Measuring sales productivity has always been an important activity for sales managers! Now that businesses are more data-driven, it is even more crucial for every sales team to have effective productivity tracking practices.
It can be helpful to think of measuring sales productivity as a part of the overall sales enablement process, in which a team is provided the tools and information needed to drive efficiency and total sales. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be hard to implement measures that show where your reps are wasting time, and where they should put more energy to get the most out of every minute they spend selling.
Let’s dive into three ways to measure sales productivity that are backed by sales experts — individuals with years of sales experience including sales authors, strategists, CEOs, coaches, and founders.
Measure the number and quality of customer interactions
While many reps may go through the motions of talking with lots of prospects (for example, high dials), are your reps having enough meaningful conversations that will lead to a sale?
According to Wendy Weiss, president of ColdCallingResults.com, “The metrics that are important to measure for telephone prospecting are: Dials, Conversations (with a qualified prospect) and Appointments. Many sales professionals will track their number of Appointments, some will track their Dials and Appointments, but very few track the number of Conversations they’re having with qualified prospects. Without that middle number, it’s impossible to know how you’re doing.”
A sales leader needs to monitor the quality of each potential customer conversation. Numbers are meaningless if you’re not building relationships and driving sales.
Track calls, emails, and meeting metrics in your CRM. Sell generates reports based on these activities. For example, you can see the number of calls, call duration, call length vs. time of days, as well as call outcomes — important to know if calls are high quality and effective. If you’re a sales manager, you can sort this info by sales rep. Some reps might have better call outcomes than others. Pair these reps with the ones who need help with their sales effectiveness.
Pay attention to sales pipeline progress
If your reps only have a general idea of pipeline opportunities, that’s not a good productivity sign. The number of opportunities should be carefully monitored as each stage indicates what revenue you’ll have at the end of the quarter. Tracking the progress of sales stages also highlights what skills reps need to improve.
As Lori Richardson, founder and CEO of Score More Sales, explains, “A productivity metric every salesperson should be paying attention to is number of opportunities prospected to qualified to closure. That’s really three metrics, but I want to see what a rep started with (to know if they have enough of the right activity while prospecting), what they move through as “qualified” in the pipeline (so I know if they are spending time in the right places), and then of those qualified, how many came to closure – so that I can tell if they are working the right opportunities or if there are other issues, such as lack of urgency or poor messaging.”
Review the number of opportunities at each stage of the sales pipeline to check for any bottlenecks and to make improvements, if needed. Ensure that reps are generating enough leads to move through the pipeline. Also, check if these leads match with buyer personas. For example, if certain reps have a large number of prospects, but are failing to move them to the Qualified stage, you might need to revisit your customer qualification requirements. Deal loss reason, average lead response time, closing ratio, and customer acquisition cost are sales pipeline metrics to keep a close eye on.
Prioritize your selling tasks
Jumping from one sales activity to the next can be deceiving — it might look productive, but in reality, your reps could just be spinning their wheels without actually moving high-quality prospects forward. Prioritization can help with this problem.
“When it comes to my own productivity, I focus on results,” says Jim Keenan, founder, A Sales Guy Consulting, “To ensure I’m being productive, I prioritize my tasks and initiatives to make sure I know what is most important and only work on those things.”
Use your CRM to organize sales activities, conversations, and calendar. For example, with a sales productivity tool like Sell, you can input tasks and sort by different filters such as due date to know which tasks to focus on.
Wondering how to increase sales productivity and keep your reps motivated? Communicate to your reps what they need to do and how they can earn more by automating your ICM. Updating spreadsheets is a manual process and most companies prefer to do this only once a month. Chances are, that more often than not, your reps don’t even know how much they are going to get paid until the end of the month when they receive their compensation. If these spreadsheets are error-prone, it becomes increasingly harder for your reps to trust the organization’s data and they are likely to resort to shadow accounting.
By releasing sales data from the silos of spreadsheets, an automated incentive compensation solution can act as a trusted advisor for your sales reps. A report conducted by Forrester published in Forbes reveals that a staggering 90% of growth leaders believe that real-time insights are important. With real-time commission trackers, each rep can get a personalized dashboard with real-time updates as they move closer to their quota and specific goals. Allowing your sales team to automate their performance and plan their earnings and milestones for themselves will significantly increase their visibility and restore trust in the organization!
Kennect’s fully automated ICM solution leverages a data-driven approach to build, run and automate your incentive compensation plans to create transparency and achieve operational efficiency. Kennect helps you break the silos of your comp system by seamlessly integrating across CRM, ERP and HRIS.
To know more about how Incentive Compensation automation can help you motivate your reps, book a demo with us!