Sales productivity is a measure of your selling efficiency. How would you rate the amount of effort you put into your selling initiatives compared with the revenue and profitability generated?
If you’ve given yourself a less-than-stellar report card, consider these five tips for changing your selling habits and increasing your sales productivity this quarter.
1. Stop engaging in busy work
Managers equate call volume with sales outcome. Your own experience tells you that churning through leads lists in this “it’s a numbers game” selling model is frustrating and unproductive. Discuss with your manager so you both don’t continue to do the same things the same way and expect a different outcome. Think quality of leads generated rather than quantity of calls made.
2. Don’t turn your company a proposal mill
If your “selling” model is churning out RFQs (requests for quote) or RFPs (request for proposal), you will turn your business into a proposal mill instead of a production or service company. Is your first customer contact a request for a proposal? If so, you’ve arrived too late in their buying process. What is your win ratio in this RFQ-mill selling model? You’re only serving as the third bid for companies requiring three separate proposals to make their buying decision. That’s not good news for your company brand and image either.
3. Do your own thinking on leads generation
What are the types of customers you do your best work for? If you feel that the leads lists you receive are not well-qualified, develop lists which are. Consider that leads lists aren’t necessarily one-size-fits-all either. Develop criteria for the types of customers you do your best work for. Review leads lists; select those A-list types of customers to develop.
4. Become proactive instead of reactive
While it’s easier to prospect off someone else’s leads list, who knows your capabilities better than you? Now that you understand the types of customers you like to work with, seek them out yourself. Do your own prospecting. You will find you call fewer prospects, who are more qualified since they meet your own criteria, and are interested in how you’ve differentiated yourself from the rest of the reps churning through leads lists.
5. Create a selling calendar and process map on one piece of paper
While there are tools and apps for structuring your selling activities, how much of that platform do you actually access to plan and track your activities? Take a piece of paper. Draw out your selling processes. Map out your account entry strategy into a one-month calendar. Simplify selling for yourself. Document what works and what doesn’t work. Beta test your new, productive selling habits before they are entered into your company’s CRM platform.
At the end of each fiscal quarter, sales people engage in selling mea culpa. You either made your numbers or you didn’t. Management is telling you to make more calls with a greater sense of urgency. Next quarter, change your selling habits. Focus on productivity and streamlined processes. Here’s to your success.
About the author
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development. This post first appeared on the salesforce Blog and is reproduced with this author’s permission.