Workplace productivity is always a business concern because it has a direct impact on the bottom line. In sales particularly, productivity is critical. In fact, 71% of C-level executives believe sales productivity is critical to achieving growth.
Unfortunately, salespeople spend just one-third of their day actually talking to prospects. They spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.
Personally engaging customers is very important in sales. It’s how you establish and develop relationships with prospects. Clearly, sales reps need help to free up some of their time from their non-selling tasks.
We’ve talked a lot about sales productivity on the blog. In all our discussions, technology is always noted as one of the proven strategies to help improve workplace productivity. Here are the many ways technology has helped boost productivity, specifically in sales:
- It monitors time and performance of employees
- It can perform tasks through automation
- It helps sales reps stay mobile and do work anytime and anywhere
- Sales reps can collaborate through easier communications, file sharing, and task building
- It can personalize the customer experience with easier collection and analysis of data
- Algorithms track the buyer’s journey—and this helps sales teams respond to buyer’s needs accordingly
- It has allowed responding in real-time to any customer concern
- It enables sales teams to make decisions based on intelligent analytics
- Teams can perform more efficient sales projections / forecasts
It’s for these reasons that companies have been investing in technology in their salesforce. There’s a clear ROI: the benefits directly impact their productivity and revenue.
So what technology tools should sales organizations be using if they want to increase productivity, and where and how should they use them? Here’s a list of what we recommend:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM is one of the most—if not the most—important tools in sales. Sales is focused on customers and the CRM, as its name suggests, allows you to manage your relationship with customers. We are going to toot our own horn by saying that we have created our product, Lucrativ, to be a dynamic, useful, and highly efficient tool for sales organizations. A lot of our features target many sales productivity woes, among them:
- Pipeline Management: Manage prospects, fix bottlenecks, get pipeline projections, get data and reports for actionable insights, and more. You can manage the entire pipeline from one customizable dashboard.
- Team Communication: Send messages to one person or the whole team easily. This makes coordination and collaboration a breeze.
- Task Building: Construct your daily, weekly, or monthly to-do lists. These can be your personal tasks or team tasks.
- Performance Tracking: You can track sales performance through quota transparency and workflows.
- Email Management: Create and customize emails; automate sending; and then monitor their performance. You can also integrate your existing Gmail or Exchange inbox.
- Automation: Your daily, redundant tasks can be run on autopilot. This gives your more time to do actual selling.
- Scheduling meetings: Schedule meetings and invite the attendees through Lucrativ. Sync your Google calendar and set reminders to make sure you don't miss any of your appointments.
- Power dialer: Save precious minutes when doing your cold calls and follow-up calls with a power dialer’s many features.
- Mobile CRM: You can do your work anytime and anywhere!
- Personal assistant: An AI-powered assistant, Lucy, has a voice command feature that allows you to schedule calls, set meetings, close deals, and answer clients.
- Gamification: This fun exercise is guaranteed to boost sales performance.
Lead generation is one of the tasks sales reps should prioritize. Finding new prospects is integral to keeping the sales pipeline healthy and the business growing. There are many ways to generate leads, one of which is to tap sales lead database vendors like ZoomInfo and UpLead that can help you find potential leads for your business. They provide all relevant data: company information, executives list, contact details, and even credit risk.
There’s also LinkedIn Sales Navigator which helps you find the right people and companies for your brand and reach out to these prospects. Use the advanced lead and company search or get lead recommendations. You can also easily integrate this into your CRM.
Inside sales is made possible by technology. For how else do you expect to close deals without ever meeting the prospect in person? One important tool in inside sales is a video conference tool which allows you to make video chats and voice calls from most devices. Skype and Google Hangouts are two of the most popular examples of this tool. Google Hangouts has an advantage: you can share your files from your Google apps with the other party while on call.
Collaboration tools are a must in sales, and file sharing is one such collaboration tool. Use these to send files to anyone or to share work-in-progress files that need the input of other members. Dropbox, Google Drive, and WireTransfer enable you to send huge files. Google Docs allows people you share your files with to edit them.
Content is a very important sales enablement tool. But because you have to make sure that you are producing valuable content, you have to strategize and plan your content. There are content creation tools that can help you. Need topics for your blog? Feedly and Google Alerts help you monitor topics that are relevant to your brand so you can stay updated on everything in your industry. This knowledge can help you shape your content. And then there’s the issue of brevity in composing messages. Time is precious for reps and clients, so messages have to be concise yet compelling. Copy editing tools like the Hemingway App can edit your content for clarity.
Sales is becoming increasingly mobile. Deals can be closed anytime and anywhere. Imagine having a client prepared to sign an agreement… and you’re not? DocuSign allows clients to electronically sign on the document. It also helps sales reps prepare and manage their documents through cloud access.
These are just some of the many tools that can help you make smart use of your time. But these tools are not magic fixes to becoming more efficient. Remember: determination and discipline are still the best drivers of sales productivity.
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