Looking to Boost Sales Productivity in 2017? Look Here.

By Megan Virtanen (@MichiFinn12)

Looking to Boost Sales Productivity in 2017?

By this time of year, your white board is brimming with a list of challenges you need to tackle this year.  Chief among them: increasing your sales organization’s productivity.

A CSO Insights study has shown that companies who focus on sales enablement report a 10.2% higher revenue performance than companies who leave their sales organization to their own devices.  But where do you start?  What is the best path to success for your organization?

Well, here are 5 key steps you can follow to start enabling your sales org.

5-step guide to improving the performance of your sales organization

While increasing sales productivity is not limited to these 5 steps, they have proven to positively affect the sales capacity in companies that use them as a guide.

Step #1: Start at the top.

Increasing sales productivity and effectiveness will need to be treated as a holistic business initiative, not just a platform or technology purchase. Therefore, increasing sales performance can require buy-in from multiple stakeholders across the organization, so the earlier you can get your teams on the same page, the better. Before you get started with your program, gather the heads of your departments and get their buy in: sales, marketing, IT to name a few, but it may vary based on your organization’s structure.  Sales enablement has a direct impact on your bottom line; make sure it is seen as a priority across the entire company.

Step #2: Focus on onboarding and training.

Sure, you seek to hire top talent. But talent can only go so far if your onboarding and training processes are rocky! Put emphasis on creating strong onboarding programs that help reps get up-to-speed quickly and effectively. As a bonus, reinforce this onboarding and training with technology! Doing so can increase the retention of new knowledge that is often lost during the training process.

Step #3: Empower reps with content.

SiriusDecisions recently uncovered that sellers are spending 20 hours a month searching for, editing, creating or managing content they need in the sales cycle. This is a problem, because these are precious hours that should be used in front of clients! The good news is that marketing is usually cranking out lots of content.  You just need to make sure they’re creating the right resources and that those resources are making their way into the hands of your sellers in a way that reinforces their sales training and processes.  If you haven’t pushed your marketing team to deliver better, more targeted content that truly empowers your sales organization, now’s the time.

Step #4: Streamline seller connectivity.

Another study by SiriusDecisions revealed that 65% of content created by marketing is never used by sales.  65%!  So how can sellers search for something they don’t even know exists?  Give your sellers the information they need when they need it so that they can connect with and inspire your prospects and customers. Also, allow your content to be customizable.  Many sellers spend their time on the road and think in the moment so ensuring they have easy, instant access to the most recent and relevant content is crucial to their success.  Connecting your sellers to what they need when they need it will increase user adoption which is critical to your ROI.

Step #5: Close the loop.

Use data-driven insights so your organization knows what is working and what is not.  Analytics will allow you to standardize a winning sales strategy and direct that intel to the beginning of the process when you hire and train talent.  With every cycle, you’ll have a better understanding of your sales process, setting your entire organization up for success.

So, back to that whiteboard…. increasing sales productivity this year: check.  If only the other challenges on your white board were this easy to tackle.

Looking for additional tips to get your sales enablement program off the ground? Check out our latest eBook: Unlock the Power of Sales Enablement!

Megan Virtanen
About the Author: Megan Virtanen
Megan has spent the better part of her career as a tech marketer and understands the complex sale that sellers at tech companies often navigate. Her passion for enabling the sales teams she’s worked with at TomTom, PTC, Xively (a division of LogMeIn) and now SAVO flows through in the content she crafts. Megan is an expert in Finnish cuisine and has hiked Jostedalsbreen (Jostedals Glacier) in Norway. When not perfecting her Karelian Piirakka (a yummy savory Finnish pie), Megan can help your sellers have more effective conversations throughout your buyer’s journey.

1 Comment

  1. Brooke Harper on March 28, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Nice article, Megan! This is a great place to start for my team as we go for 2017 with the hopes of achieving our sales goals. Thanks for sharing!

    Brooke Harper
    http://www.tenfold.com

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