More sales equal more revenue, more business opportunities, and more motivation. Thus, streamlining your sales team’s work is the backbone of expanding your company.
How can you do that?
This article discusses 19 time-saving strategies and tools that help sales teams focus on reaching out to the right customers who convert quickly.
Factors that Affect Your Sales Productivity
Before jumping into the best strategies that your sales time can adopt, let’s first review the issues that mess with your productivity:
- Repetitive manual tasks. Doing the same things over and over again makes you zone out easily. And that leads to mistakes, especially as you become more frustrated and bored.
- Multiple tools. Using different programs or software for the same activity means your brain will need more time to adjust. By comparison, using just one tool for the job allows your brain to form subconscious reflexes–and that saves time in the long run.
- Too many databases. Imagine you have to open and close each database, getting lost in a gazillion tab. Instead, just one well-organized database will save you energy and time.
- Poor motivation. Under-motivated people tend to slack off, not because they set their minds to, but because they become frustrated, bored, and so zone out quickly.
- Miscommunication. Miscommunication affects productivity because your team has to lose time clarifying their goals instead of working hard to achieve them.
- Aggressive targets. Aggressive targets create lots of stress and disappointment when they’re not achieved. So, focus on smart objectives that allow reliable planning and produce tangible results.
- Poor leads. Targeting the wrong people gets you no results and wastes your resources. It’s best to spend more time picking the right leads that bring results instead of hunting the wrong ones.
Strategies That Work
Now that you know the worst that can happen, let’s see what you can do about it.
1. Know Your Audience
Half your problems are solved if you truly understand who you’re targeting. Knowing your target audience is the surest way towards an effective plan that quickly helps you reach your goals.
Don’t consider research as a waste of time!
That time is the best investment you can make in your company’s growth. Besides, those results will keep your employees motivated.
2. Use Scripts That Work
You can’t sell without a good script, but you already know that. The sore point is devising a motivating script and leading to action without sounding too pushy.
That’s why you have to hire the right people for the job.
Also, remember to stay flexible. Test everything twice and remember that what works for one audience might not work for the other.
3. Add a Schedule to Your First Email
Add a link to a calendar tool in your first e-mail. This strategy may not be effective each time you use it, but it will save lots of time for your front-end team if you’re reaching out to qualified leads.
Remember to stay flexible, though.
This solution may not suit your specific sales team, so measure the response rate. If that rate is reasonable, continue using the scheduling tool; otherwise, ditch it without remorse.
4. Tackle the Biggest Challenge First
Start with the most significant, most pressing matter because you want that out of your way, and you want to clear it with plenty of time in advance. Imagine the alternative:
You’re going into work and start reading e-mails while sipping an iced coffee. Next thing you know, it’s already noon, and you haven’t even begun looking for new leads.
That’s not the right way to go.
5. Trust LinkedIn’s Lead Recommendations
LinkedIn lead recommendations are similar to the “people you may know” function on social media, except they actually work!
LinkedIn makes those recommendations according to your sales’ preferences, the leads you had before, and your general profile. So, if you don’t know where to start, visit LinkedIn.
6. Qualify Your Leads First
You have to use advanced search to pick your leads and ensure you’re going after the right people. Of course, you can’t qualify every lead out there, but you can make sure those potential customers have a high potential to convert.
Here’s what you should consider:
- Using Sales Navigator to check company info
- Ascertaining if those potential customers are interested in your products/services
- Ensuring these people are decision-makers
7. Turn off Notifications
Your team is probably already using software like Trello, Slack, and e-mail to keep up with their tasks. However, getting notifications from these platforms every ten minutes is not helpful.
So, if you have to focus on a task, eliminate distractions. Turn off those notifications to concentrate better and finish your work twice as fast.
8. Validate Emails
Your sales team will lose a lot of time if you’re not checking e-mails. You want to ensure that your messages get to real people instead of bouncing off.
However, checking those e-mails manually is a Sisyphean task. It’s much better to purchase a tool that does email validation automatically.
Tools to Consider
The strategies above are essential, but you need the right tools to put them into effect. Let’s review some of those below:
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it represents software that helps you:
- Monitor your customers
- Build better relationships with those people
- Increase customer retention
- Manage sales and marketing strategies
- Automate repetitive tasks communication
Thus, CRM is a complex tool that contains multiple support systems, but 68% of companies state that CRM is essential to closing deals.
Pro tip: Do your research and choose a CRM platform that’s right for your company’s needs.
2. Sales Intelligence
Sales Intelligence technologies will help you get, keep track of, and understand your existing customers and your potential ones. This information is invaluable because it enables you to realize:
- The right audience to address
- The correct messages and arguments you should be making
- The proper time to connect to these people
Sales intelligence helps you achieve that because it gives you those customers’:
- Purchase history
- Contracts they currently have
- Digital footprints
That’s why 74% of professionals want to increase the intelligence tools’ budget. By comparison, 62% already admit that sales intelligence is very important to reach their objectives.
