Improve Sales Efficiency to Drive Sales Performance – Tips & Tools for Small Businesses
Top performing sales organizations know that continued success involves incorporating sales efficiency technologies into their sales process. Imagine your most effective sales rep – and then imagine if they were more efficient.
That is the idea behind implementing sales enablement technologies to increase productivity and drive your sales successes to further heights. By listening to your salespeople as you evaluate your current sales process and taking a holistic rather than piecemeal approach to productivity technologies, sales enablement technology can be implemented to take your company to the next level.
Below, we discuss in larger detail sales efficiency, driving that efficiency through technologies, and where to get started in the process.
Improving Sales Efficiency – What Does It Mean to Small Businesses?
Start from evaluating your current sales process
Implementing new productivity technologies without ensuring they align with a strengthened sales process is a missed opportunity. Successful organizations know that efficiency must be incorporated in many areas, even when implementing efficiency tools. However, in order to strengthen the sales process, you must first look at its current iteration. Be willing to take a deep dive into what is truly working and what is not.
Have a set of efficiency metrics
You can throw various technology options at the wall and see what sticks, but that can involve a lot of wasted effort. Instead, a carefully implemented set of technologies that are evaluated against a set of Efficiency Metrics is more likely to be a success, and one that can be identified. These metrics need to be clearly defined and based on measurable outcomes.
Use simple metrics, such as communication with prospects, number of cold calls, time spent on sales planning efforts, as well as metrics measuring the time reduction of open deals prior to closing and smarter (faster) client meetings.
Evaluate the technology available that can enhance your sales efficiency
Not only are there many technologies available to enhance productivity, there are also many that can be specifically targeted towards sales efficiency. CRMs, business analytic tools, cloud computing and mobile technology are all productivity and efficiency instruments for sales success when paired with a sales process full of best practices.
Driving Sales Efficiency through Technology – 3 Tools to Consider
Technology improves sales efficiency, simple as that. Mobile technology, for example, enables your sales staff to work wherever and whenever they need to. CRM systems have been designed to help your team stay on track with their clients/customers. Business Intelligence (BI) software helps you track trends and make better business decisions. Cloud-based apps enable your employees to collaborate and be more productive.
Here are four helpful tools that small businesses can implement to improve their sales efficiency.
Customer Relationship Management – Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables your sales team to:
- get a full view of their customers;
- track their sales opportunities from first contact through to close;
- provide proactive customer service; and
- gain insight from their customer data to help them make more informed decisions about how to handle their clients.
In addition, Dynamics 365 also fully integrates with other Office products (like Outlook), which means your sales team doesn’t have to waste time switching from one application to another. In fact, if they’re using Outlook to manage their emails, they can update client records in Dynamics 365 right from their Inbox.
Business Intelligence – Microsoft Power BI
Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that can help you gain better insight into your organization. With Power BI, you can oversee hundreds of data sources, produce reports, and share them with your organization. And these help you make better informed business decisions.
How exactly does Power BI help increase your sales efficiency? Simply put, Power BI puts your company’s sales pipeline under a microscope. In (literally) seconds, your sales team can see their data pulled from the most common sources (like Dynamics 365 or Salesforce.com). This helps your sales team to better forecast their monthly or annual sales, see how close they are to their sales targets, and see what trends are forming, which would help them to know how to approach their customers.
One of the best things about Power BI is that it is very easy to use. Here are 10 things your sales team can do in their first 10 minutes with Power BI. Want to see a demo of Power BI? Drop us a line and we will be happy to walk you through.
- Related: Business Intelligence for Small Business – Big Data, Too Big to Ignore
- Related: Power BI, Your Business Intelligence Tool – Features & Benefits
Cloud – Microsoft Office 365
When you implement Cloud computing in your organization, you’re providing one of the most effective ways for your team to increase their sales efficiency and productivity.
Cloud gives your team the collaboration tools that allow them to stay in touch with their clients and colleagues, and ensures that they have a consistent user experience across any device they use. Your sales team has the opportunity to be as efficient on the go as they are in the office. No matter where they are in the world or how long they’re gone for, mobile technology has made it easy for them to stay just a phone call or email away. Not only Office 365 but also Dynamics 365 and Power BI have been designed to work on any device, including mobile.
Cloud can also make your business much more agile – you can add the products and services you need (often at the click of a mouse), and be up and running, typically within minutes. By doing this, your sales team doesn’t have to wait for IT to install things on their devices – they can continue working without interruptions.
By implementing the right technologies and taking full advantage of them, you can greatly improve sales efficiency and productivity. The productivity increase can also be translated into a dollar value that will give you an idea of how much you can save by utilizing the right technology. See how much your organization will be able to save:
- Related: An Executive’s Guide to Increase Productivity: Understanding the Value Behind Implementing the Right Technology
Where to Start? Improve Your Sales Efficiency by Focusing on Sales Activities
In order to make the sales process more efficient, it is important to first consider control. Where does management (and sales) have control, and where is control ceded? What are the activities that management can most influence, and where can the largest results be affected? Or, conversely, where is there less control, and what are the outcomes that are harder to influence?
Throughout the sales process, there are places where sales management can make meaningful changes, and there are also areas that fall heavily into the prospect’s or client’s control. For a successful implementation of sales efficiency strategies, it’s important to focus on the areas where the most change can be realized.
Sales activities are where management has the most control and can affect the greatest degree of change through sales efficiency strategies. Number of sales calls and client/prospect meetings, time spent sales planning, call plan completion – these are activities that can be measured and managed.
While sales objectives do not become any less significant, it is important to understand that there isn’t the same measure of control as with sales activities. These are the areas where the prospect or client will exert more control on the outcome, or simply where salespeople and management have less control. Examples of this are winning and retaining customers, hitting sales quotas and the mix of product or services that are on offer.
Get Started Today to Start Improving your Sales Efficiency Today
Sales, as the revenue generator, is one of the most critical departments in any successful organization. As a result, seeing that it runs to its fullest potential is imperative for good management. Sales efficiency and sales effectiveness, when combined, result in total sales enablement. There is no “one-size-fits-all” sales formula, but if sales enablement technologies are implemented to align with a strengthened sales process designed specifically for your company’s needs, then you will see your organization’s productivity quickly improves.
About Change Connect
Change Connect specializes in helping clients to work more efficiently and effectively in pursuit of their revenue goals. We offer customized solutions for small to midsized businesses with a focus on Sales Transformation, which includes implementing measures to drive sales efficiency. Whatever stage your business is at, whether you’re a start-up looking to expand or an established company looking to move from a plateau to record growth, Change Connect is your partner in transformation. Change Connect – Making Sales Scalable.
As a multi-award winning Microsoft Gold Partner, ProServeIT has been helping SMBs increase their efficiency for over fifteen years. We’ve helped over 200,000 clients migrate to the Cloud, and we’re constantly looking for ways to help our clients get the most out of their technology investments. Are you looking for ways to increase your sales efficiency? Interested in some of the solutions that we discussed in this blog? Talk to our experts today about how we can help your organization!