Most companies assume that there are only two ways to increase your numbers and build a more productive sales team:
- Hire more salespeople
- Train your existing sales force.
The trouble with the first approach is that it’s expensive, and the second might not have a meaningful impact.
But there is a third approach which can dramatically increase your sales, as well as improve your sales expenditure ROI better than any other method – using the right technology.
How does sales software help?
This increase in revenue and customer satisfaction is built through using sales software to help you foster a real conversation with your prospect – where you understand their goals, demonstrate how your offering will help meet those objectives, and address their questions and objections.
However, most salespeople only spend 1/3 of their time selling. The remaining is spent in transactional tasks where they are not speaking to a prospect.
Technology can help you and your team dramatically reduce the time you waste on those tasks and free up your time to do what matters most – just sell.
Here are seven ways software can improve your sales productivity.
1.Automate prospecting and outreach
Outbound salespeople spend most of their time searching for prospects, finding their email addresses, emailing all those prospects, and then sending follow ups.
However, a tool such as Interseller can automate the entire prospecting and outreach process. The software allows you to identify prospects that fit your persona, find their email ids, and send them personalized emails and follow ups.
2. Keep track of your tasks
Salespeople have a huge number of tasks to take care of for each stage of the funnel – from prospecting to closing. Keeping track of all the tasks that you need to do can be overwhelming. You should ideally be able to have a complete picture of your tasks for the day, week and month in place. If you are managing a sales team, you should also be able to see the tasks your team members are supposed to take care of.
Relying on a CRM is often not sufficient to keep track of all these tasks.
Using a powerful task management tool like Todoist can help you keep track of your entire team’s tasks in one place. This will also integrate with your calendar and save time from manually toggling between your calendar and to-do list.
3. Prioritize your activities
You know the 80-20 rule? This applies equally to sales: make sure that you are spending time on tasks that add the most value to the sales process. You should also be dedicating time to each prospect based on their proportionate value in the pipeline. Too many salespeople spend an inordinate amount of time on prospects that are not valuable enough.
It’s very difficult to manually track your time utilization, so it’s best to use a time tracking tool like Time Doctor which tracks how you spend your time.
Once you go over the time utilization reports in Time Doctor, you will have a clear picture of what activities are taking up your day and you can accordingly take concrete steps to reduce time on less valuable activities and less valuable prospects.
4. Take control of your email
Email is the most important tool for salespeople. Yet, it can be a huge drain on your productivity.
You can use a tool like Mailbird to ramp up your email productivity, as it integrates your email with your calendar and todo list, to avoid having to manually set tasks and appointments.
It also integrates with video and text communication tools like Slack, meaning you don’t have to waste time on switching back and forth between several communication channels.
It also has features, like snooze which will archive emails and have them automatically return to your inbox when you want. This will give you a cleaner inbox, making it easier to focus on the emails that matter.
5. Set more appointments
The more appointments you can do in a day, the more opportunities you will close. Use a route planning app like Badger Maps to avoid unnecessary time travelling. This app allows you to to organize and schedule your appointments according to locations so that you spend less time on the road. It also allows you to adjust to schedule changes and cancellations.
Outside sales (as opposed to inside sales) works according to a simple equation – the more appointments you can do in a day, the more opportunities you have to close (of course, it goes without saying that the quality of these appointments/leads is crucial too). And to have more appointments, you will need to spend less time on the road.
The easiest way to do that is to use a route planning app like Badger Maps to avoid unnecessary travel time. This app allows you to to organize and schedule your appointments according to locations so that you spend less time on the road. It also allows you to adjust to schedule changes and cancellations.
Investing in route planning can make a huge difference to your sales quota.
6. Keep Better Records
Salespeople don’t like spending time filling in details in their CRM, and it takes away precious hours that could be spent selling and closing.
But not keeping records of leads is not a viable alternative. If you don’t have accurate records of your prospects’, needs you will have nothing to refer to the next time you call them – no record of your interactions, no info on preferences, even that crucial personal information you can use to help close will be missing.
How can you have excellent records, without having to spend hours filling up your CRM?
Use a cloud-based call handling system like Knowlarity that integrates with CRMs so that your salespeople can spend less time manually typing in details. Knowlarity also has call recording features that will allow you to record every single call and refer to them whenever you need.
7. Wrap up calls faster
The more time you spend on each call, the fewer the number of total calls that you will be able to make during your day. This is significant if you work in a low revenue, high volume sales job. Sales collaboration software can help you explain things more clearly
It always takes more time to explain things over a call rather than across the table. However, use can use a tool like Talkative which has co-browsing and video calling features to explain things a lot more clearly.
Cobrowsing will allow you to share your screen with the caller and show them exactly that you want to demonstrate. Video calling will allow you to understand each other better and faster through nonverbal communication. Not only will you wrap up calls faster, you will close more deals by being able to have a more engaging conversation.
What tools do you recommend to build a more productive sales team?
Investing in these tools can go a long way in freeing up your salespeople’s time to do what matters most – actually speak to prospects. No tool can replace the value of talented salespeople, but it can certainly give them more time to do what they do best – just sell.
Let us know if we’ve missed any sales tools in the comments below or by Tweeting GetApp with some suggestions.
Vaishali Badgujar is a digital marketer at Time Doctor, a SaaS time tracking and productivity tool for companies and freelancers. She is an inbound marketing expert, and specializes in SEO.