Here’s the catch:
Local data is vital in sales intelligence, which means local legislation influences it profusely. As a result, Europe is a very challenging market because of GDPR.
Another consideration is that datasets are always coming out, so prospecting will become increasingly specialized. For example, companies will have more accurate data regarding:
- Real estate
- Credit ratings
- Vehicle info
- Intent data
3. Sales Acceleration Software
Sales acceleration software allows you to:
- Increase discussions about sales
- Decrease your usual sales cycle
- Get more paying customers
It’s not magic; it’s all about automating more of those tedious administrative tasks so that your sales processes run smoothly.
These software tools aren’t just about speed.
They’re also about increased control over the sales process because you can create better engagement with your customers and manage your team better. You’ll be able to do that thanks to tools for:
- E-mail tracking
- Outbound sales dialers
- Predictive analytics
- Sales engagement
As you can see, this is a multi-channel approach, but it’s worth looking into it.
4. Data Connector and Integration Tools
The lack of integration is the main problem of using a gazillion of tools that should theoretically make your sales team’s job easier. This diverse software, platforms, and tools are independent, and you can’t access them quickly from just one system.
Enter data connector and integration tools.
These babies connect all systems, allowing easy data transfer and accessibility. As a result, you benefit from increased usability to get your job done faster.
5. Sales Analytics Software
Sales analytics software encompasses a wide range of tools and systems for:
- Increasing the performance of your sales tasks
- Predicting trends
- Gauging results
- Getting insights
These sales analytics software replace the manually collected data gathered in tons of spreadsheets. The result is you have more focused and actionable data to predict sales.
6. E-signature and Document Tracking
Instead of signing endless paperwork that has to be stored in physical folders, e-signature and document tracking streamline these administrative tasks. Besides, you don’t have to keep those papers in an office anymore.
Another advantage is real-time tracking.
When a prospect engages with one of your documents, you’ll receive a notification that allows you to act fast. However, some GDPR restrictions in Europe may prevent this tracking, so make sure you read all the fine print before activating it.
But there’s another advantage apart from getting these notifications; the platform you’re using will also provide you with:
- Useful templates
- Tools to create and manage your contracts electronically
- CRM integration
- Notifications for essential dates (e.g., contracts’ cut-off dates)
7. Marketing Automation and ABM
Finding customers isn’t easy; that’s what marketing automation aims to solve.
If you get this software, you will save more time by automating specific tasks relating to marketing, such as business e-mails, posts on social media, and lead generation. As a result, you will optimize your marketing strategy.
Here’s how that works:
Each time someone downloads an e-book or an infographic from your website in exchange for their e-mail, you add another name to your database of potential customers.
As a result, you can set up customized, flexible marketing campaigns.
Then there’s the ABM part.
Account-based marketing technology allows you to set accurate KPIs and gauge your results according to those indicators. Thus, if you notice an increase in company revenues, you can determine if that increase is thanks to the campaign you organized.
ABM works because you’re targeting precise people with well-honed messages instead of reaching out to numerous prospects. These people are, in fact, high-value customers that will convert.
8. Email Tool
If your pool of prospects is large, you can’t send each person a manually crafted email. Instead, you have to choose a cold e-mail tool that works, such as:
- And more
Remember: Personalize your email using the variables offered by your cold email tool.
9. Calendar Tool
Picture the amount of time wasted each time you arrange a call with a potential customer. You have to send them an e-mail with a possible time and date, wait for a reply, reorganize your schedule according to that customer’s availability, and so forth.
Calendar tools eliminate this back-and-forth from your communication.
Add a tool like Calendly on your website, and your prospects can choose the custom time and date when they’re available. You will receive immediate notification, and you’ll have plenty of time to prepare.
10. Communication Tools for Teams
Tools like Slack or Trello make your team’s communication much more straightforward. Everyone has access to well-organized boards and threads to see messages and tasks easier.
As a result, you’re saving a lot of time that employees lose scrolling through their inboxes. And it’s not just about lost time either; it’s about not losing momentum or getting distracted during essential tasks.
These benefits also increase people’s motivation because they have precise tasks available in well-organized workspaces.
That’s a win-win-win. And win.
11. Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software
CPQ software automates your quoting and proposal process, from the moment a prospect tells you what they need to the quote you’re sending them.
As a result:
- The quote is more accurate, based on your prospects’ needs.
- You get more conversions.
- The whole sales process is faster.
- You build better relationships with your customers.
CPQ allows you to reap all those benefits because you can:
- Manage product pricing.
- Figure out excellent upsell and bundling opportunities.
- Monitor the deals that your competitors offer.
- Prepare orders faster, with reduced errors.
The top time-saving strategies and tools we discussed above help your team find the right prospects, reach out to them effectively and create improved engagement. At the same time, you won’t have to waste any more resources on manual, tedious administrative tasks.
Instead, you can focus on the crucial element: creating more value for your customers.
Besides, your employees thrive on using these modern sales methods to close more deals. Thus, if you want to avoid losing sales and sales talent, start implementing these tools for sales teams ASAP.