The last ten years have brought changes to the sales industry that would have been unimaginable to earlier generations. In many organisations, sales and marketing work closer than they ever have and the focus has shifted from obtaining new customers to nurturing the ones that already exist.
Technology has played a huge role in the way that sales professionals perform their jobs as well. While that has sometimes come at the cost of lost productivity, sales managers can take several steps to ensure their teams remain focused and productive.
Provide the tools sales representatives request
Good salespeople understand what they need from management to get the job done. This could be anything from a tablet computer with fast internet speed to outsourcing tasks that slow them down. If it will help them win over a prospect and be more efficient overall, management should provide the requested tools whenever possible.
Bring sales and marketing together with the product
While sales and marketing teams are merging more than ever before, too many organisations still don’t take advantage of the insights that each can offer the other. To take it one step further, companies should consider bringing product teams in as well. When each of these teams aligns with sales, they learn what customers truly want.
Sales teams also benefit because they can influence the other two teams to change the product roadmap and corporate messaging. In a collaborative work environment, all three teams win as the end result is enhanced sales productivity.
Forgo email in favour of cloud-based applications
Email is quickly becoming an outdated way for sales teams to collaborate. Instead of sending group emails that some representative may not see or read, consider switching to a cloud-based application for project-based teams. This allows each sales team to share documents and see what each member is working on with just a quick glance.
Productivity applications also centralise communication into one location so no one has to go searching through weeks’ worth of old emails to get up to speed. It can work well for remote teams as well as those working from the same home base.
All sales teams need strong leadership at the top, but a manager who directs or monitors a salesperson’s every move is not going to inspire confidence in him or her. Instead of increasing productivity, these tactics are likely to backfire because the sales professional doesn’t feel empowered. As long as an employee consistently meets goals, allowing him or her the freedom to attempt different approaches to making a sale will boost productivity much more than micromanagement ever could.
Establish a wireless network in the office
The availability of Wi-Fi in an office can encourage sales professionals to work together in new ways. Instead of staying at their desk and sending an email, sales representatives will be more likely to collaborate in person because they can easily access information to share with one another. The more teams work together, the greater the individual performance of each member.
These five tips can help any sales team struggling with productivity, regardless of the size of the company or main office.