Category: Best Practices

Can A Real Lunch Break Boost Your Productivity?

can a real lunch break boost your productivity?

Productivity. For the modern worker, it’s more than a buzzword — it’s a lifestyle. There are productivity role models, apps to help you work smarter, and a plethora of services designed to eliminate the inefficient habits of unproductive people, like grocery shopping or leisurely eating.

But is all of this really making us more effective employees? In our new blog series, “Worksmart,” we’re putting so-called productivity “best practices” to the test to see what really works and what advice you can forgo.

Eating Through Lunch Could Hurt Your Performance

 

First up — lunch. What was formerly a sacred hour for friends and food has become an unfortunate casualty of our nine-to-five (or seven-to-seven) hustle. Recent studies have shown, however, that working through lunch can negatively impact performance.guilt, perceived judgement, and stress can all keep us tied to our desks

In an interview with NPR, Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management, who studies workplace psychology, explained the correlation between breaks and the type of non-linear work most of us do: “Staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It’s also detrimental to doing that rumination that’s needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an ‘aha’ moment.”

Most of us know this instinctively yet struggle to step away when tasks start piling up. The reasons why vary. Guilt, perceived judgement, and stress can all keep us tied to our desks.

Could just a 30-minute break and the productive, refreshed mind it promises be enough to make up for lost time? For one week, our test team took a real lunch break every day to find out.

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The Simple Trick That Will Make You a Better Listener

the simple trick that will make you a better listener

“You said you’ve been struggling with customer retention for a while,” the sales rep said. “What led you to address it now?”

Great question.

Unfortunately, before his prospect could reply, the rep followed it with three more.

“Did retention hit a new low? Or are you changing your organizational focus? A lot of folks reach out to me after hiring a customer success manager — does that apply to you?”

The buyer seemed a little overwhelmed, and responded with hesitancy in her voice: “Well, I guess you could say our goals are changing, so a change in organizational focus, I guess.”

Did you see what just happened? The buyer simply picked one of the sales rep’s options rather than potentially giving a reason he hadn’t anticipated.

In his rush to fill the silence, this salesperson missed a precious opportunity to learn more about his buyer’s pain.

Have you ever struggled to talk less? Read on for a simple — yet crazy effective — technique for doing just that.

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Make Your Sales Training a Big Success

sales training

Today, most sales organizations are still enabling salespeople with classroom onboarding, certifications, and assessments. These methods are outdated and don’t reflect the dynamic, responsive way that modern sellers engage with buyers. And they’re hurting your bottom line.

Salespeople are hungry for an immersive, interactive learning experience — one that delivers the right content and guidance at the right time through the channels where they live.

And reps have every reason to have this appetite. Technology has transformed the way we sell — so it’s time that technology changes the way we approach sales training, too.

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How to Drive Adoption of Sales Technology

sales technology adoption

You finally signed the contract on the new sales tool you’ve championed for months. Weeks of research, stakeholder meetings, and contract negotiations are behind you, so the hard part is over, right?

Not quite. Now you need to drive adoption across your sales team. After all, a tool that no one uses is just a waste of money. But sales reps are inundated with more tools than ever, requiring that new solutions overcome skepticism and ingrained habits to achieve high adoption.

All this may make it seem easier to avoid purchasing new tools altogether. But modern buyers demand fresh, digital sales tactics, so doing nothing simply isn’t an option. Follow these three steps to ensure that your sales technology investments are a success.

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Three Capabilities Your Sales Enablement Tool Should Have

sales enablement tool capabilities

Most people who change the world don’t set out to do so. Innovation expert and New York Times contributor Pagan Kennedy has found genius often unexpectedly strikes those “in a position to see a problem that needs fixing in a very personal way.”

The evolution of sales enablement technology follows this pattern. For decades, salespeople have wasted precious hours searching for sales assets while marketers have been beset by countless inbound content requests. Necessity demanded a more efficient way of organizing, discovering, and analyzing content — and those who experienced these challenges first-hand invented technology that is now changing the way millions work.

