person Notifications (https://zapier.com/):
Automatically notify an appropriate sales rep when a form has been completed or action is taken on your site. Depending on how your sales process and team is set up, your reps can get notified about movement through funnels so you can deliver the correct message at the perfect time.
Centralize Sales Collateral (trello.com):
It is suggested in the SiriusDecisions study on B2B Content marketing, that salespeople can spend about 7 hours a week looking for or producing sales collateral. Many times they spent hours recreating materials that already exist. Decreasing wasted time = increasing time selling.
Creep and Brief (https://charlieapp.com/):
Get briefs on people and companies you are about to meet with automatically sent to you. There are free services that integrate with your calendar application (Gcal, iCal etc.) as well as email account. An hour before your next meeting, the app will send you important information about who exactly you’ll be talking to.
3.) Restructure Your Sales Funnel
According to the Harvard Business Review (on the importance of timely responses), when it comes to online leads, “Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7x as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects an hour or later.” In other words, the key to sales is offering your solution to the customer’s problem at the RIGHT time.
Lean on Others (gobobber.com):
Don’t be shy about hiring outside help or seeking technology that allows one person to do more. Before pulling the trigger be sure to check that this platform or service is within your budget and helping to reach your goals. Often times using a third party group or platform can expand your current team’s abilities or prevent you from having to employ more people.
Introduce a discovery period:
Use this period, during the sales process, to develop insight and better understand opportunities for your company to create value for your client. Define client goals and objectives, industry trends, and audit their assets.
Content Creation (https://www.growthgeeks.com/)
Once you’ve identified pain points and broken your sales process into a well-oiled machine, you are going to want to create content that can help you with sweating the deal! Don’t be scared! There are tons of sites you can go to for help.
4.) Set and Dictate Goals Through Data:
The most important thing for your team has a sound plan on. Being able to set goals, track progress in real time, and evaluate success/failures at the end of the time period is essential to being able to scale. Use of tech and self-awareness will shave hours off your weeks and help strategy sessions be more effective.
Tracking and Forecasting (www.cyfe.com/)
Get an all-in-one- business dashboard that helps you monitor all data in one place (social, website, etc). Yes. All metrics, in one location 🙂
CRM Management (www.hubspot.com/CRM)
Metrics and transparency are key to business growth and success. CRMs keep all client communication centralized for your whole team. They give you instant metrics on dozens of aspects of your business. They make it easy to organize, track, and scale all pipelines seamlessly across your whole team. Get ready to skyrocket your sales team’s productivity.
5.) Give Yourself The Best Chance
Don’t Break Eye Contact (https://getpocket.com/)
Commit! Don’t read the gossip column. Don’t think that because you are reading articles for professional development it doesn’t count as being unproductive. Help yourself commit with a “read-later” experience that doesn’t rely on an internet connection (so you can read your “pocketed” articles anywhere (plane, trains, bathrooms, cafe, etc).
Take On The Day (https://www.any.do/)
You need a user-friendly planning tool that helps you prioritize. Keep your tasks, lists and reminders in one place with an “assistant” that takes care of your tasks so you can spend time on things that matter.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work (trello.com)
Track your team’s work, manage projects, and collaborate in real time remotely with your team. You’ll instantly see better results from your team.
As innovation continues, there is always going to be a better way to scale or way to operate more effectively. It isn’t possible to know every new app that comes out or to be completely perfect – so don’t stress out if you aren’t doing all of these now! There is still time. But I urge you to keep trying to equip your team with the right tools. It won’t take long to see how much easier it is for your business to increase productivity by working smarter.