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The more calls you make, the more deals you close. It’s simple math.

If your goal is to increase sales productivity, start by asking yourself: “how much time do I waste on non-selling activities?”

On a typical day, we’d be shocked if you spent 8 hours on the phone. After all, you’re not a robot. 

And even before you can pick up the phone to contact decision-makers, you must conduct a significant amount of research. 

Do you have your prospects’ email addresses and direct dial phone numbers on hand? How much do you know about each prospect’s professional background? 

Searching for this information can take more time than you’d expect. In fact, there are a host of obstacles that keep sales reps from being their most productive selves. 

Where Do Sales Reps Waste The Most Time?

So, what are the things that stand in the way of a salesperson actually getting in contact with a prospect? 

Here are three obstacles to time management in sales. 

Poor Data Quality 

Whether you realize it or not, sales productivity is directly related to the quality of your data

Things like missing fields, inaccuracies, duplicate entries, and typos stand in the way of sales reps being able to contact the right people. Your team  then has to spend time fixing those entries manually, rather than spending time on the phone, actually selling. 

Researching Prospects 

Inefficient databases can leave sales reps with lots of research work and little time to sell.. 

Even worse, reps who don’t use a database platform are essentially starting from scratch., This can pile on more research for your reps before they can start connecting. 

Administrative Tasks 

Tasks that have yet to be automated take up a lot of time, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Manual data entry into CRM systems can take up hours of someone’s day. And while these tasks are important for data quality, they can easily be automated into workflows. 

How to Improve Sales Productivity

The name of the game here is streamlining. 

That is, establishing strategies that make the above pain points a part of automated workflows so that sales reps don’t have to think twice about them. 

While sales is certainly a reactive game, there are definitely things you can standardize in order to make day-to-day operations run more smoothly.

Leverage Sales Intelligence Software.

Sales intelligence software can do everything from: 

  • Ensuring database quality.
  • Providing data analysis. 
  • Building out ICPs.
  • Identifying prospects.
  • Aiding in lead generation. 

Basically, there’s very little a good sales intelligence software can’t do. The whole point being to save the sales teams time and energy. 

Structure Day by Time Zone. 

If you’re struggling to establish some order to your day, organize calls based on client time zones. 

It seems incredibly simple, but you wouldn’t believe the number of calls that go straight to voicemail because sales reps call when they’re prospects are sleeping, or not at work. 

Use Email Templates. 

Every lead is unique, and should be treated as such. Yet planning out a script for every individual prospect can be time consuming. 

A pre-planned script or template that can be personalized to each client is a great starting point and doesn’t leave sales reps starting from scratch for each call they make. 

Automate Your CRM.

If you’re still manually entering data into your CRM databases, stop what you’re doing right now and look into automation. 

Automating CRM workflows ensures the organization of your system, so sales reps won’t have to spend time sifting through disorganized information, saving them loads of time. 

3 Ways to Measure Sales Productivity 

Typically, sales productivity is measured by revenue. Which is why many sales leaders turn to metrics like number of actions per day, opportunity creation, and closed won/loss business. 

Here’s the problem with the above sales productivity metrics: Sales productivity should be measured by KPIs that depict both the effectiveness of outreach and the efficiency at which reps perform those tasks. 

But the analysis and subsequent insight gained from these metrics focus too much on effectiveness and largely ignore day-to-day activities, which actually impede efficiency.

With all that said, let’s walk through three advanced sales productivity metrics which reveal strengths and weaknesses within the entire sales process.

1. Time to Action 

How much time do sales reps waste determining which accounts and contacts to get in touch with? The first step in any sales process is identification. 

But even if you understand the firmographics and demographics that define your Total Addressable Market (TAM), your team of reps still must find essential B2B contact data before reaching out. Thus, what we’re really tracking here is the opportunity cost of initial research.

2. Attempt to Connect Rate

Is your outreach resonating with target audiences? Understanding this metric helps organizations grasp key elements of their sales process.

  • From a tactical viewpoint, is the messaging used in outreach adequately communicating your organization’s value proposition?
  • From a functional standpoint, is poor contact data leaving your reps with no choice but to dial switchboard numbers? What about account intelligence? 
    • If your sales reps hit a roadblock, do they have access to other key players within the organization?

3. Connect to Opportunity Rate 

How many days are lost talking to contacts who can’t buy? Again, this speaks to a sales rep’s ability to identify the right account to engage. From them your team must connect with the appropriate contact within that organization.

And There You Have It Folks

Sales productivity is no one thing. In fact, it’s the cooperation and collaboration of many different moving parts. 

With a few process changes and a couple good metrics to measure success, productivity doesn’t have to be an elusive concept. Rather, it can be something that your team achieves every day. 

About the author

Reyna LaRiccia

Reyna LaRiccia is a Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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