How do you guide your sales team to achieve better results? The answer lies in using the right tools and strategies to improve sales productivity.
On an intuitive level, most team leaders and managers understand that the more buyers your team can engage (within a given period of time), the more deals they’ll close for your company. It’s simple enough: if your team used to reach out to 10 buyers per hour in the past, and they now reach out to 20 buyers per hour, assuming that their closing rate remains the same, you’ll get 2x the amount of successful deals.
There are various ways you can go about boosting sales productivity (for instance: setting up training sessions and getting your reps to read the best books on sales), but the most effective thing you can do is invest in a sales productivity tool or sales effectiveness tool for your team.
In this article, we walk you through the different categories of sales productivity tools that can turn your team into a lean, mean, revenue-generating machine.
Lead Generation Tools
Traditionally speaking, lead generation falls under the jurisdiction of the marketing team, but these days, sales and marketing teams are working together more closely than ever, and it’s not unheard of for sales teams to search for and generate leads, too.
While it is possible to generate leads manually, using an automated tool to do the heavy lifting makes much more sense when it comes to sales productivity. With a lead generation tool, you can build a targeted list of prospective buyers by using a database of over 30 million business contacts worldwide, searching for specific companies and contacts, and downloading their contact information (verified in real time!) with a single click of the button.
Sales Intelligence Tools
Once you create a list of buyers, the next step is to use a sales intelligence tool to learn more about your buyers. If you’re wondering how these tools work, they utilize algorithms to sift through and process any data that’s related to your buyers or their company. This helps uncover insights about buying patterns, which the tool then uses to determine buying intent. Some sales intelligence tools aggregate thousands of business-critical signals such as decision maker changes, new company initiatives, and funding rounds, and alerts you on any signals that might impact your sales process; others help you market and sell your products based on your buyers’ technology choices.
With the insights that your sales intelligence tool provides, your team can then decide if it’s a good time to approach a particular buyer and go in for the close, or whether they should nurture the buyer and only start selling further down the road.
CRMs and Pipeline Management Tools
Traditionally speaking, CRMs act as databases where you can store buyer information. That said, they’ve now evolved to the point where they are effective pipeline management tools; as such, you can use them to chart the flow of your sales process and see how you might advance buyers from one stage of your pipeline to the next.
When deciding which CRM to use, an important factor to consider is whether it integrates with the other tools (such as customer service tools or live chat tools) that you’re already using. If that’s the case, your reps will be able to perform various functions seamlessly, instead of having to switch back and forth, export data manually, and engage in other time-wasting activities.
Sales Enablement Tools
Next on our list of sales productivity tools is enablement platforms, which empower sales teams to engage buyers more effectively by organizing and surfacing relevant sales content, sales plays, and training. Using sales enablement tools, sellers can investigate how buyers are engaging with sales content and pitches, helping sellers create more personalized follow-up strategies. Say one of your reps sends your buyer an email, for example, and the buyer goes radio silent. With a sales enablement tool, your rep will be able to track if this buyer opened their email attachments, which pages of the attachment they looked at, and how much time they spent on each of these pages. If the buyer barely glanced at the document, this might indicate that the material wasn’t a good fit, and it makes sense for your rep to try a different approach. If the buyer spent a great deal of time reviewing the document, but didn’t respond, on the other hand, this shows that your rep is on the right track, and the only thing left to do is to continuously follow up.
Social Selling Tools
Social selling used to be a predominantly B2C strategy, but more and more B2B buyers are turning to social media to research products these days. Studies show that 90% of top selling sales reps use social media as part of their strategy, so you’ll definitely want to empower your reps to tap on social media using a social selling software.
While it’s possible to choose from standalone social listening and social publishing tools, we find that the best tools combine both of these functions in one. Your reps can use these tools to schedule posts to engage with potential buyers; at the same time, they can monitor social activity and tune into what their buyers are sharing. With Highspot’s social selling capabilities, for example, sellers can leverage powerful integrations to easily insert trackable sales assets anywhere online, such as on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
One of our favorite strategies to improve sales productivity is to streamline the process of setting up a meeting. Think about it: there’s a lot of back-and-forth involved in scheduling meetings; in the best case scenario, this wastes precious time, and in the worst case scenario, your buyer might get fed up and decide that they don’t need to speak with you after all.
Now, how do you optimize the process of setting up a meeting? Simple — instead of emailing your buyer and asking if it’s possible to meet on Date X, Y or Z, use meeting and calendar tools to identify which dates work for both parties.
A Final Word on Sales Productivity and Tools
At the end of the day, your sales productivity has the power to make or break your entire company, and it’s crucial to use the right strategies to improve sales productivity. If you want to grow your revenue and bring your company to greater heights, the way forward is simple: invest in the right sales productivity tools so that your reps can do more selling with less work!
Max Benz produces content at UpLead and is a SaaS enthusiast who loves actionable content that provides direct value.