Look around on the internet. Everywhere you see there’s that word— sales productivity. Day in and day out, we’re finding ways to be productive at work, let alone be more productive. While much of it depends on our commitment to be efficient at our job despite our surroundings, distractions, colleagues, and social media, without the right tools at our disposal we're just chasing our tails.
If you’re a sales manager looking for ways to help your sales teams be productive, or if you’re a sales rep looking to make yourself productive, you’re in the right place on the internet.
Sales productivity is broadly defined as the rate at which sales reps acquire revenue for business. Now for your business to increase revenue, sales teams have to increase productivity. How? By becoming effective at selling. For a lot of sales teams eliminating redundant and mundane tasks is the increasing problem today. Sales reps are pushed to perform certain administrative tasks, follow a sales cadence, manage pipelines, generate performance reports, etc., that they’ve lost sight of their original skill—selling. While your business can’t compromise on better sales management, you definitely can find ways to enable your reps to sell better; empower them with the right sales tools, define your sales process, establish best practices, and provide sales trainings.
According to a study by InsideSales.com, the fundamental problem for sales reps is time management. The study found that sales reps spent only 35.2% of their time selling and 65% on everything else. The majority of sales reps time (61.7%) was spent in sales technology. Although CRM being their foundational system, it was found that only 18% of sales reps’ time was spent in CRM. What could be possibly wrong there?
For a while now, CRMs claim to increase productivity for sales teams. While the truth is they do, not all CRMs are equipped with the right set of features to enable sales reps to be productive. In the study, sales reps reported that 9.7% of their time is spent using spreadsheets as a more effective alternative to manage their CRM related tasks. This is counter-productive, but is the reality for many.
Majority of CRM systems compel users to integrate with third-party tools and bear the mounting costs in addition to juggling multiple tools. Without the right guidance, it’s reasonable for buyers to be lulled into a belief that any CRM can help their users become more productive. Unfortunately, not all CRMs are designed with improving the sales rep’s productivity in mind. Even the high-priced over bloated CRMs such as Salesforce and MS Dynamics with all the bells and whistles can be a bad choice. Especially, if you don’t use it to the fullest. Productivity, counter-intuitively, is not about having more in order to help you do more.
Here are five essential hacks that a CRM system must have to improve your sales team’s productivity.
Data entry defeats the purpose of your CRM tool. But ironically, this is still a basic requirement today because plenty of CRMs don’t fulfill this capability for sales teams. Why should CRM help you avoid data entry—because 29% of salespeople spend an hour or more on data entry every day (Source: State of Inbound 2018). A good CRM software allows you to automate some of your daily tasks, and the best one will let you automate even 95% of sales tasks.
Email and phone are the most used methods of communication for sales teams. Imagine going in and out of your CRM frequently to access your emails. Quite the time killer. Now imagine the same when you need to call prospects. It’s undoubtedly the most ineffective way for teams to operate on a daily basis. Find a CRM that comes with the two most basic functions so you don’t have to work outside of your sales tool.
Mobile access to a CRM increases sales force productivity by an average of 14.6% (Source: Nucleus). That’s reason enough to pick a CRM that’s compatible with mobile to enable your team to sell anywhere, anytime. Most CRMs come with a mobile app. The smart choice is not to pick any mobile CRM but choose one that enables you to work smarter and faster in the palm of your hand.
Without reports, businesses have no frame of reference to make decisions and take appropriate actions. Although buyers look at this feature as solvable by third-party tools, the grunt work—export data, filter data, create charts, share with team—can take up hours of your time. It’s far easier and effective to have the CRM create your business reports. The best ones even offer a live dashboard to view your reports right off the bat.
Sales, opportunities, deals. Whatever you want to call it, that’s what it all comes down to. CRM software give sales reps a systematic approach to close deals. Modern systems allow you to customize the stages in your sales pipeline to align with your sales process. Data accessibility for sales teams shortens the sales cycle by 8-14% (Source: Nucleus). And the best CRM offers the benefit of visualizing deals along with the capability to access information directly from the pipeline view.
If your CRM enables you to achieve all of this without having to integrate with other systems, and without burning a hole in your pocket, then you’re good to go. But if it doesn’t, here is a starting point.
Meet Freshsales, a sales CRM that takes care of mundane activities like lead discovery, automating repetitive tasks, and prioritizing leads. This way reps can focus on their calls, managers can maximize sales performance, and everyone can contribute to that key goal: closing more deals.
What's the bane of a salesperson? Spending half your time in mundane activities like data entry and sending template emails, when you could be spending that time on calls and strengthening relationships with your leads. Intelligent workflows help you address this issue. You identify triggers (like a new lead signing up on your website), decide on follow-up actions (like sending a welcome email) and create rules to connect the two. These rules become your workflows and your way to productivity.
Integrate your email (Gmail, Office 365 and just about any email client) with Freshsales to send and receive emails using the CRM. Emails are synced across both platforms so your sales reps don’t have to juggle multiple tools. Use the extended capabilities of the email feature to create unlimited templates with placeholders, track opens and clicks, auto-create leads from emails, and even send bulk emails. Built-in phone powered by Freshcaller enables sales reps to engage in contextual conversations, view all phone conversations in the CRM, and make calls in one-click.
Most sales CRMs don't make it easy to capture leads from your web forms. You end up creating another form so it's convenient for the CRM to do the sync-up. Or you could be spending money and time on developers to build a bridge between your sales CRM and the web form. None of these things happen with Smartforms. Use your existing web form to connect with the CRM and automatically capture all signups as brand new leads in Freshsales. There’s more; new leads' profiles are automatically enriched with their social media information, photo, activity on your website and lead score. Save time collecting and entering leads manually for sales reps to start selling faster.
Build and define your pipelines with Freshsales. Use the visual pipeline to forecast your revenue, filter and sort deals, and customize your views. Sales reps can perform actions—drag and drop deals across stages, call and email, create tasks and appointments—in the pipeline view itself. As for reporting, Freshsales comes with built-in reporting capabilities that allow you to create just about any report for your business. Measure the sales team’s activities, see your sales trendlines, report across modules, and create your own dashboard of your key metrics for quick insights into your business performance.
Get a 360° view of leads, contacts, accounts, and deals
Update lead and deal status real-time
Email and call your leads
Create voice notes, tasks, and appointments
Use your calendar to set meetings and calls
Stay updated on tasks and reminders with push notifications
Use Google Maps to navigate to your next meeting
Book a ride with Uber
Freshsales has been helping sales teams of all sizes across the world to improve their everyday productivity. From capturing leads to closing deals, set up your sales team for success by giving them time to do what they do best—sell. Sign-up for a 30-day free trial and see what Freshsales can do for your team.
And they have lovely things to say about us
“Freshsales helps us become better at our day-to-day tasks. Having automated nearly 95% of our sales tasks, we’ve improved our productivity by 10X!”
“Our CRM ideology is simple: save time, improve productivity. Within the first six months after adopting Freshsales, we’ve increased our productivity by 80% and gained 10X sales visibility.”
“With Freshsales, we’ve cut down reporting time by 60%. We can generate reports at any point in time, and summarize information 10X faster than before. This has immensely improved our productivity.”
“Lead auto-enrichment, email integration, bulk email, and email tracking has really improved our sales team’s productivity by more than 30% .”