WittyParrot has recently published “Sales Productivity Tips from the Experts”, a 100-page ebook full of ideas for increasing sales productivity. Reading this ebook got me thinking… is sales success the same as sales productivity?

Can a sales region that meets their sales numbers be considered an example of a productive sales team? From a revenue perspective, yes. From a personal productivity perspective, perhaps not.

Consider the top salesperson in the company, who earns the highest commission and has the fattest pipeline compared to others on the team. Is he / she the most productive salesperson? From a revenue perspective yes, but are they getting the most of themselves in the time available? Again the answer is maybe.

When dollars and deals are the only metrics considered, success is unambiguous. However, sales success and sales productivity are not the same.

Productivity is a factor contributing to success. The question then becomes how much MORE revenue could be generated if productivity increased from current levels?

But how do we assess a productive sales team’s success?

A Sales team’s productivity is measured by using the following metrics.

  1. New Opportunities in the pipeline. How well qualified are the opportunities? Are they a good fit for the company’s product and services, and do they resemble the “ideal customer” profile? Productivity can take a big hit if sellers are chasing the wrong leads. Only by having sufficient knowledge of customer buying needs and matching those to unique product capabilities can sellers become more productive in their prospecting activities.
  1. Win Rate. The salesperson’s efficiency in converting opportunities into customers is a key productivity metric and a place to focus attention. Here again, are salespeople spending time on the opportunities most likely to convert, or are they wasting cycles going the distance with buyers to lose in the end to the competition or no decision?
  1. Cost-Of-Sales. Is the business you are closing costing you more to acquire than your sales team is worth, given lost cycles spent on administrative and follow-up tasks? Time out of the field (lost time-to-sell) must be factored into Cost-of-Sales calculations, not just hard costs such as travel and expense.  These “lost revenue” costs can be measured in the millions of dollars for any sales organization with more than a handful of sellers.
  1. Customer Acquisition Cost is a related metric, but it drills down on the methods and efficiency with which you convert prospects into customers. To derive CAC, take the total sales and marketing burden over a period of time and divide it by customer wins. The key word here is “efficiency”.
  1. Lifetime Value is the total revenue per customer over the life of the relationship.

The link between personal productivity and sales success

Selling is a profession requiring the mastery of a diverse set of skills and self-disciplined behaviour. The execution of the sales process from prospect identification to closure is repeated dozens or even hundreds of times per year.

The ingredients for success that have greatest impact on revenue are the minutes salespeople spend on the phone or in person with buyers during the sales cycle. Conduct a Sales Energy Audit: Increase Revenue by Shifting your Sales-Energy Use

Therefore, sales productivity will increase as a result of saving non-productive time and time wasted doing non-selling functions like admin, looking for information, and assembling emails and letters. According to IDC, the average sales rep spends 2hr/ wk looking for marketing collateral and 5hrs/wk creating and recreating presentations/documents for customers/ prospects. 

By drilling into the time salespeople allocate for specific tasks, it is possible to identify lost time and wasted time.

According to CSO Insights 2013 Sales Performance Optimization survey, salespeople spend only 37% of their available time selling, (face-face or on phone talking to customers)

New approaches are required

Personal productivity tools and new component based approaches to creating and managing marketing and sales content should be considered, placing information where salespeople can get exactly what they need, in the context they need it.

Creating in-context messaging components and sharing / reusing them across the enterprise can truly amplify the brand, maintain message consistency and help move the sales needle.

New Call-to-Action

The ideal way of sharing the important information in a company that sales and marketing people need to use is by capturing and creating nuggets of knowledge  and storing them as information components in a repository that can be accessed both online and offline, with just a few clicks.

By componentizing content, tagging and providing guidenace on usage, salespeople will be able to easily repurpose and use the marketing information and customize it to a buyer’s context. Buyers who receive this content are much more likely to respond because it resonates with their requirements. This is now a Win-Win situation for the salespeople and the prospective customer.

But most importantly, componentized, reusable content reduces lost time-to-sell, giving back many hours per month to spend on face-time with prospects to generate more revenue.  Better yet, the content assimilation task that was initially slowing salespeople will now help them quickly move the right opportunities forward.

Learn how WittyParrot’s Co-Founder Rajesh Setty is able to save more than 10 hours every week with a very unique content delivery platform.

Topics: Sales Enablement, sales productivity


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