If your sales team doesn’t have principles with which they should align their work, it can be tricky getting everyone working towards a common goal. Not only that, if you’re not regularly reviewing and understanding their performance, you won’t be able to make the decision necessary to grow your business and develop your team. In this post, we’ll cover four essential sales best practices to increase your team’s productivity and your business’ revenue.
What Are “Sales Best Practices”?
Investopedia refers to sales best practices as “procedures that are accepted as the most effective”.
So why are best practices important for your sales team? With the right guidelines in place, your team will be more productive, more accountable and with a little management-magic, happier in their role. Clear guidelines plus a positive mental attitude from your team can mean only one thing for your business – more revenue.
4 Best Practices to Increase Productivity (+ Revenue)
# 1: Adopt a To-Do System That Works for Everyone
Without a clear system, task lists can become cluttered and lose focus. Keep your sales team on track with a simple system that works for everyone. An easy and effective method you could try is the Ivy Lee Method, which involves doing the following:
“At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
- Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
- When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
- Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
- Repeat this process every working day.”
Not only does this method forces you to make difficult decisions about your work priorities, it also removes the friction of starting a task. Introduce your team to this method – or something similar that best suits your business – and watch their productivity soar.
# 2: Collect Data to Enhance Efficacy
Without data on your top performers, you won’t know what’s causing them to be so good. Each sales rep has a slightly different approach to their work, so collecting data means you can gather information on what helps hit those high sales targets. Consider the following:
- Time-tracking: Ask your team to use a service such as Toggl to track how much time they spend on each task.
- Call-logging: When your sales rep has finished up a call, ask them to listen back to the call and note any key phrases or angles used in their communication, along with the outcome of the call. This will help you better understand what’s helping – or hindering – your team’s sales.
- Regularly Review CRM Data: CRM data can give you an overview of how long it takes one lead to become a customer, the best job title of the person you need to speak too and other key indicators of what helps close a sale. Ensure your team are consistently recording CRM notes so when it comes to reviewing, you can pull some data on what’s working.
Using the data you’ve been collecting, you can find common threads to you can identify and apply their selling approach. Consider looking at the following:
- How much time does your top performer spend on a sales call?
- What key phrases does your top performer use when trying to close a deal?
- How does your top performer handle objections?
- How much time does your top performer spend on cold sales?
- How much time does your top performer spend on follow-up email?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can begin offering specific advice to the other sales reps in your team.
#3: Say What You Need To Say
Brevity is the soul of wit – and of productivity. It takes a lot of skill to deliver a message without using overly complicated language. Saying what you need to say briefly will help your sales team stay on track.
The best way to practice brevity is to shorten your emails. This doesn’t mean eliminating all of the niceties that keep conversations flowing, but do emphasize precision. A few tips for writing concise emails include:
- Outline your goal first
- Outline the process of achieving that goal
- Elaborate on that process as questions arise
By keeping your instructions to-the-point, you’ll make it easier for your sales team to understand what you expect of them. They’ll be able to implement your instructions more quickly this way than they would if they had to interpret them on their own time.
# 4: Create a Company Culture That Supports Staff and Champions Productivity
Happy staff are more productive.
Create a company culture that provides relevant support to all your sales reps, whatever their needs.
You may have one rep who struggles to handle objections, and another that gets nervous before sales calls. Be supportive of their challenges and help each rep overcome their personal challenges that could be holding them back at work. Not only will your staff thank you for it, but a positive, supportive atmosphere also makes for a happier work environment for everyone.
What Are Your Sales Best Practices?
Remember, if you want your sales team to thrive: adopt a to-do system that works for everyone, collect data to improve your processes, keep emails brief but friendly and create a supportive company culture. We’d love to know how you boost your team’s productivity. Let us know in the comments below.