But not all sales enablement platforms are created equal. Recognizing real innovation is increasingly difficult amidst industry hype and buzzword-laden marketing. So how can you separate a genuinely game-changing platform from the rest? Look for these critical capabilities:

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Sales Readiness Unlocks Revenue Growth

sales readiness unlocks revenue growth

The B2B landscape is rapidly evolving. Sales teams must keep pace with the latest market developments, new products and services, buyer behaviour, competitor news, and much more. The flow of information is unending. How can your sales team keep up? The answer is sales readiness.

Sales readiness encompasses efficient onboarding, ongoing sales communication, and effective coaching and training. It has become a critical component of sales enablement, as it ensures salespeople are equipped with everything they need to adapt to change and have meaningful customer conversations.

Building on the momentum of May’s Sales Enablement Soiree, we sought to continue the learning at a Highspot-hosted event in London. Industry experts from Brainshark, ICIS, Emarsys, and S&P Global Platts came together to discuss key areas of sales readiness and how to overcome the challenges of onboarding, coaching, and training sales teams.

From sharing success patterns over breakfast to building new relationships, we left with actionable insights on readying sales to drive revenue. Let’s take a closer look at five important takeaways.

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What’s Getting in Your Way of Becoming a Top Performer? It Might Just Be Your Work Environment

sales productivity

I used to work with a woman who would go to the local coffee shop to make prospecting calls. She used to say, “They drink the caffeine and I feed off of their energy.”

A creative co-worker of mine can’t function in the office when he’s searching for ideas. He works from home where it’s quieter.

I find it impossible to work without using two screens. Switching back and forth on one screen drives me bananas.

Your work environment can be motivating or demotivating. When you’re in a particular place, you tend to do (or not do) specific things. You feel different depending on where you are and what’s around you.

In RAIN Group’s latest Extreme Productivity Benchmark Report, more than 2,300 sellers and business professionals were asked about their work habits and behaviors. Analysts reviewed their responses through the lenses of productivity, job performance, happiness, and job satisfaction. The findings revealed that the Extremely Productive (the XP) are particularly tuned in to their environments. They are 3.3 times more likely to organize their work environment to maximize productivity.

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Without Sales Enablement, You’re Behind the Curve

2019 state of sales enablement

The phrase “if you’re not early, you’re late” is one of the most familiar pieces of advice passed down from generation to generation and mentor to mentee. So much so that the phrase has over 1.4 billion search results on Google — which is understandable when you consider how often the advice is applicable. From job interviews to product differentiation, it’s always beneficial to stay ahead of the competition.

Sales Enablement PRO recently published the 2019 State of Sales Enablement and the report clearly echoed a similar sentiment — companies without an established sales enablement function are behind the curve and risk falling prey to their competitors.

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Scalable Quota Attainment Requires Sales Effectiveness

scalable quota attainment requires sales effectiveness

Sales leaders are constantly focused on attaining revenue goals, which naturally shifts the bulk of their attention to top performers. After all, they’re the breadwinners who consistently achieve quota and drive revenue. The general perception is that keeping top performers successful will increase everyone else’s performance as they try to keep up.

This is flawed thinking. Core performers, or “B reps,” are a company’s most valuable asset. How is that possible? Get familiar with the 20-60-20 theory. This approach of grouping sellers finds that 20% of a sales team are top performers, 20% are struggling, and the other 60% are somewhere in the middle.

Research done by the Sales Executive Council found that a 5% increase from the middle 60% of performers yielded 80% more revenue than a 5% increase from just the top 10%. If sales leaders want to increase quota attainment and optimize pipeline generation, they have to start by improving the effectiveness of their core sellers.

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RAIN Group Shares 3 Easy Ways to Develop Self-Accountability and Achieve More

accountability and productivity in sales

Seventy-six percent of The Extremely Productive (The XP) hold themselves accountable for doing what they tell themselves they’re going to do. Only 34% of The Rest hold themselves to this same level of accountability.

In RAIN Group’s new Extreme Productivity Benchmark Report, which includes data from 2,377 respondents, “holding yourself accountable” was the top behavior exhibited by The XP. It was also the No. 1 key driver of Extreme Productivity, and the behavior that represented the biggest difference between The XP and The Rest.

The data is clear: No matter if you’re in sales, marketing, or another field, the importance of holding yourself accountable can’t be understated. If you can master this, you’ll stay focused and achieve greater success.

Here are three ways to improve self-accountability.

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