Monday, 14 March 2016 18:42

5 Tips to Boost Sales Team Productivity

Like our colleagues and competitors in the hardwood lumber industry, Baillie Lumber is justifiably proud of our sales team. These hard-working men and women are dedicated to meeting the needs of our current customers, while continuously reaching out to prospective customers and looking for the best fit with our business. 

We are always exploring ways to enhance sales productivity and help our team achieve even better results.  We believe it’s a good idea to keep finding innovative approaches to bring on new customers and develop strong lasting relationships. 

In this spirit, here are five suggestions we have found useful for boosting productivity among your own sales team:

sales-productivity1. Improve the quality of your sales leads. When it comes to sales leads, more is definitely not the same thing as better. If your team is swamped with leads of widely differing value, they’ll waste time chasing after prospects who never convert into customers. Make a greater effort to qualify your leads and you’ll probably see a spike in conversion rates.

2. Help your sales team establish a “rapid prospect research” system. To save time and smooth the way towards a more productive initial conversation, think about coaching your sales team on how to develop a research process they can follow before every new prospect call. “Have them check LinkedIn profiles, do a quick Google search, etc., to identify a specific set of information to leverage in the call—as an ice-breaker, to begin a consultative conversation, etc.,” says Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing. Getting the team trained in this “rapid research” system “could cut up to an hour a day of non-selling time” for your reps.

3. Replace individual prizes with shared team goals. An individual sales prize is nice, but it can have the adverse effect of pitting reps against each other. To build a stronger sales team spirit, talk about shared goals. Find out what your team needs to collectively achieve such a goal and give them the resources they need to get there.

4. Make sales support a top priority. Speaking of resources, your team should always have access to trained support staff and up-to-date technology that supports their B2B sales efforts. At the very least, says sales consultant Brian Hasenbauer, every rep should have access to will a 4G iPad and personal WiFi hot spots. “This keeps the sales people connected to internal systems and the Internet, which can be used for a number of things while out of the office.”

5. Hit the streets as a team. Technology has made it so easy to communicate remotely. So now, more than ever, it is important to emphasize face-to-face communications with your customer.  And maybe you can make it a team effort! Once in a while travel together, bring in a product specialist, a sales manager or even another sales professional to see your customers.  They might uncover unmet needs of your customers that you did not realize. And there’s always the opportunity to refine sales techniques for the future.

Also, as we’ve mentioned before, make sure your sales team emphasizes value above price to customers. As the people who purchase your product or service get the idea you want to be a partner in their business, your sales team will see greater productivity than ever before.

What other strategies have worked for you? Let us know!

Tony Cimorelli
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