Just because certain sales productivity practices are commonly accepted doesn’t mean they’re correct.
Sales is a high-pressure, results-driven role which is why so much emphasis is placed on sales productivity. From sales executives down to entry-level sales reps, sales professionals constantly seek ways to be more efficient, to make more sales, and to achieve their targets goals faster.
Yet, despite all this effort, productivity is often a problem for many sales departments. According to The Bridge Group, 65% of B2B businesses say they struggle with sales productivity.
The reason is simple; many B2B sales cultures promote outdated, ineffective, or just plain incorrect strategies. So, here are the most common sales productivity myths.
Myth: The most productive sales reps make the most calls.
We’ve all heard it.. “sales is a numbers game”. Well it is… sort of. But productivity can’t be quantified by the number of calls you make; this puts an extreme amount of pressure on you to make a lot of calls so you can prove to your manager that you’re working hard. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a high call volume, provided that the calls you make are high quality.
For example – sales person A makes 100 calls a day, but the calls are made to businesses that don’t match the profile of your ideal target customer (if you don’t have one, you should!!) so they only manage to find 5 real prospects. Sales person B, on the other hand, only makes 50 calls, but these calls are to carefully targeted prospects who match the ideal target prospect profile, the calls are well prepared and planned and as a result generate 10 new prospects.
Which of them was more productive?
The best way to improve the quality of your calls is to target the right type of business.
Nobody’s ideal client is everyone.
Myth: It’s a waste of time to follow up with uninterested leads and prospects.
Let’s state the obvious, you rarely reach a potential customer on your first attempt. But, after one call, what do you do? If you’re like many sales people, you give up and move on to different leads. In fact, many sales people make an average of 1.3 calls to a lead before moving on to new leads.
Why spend time on something that doesn’t seem like it’s going to deliver results? The reality is that time spent following up with leads isn’t actually wasted time. Research shows 80% of closed deals required at least 5 follow-ups. Persistence is one of the most important qualities a sales rep can have. So, don’t miss out on future buyers because you give up too quickly.
Myth: Taking breaks will make you less productive.
Successful sales people are driven individuals, so working nonstop can sometimes be glamorised and encouraged. After all, you’re constantly working to meet your targets, so stepping away from your desk can seem like a setback.
The reality however, is that taking breaks can actually help you become more productive on a day-to-day basis. In fact, several studies have proven that small breaks from your work can significantly improve your mental performance. Working nonstop isn’t sustainable in the long-term; eventually, stress and fatigue will build up and your productivity will take a steep decline. Avoid this type of burnout by scheduling several small breaks throughout your day. Step away from your desk and when you return you’ll be refreshed and ready to complete your next task.
Some Final Thoughts
There’s no magic fix for increased sales productivity. Methods that work for one sales organisation may not work for another, and vice versa. Try different approaches and monitor the results. That way you can find out what’s the most productive approach for you and your business.
Are you struggling to improve your sales productivity. Maybe we can help.