At the heart of every business is the sales team. They are on the front line, responsible for interacting with prospects, qualifying leads, and building valuable relationships. As they engage, salespeople gather the pulse of the market and other critical market intelligence.

More than 50 percent of innovation comes from the voice of the customer.

– Lou Rossi, Chief Commercial Officer, Publicis

So what happens to all the information your sales team assimilates? A successful sales team can leverage the power of conversational insights and apply them to their sales operations. And the impact? A business with a fortified sales strategy that empowers salespeople and adds to the bottom line.

In this post, we look at how you can harness the power of sales analytics and drive sales productivity effortlessly.

What is sales productivity? 

Sales productivity is the time a sales rep spends in critical sales activities like networking, qualifying, and engaging with leads to turn them into buyers. It is an essential sales metric that you need to measure to determine the performance of your sales team. High-performing sales reps maximize their sales productivity through two means — effectiveness and efficiency. 

The effectiveness of your sales rep relies on how well they can harness existing tools/processes and apply them to the way they sell. The efficiency of a sales rep, on the other hand, depends on the minimal usage of resources/processes to yield maximum impact. 

How do you measure sales productivity?

Unlike other teams, sales reps are measured by whether or not they can meet their targets. And when you have the tools, strategy, and resources in place, your sales reps have everything they need to wow prospects.

A HubSpot research notes that salespeople spend just one-third of their day talking to prospects. They spend 21 percent of their day writing emails, 17 percent entering data, another  17 percent prospecting and researching leads, 12 percent going to internal meetings,  and 12 percent scheduling calls. Add clunky tools, archaic processes, and ineffective coaching to the mix, and sales productivity is the first to take a hit.

So how do you know if your sales team is optimizing time and effort to hit the revenue numbers? 

 1. Factor the entire journey

Sales don’t mean only the final conversation that leads to a purchase. You need to look at the effort that goes into prospecting, nurturing, and converting holistically. Pay attention to how well your sales reps follow up with leads, set up a cadence to prevent leads from rotting, and how effective they are in positioning your brand.

2. Learning and development

When you have a new rep, they make mistakes, and the most important part is to pick themselves up and learn from it. What truly sets high-performing sales reps apart is their ability to look at wins and failures as a learning opportunity.

3. Master their strength

An ideal sales team consists of sales reps with different skill sets. Some may ace prospecting, while some may charm prospects effortlessly. When sales reps identify their strong suit, they comfortably take on activities they are good at. They also focus on picking up skills that they need to master to hit their sales quotas faster.

4. Uncover insights from sales conversations

What does it take to turn prospects into customers? It largely depends on the overall experience that salespeople deliver. Your sales conversations give a lot of cues on whether your sales strategy is converting or not. Tapping into these insights offers an unprecedented overview of what your existing process lacks and how you can fix it to improve overall sales productivity.

Sales analytics: Metrics that help you improve sales productivity

Sales analytics enables you to interpret the core vitals of your sales team. It gives you a wealth of data that helps you fine-tune your sales performance, elevate sales productivity, and improve win rates. Sales analytics used to be tough to crack. Today, digitization has redefined the world of sales.

A Mckinsey study notes that together, e-commerce and videoconferencing now account for 43 percent of all B2B revenue, more than any other channel.

Most of the sales team activities are online. Measuring sales analytics is simple, all thanks to data flowing in from a myriad of sources. 

Using sales analytics has multiple effects on sales performance and productivity. You not only improve your strategy but also take chances on increasing your revenue. A Mckinsey Global Institute report reveals that data-driven organizations are not only 23 times more likely to acquire customers, but they’re also six times as likely to retain customers and 19 times more likely to be profitable. 

Now that we know the role of sales analytics, let’s look at how sales analytics can help you uncover customer intelligence to boost sales productivity.

Uncover emerging trends

The ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it – is going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades.Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google

Sales analytics helps you acquire a deeper understanding of your sales activities. It helps you narrow down on recurring behavior and emerging trends based on your reps’ sales conversations. Generated data insights are instrumental in creating new value propositions catering to the specific needs of a segment.

In the end, you empower your sales reps to drive personalized interactions and create an exclusive buying experience.

