Sales productivity is one of the biggest priorities for startup sales teams. A productive sales team will have a direct impact on everything from team culture to the company’s overall revenue.
A few small changes in your team’s priorities can move them from low-productivity to crushing quotas. We hand-picked 10 of our favorite sales productivity tips to help get your team on track and motivated for 2016.
1. Organize your workspace
One of the quickest ways to boost your productivity is to make a physical change in your workspace. This will help you focus and provide a much needed lift to your mood. There are countless ideas you can try to optimize your workspace, but here are a few we suggest:
- Switch to warmer light bulbs and let in more natural light.
- Try working different hours to see when you’re most productive.
- Periodically move around and work in different spaces.
- Block time in a private office or conference room when you really need to focus.
- At the end of the day, organize your desk so it’s ready for the next day.
2. Invest in the best tools
While there are thousands of apps out there that claim to help boost your team’s productivity, you should narrow your list down and think carefully about which you need. The wrong tech can actually be a distraction, so make sure you think about what your team needs most and what your unique goals are. Confused on where to start? KnowledgeTree compiled a great list of sales productivity tools to give you some ideas – check out which ones might be useful for your team.
3. Streamline time spent on email
One of the most common problems we face at work is the temptation to constantly check email, even while we’re in the middle of other tasks. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the average worker spends 13 hours a week on email. A quick and easy fix is to manage your email in chunks. Try blocking off some time every few hours to go through and respond to emails. This way you’ll be able to move on to your other responsibilities knowing you’re inbox is taken care of until the next block.
4. Clean up your CRM
Sales data is one of the most important resources for your sales team, so it’s crucial your reps consistently use the CRM. But if your CRM data is incorrect, your team will end up wasting time trying to find the right info — or worse, make mistakes with prospects and clients. Make sure every member of your sales team blocks off time every month to go through and clean things up. This is an investment that will payoff on future deals.
5. Invest more time in prospect research
Make sure your reps are properly informed about the buyer before reaching out. One of the leading causes of lost sales deals is the lack of prospect research. While shortcuts may seem enticing, better prospect research will help you better connect with the buyer and will improve your closing percentage. A slight change in priorities can drastically improve your outreach efforts. Yesware has a great sales prospecting checklist to get your team started.
6. Schedule meetings in a row
Meetings are crucial to sales, but they can also waste a lot of time. Have you ever had multiple meetings back to back with less than an hour in-between? For most of us, that “in-between time” usually gets wasted on things like checking your phone, looking at social media, going over notes, etc. One of the best things you can do to get this time back is to schedule your meetings back-to-back. This will help you add time to your work day and it will keep you from interrupting your flow.
7. Schedule regular “distraction time”
Long days at the office can be tough, and if you don’t give yourself time to relax or unwind, you’re going to burn out. Try adding specific “distraction time” to your schedule. This could be anything from checking your phone, hitting up social media, going for a walk, calling a friend, etc. Every few hours you should have at least a few minutes to let your mind take a break. By scheduling these “distractions,” it will help you keep them out of your work time.
8. Automate when possible
The majority of a salesperson’s time is not spent on actual selling, so the more your team can automate tasks the more time you’ll be able to spend selling. Regular events like follow-up emails can easily be automated to help your reps save time, and a lot of other trigger events can be monitored and recorded with scheduled alerts. Conduct a quick audit of the time your reps aren’t selling, and find the areas where automation can be implemented. Here’s a comprehensive list of automation apps from Docurated to help you get started.
9. Schedule admin tasks in batches
You’re responsible for a lot of admin tasks, and they can become a huge time waster when not organized properly. If you’re constantly going back and forth between things like phone calls, logging CRM data, and scheduling emails — your workflow will have constant interruptions. Try separating these tasks into specific time blocks. For example: do all of your cold-calling at once while keeping notes on a notepad. Then afterward log all of the data in your CRM. This method will protect your workflow and you’ll find yourself much more productive and focused.
10. Prioritize your personal health
One of the most important things you can do to stay productive at work is focus on your personal health. According to the Harvard Business Review, your mental capacity is directly linked to physical activity. On top of things like heightened concentration and better memory recall, exercise is linked to less stress and elevated moods. By adding exercise and a committing to a regular sleep schedule, you’ll be happier and more productive at work.