Compare sales productivity and goals

Another benefit of data-driven analysis is the ability to connect sales productivity to sales goals. A LinkedIn report states that top-performing salespeople achieve 125% or more of their revenue goals. A sales team performs well if they have a goal that is perfectly nestled between achievable and ambitious.

If the goal is easily achievable, you will notice your team turning lethargic once the destination is within their reach. If your goal is too ambitious, your team will feel pressured to hit the numbers. As a result, there will be a dip in customer experience and the quality of service offered.

Sales analytics is an excellent way to benchmark both individual and the entire team’s productivity. It helps you set goals that inspire your sales reps to go the extra mile while championing the customer experience.

Discover bottlenecks

Bottlenecks, obsolete processes, and incomplete information can be your sales team’s biggest blockers. So how can customer intelligence and sales analytics help your team here?

The more sales conversations, the more insight your team gets. More than the successful conversions, sales analytics can help you identify near misses, recurring topics. Is your sales journey too long? Are your reps qualifying leads from the right segment? Are the representatives trained to help prospects? Sales analytics enables you to glean information about the health of your sales process.

When you pay attention to these metrics, you identify gaps in your existing sales operations. Connecting these dots with streamlined processes, access to the correct information at the right time, you empower your salespeople and set them up for winning.

Sales analytics is a gold mine of data that lets you identify your existing process and how it influences sales productivity. Data carries the power to reinvent your approach when it gets implemented. That’s where the real work lies – revamping how your sales team functions.

Sales enablement – Implementing analytics to supercharge your sales productivity

Sales enablement is the course of aligning tools, technology, and resources to make sure your sales reps have everything they need during a sales call. It is the process where you incorporate the findings of sales analytics to further the sales team’s performance.

G2’s finding reaffirms the importance of sales enablement. The article points out that organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49% win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5% for those without.

When implemented, sales enablement can help your sales team improve their win rates, personalize their sales conversations, and improve conversions efficiently. Sales enablement enables you to refine your team’s selling approach by:

  1. Discovering more time for sales conversations
  2. Streamlining existing processes and removing bottlenecks
  3. Improve lead acquisition and qualifying
  4. Elevate sales coaching and training

Increased digital adoption means sales enablement isn’t a manual process. To scale the process of sales enablement, you can count on emerging technology.

Automating sales enablement

Like sales analytics, sales enablement is no stranger to technology and can easily be automated. Here are some ways to do it:

Harness the power of Artificial Intelligence

One of the most emerging trends in the sales industry is AI. It helps sales reps in qualifying leads based on historical patterns and behavior. Research by Harvard Business Review reveals that companies that have pioneered AI in sales rave about the impact, including an increase in leads and appointments of more than 50%, cost reductions of 40%–60%.

For a sales conversation, implemented AI solutions can review sales calls to spot emerging trends and recurring patterns.

The most visited concepts and frequently asked questions can be collated into decks that sales reps can improve the buying experience.

Identify areas for sales coaching

Your sales team has multiple sales reps who have their own areas of expertise. By comparing their strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas that they need training on.

A study by G2 discovered that 84% of sales executives cited content search and utilization as the top productivity improvement area. 

Sales coaching is instrumental as sales have moved from a transactional conversation to a relationship. Investing in a training program that empowers your sales team improves their confidence and helps them sell better.

Scale winning strategies

According to HubSpot, about 53% of sales reps rank their peers as the most important source of learning. 

The best tool to motivate your sales team is to showcase their best wins. Creating a sales call playbook helps you promote your best wins across your team. It creates a collaborative environment where your sales reps learn from each other and grow.

By giving a shout-out to winning approaches, you help set transparent expectations from your sales reps and inspire them to go the extra mile.

On a final note

Tracking your sales vitals and regularly updating your process based on the findings is key to maintaining healthy sales vitals. Turning to data helps you anticipate emerging trends, train your sales force in advance, and outperform your competitors easily. 

Sales analytics and sales enablement together can help you enhance the experience your salespeople offer to prospects. It is instrumental in streamlining your process, discovering ways to improve it so that your sales reps have more to keep sales conversations going and build long-standing relationships.

Are you ready to boost the sales productivity of your team with sales enablement and analytics?