Imagine if you could snap your fingers and give every sales rep on your team five extra hours to sell each day. Think how much more productive they could be. Some of the most successful sales operations managers have discovered how to control time, in a sense. By automating key processes, sales operations managers can increase productivity, decrease time wasted on menial tasks, and empower the reps on their team to spend hours more a day actually selling. No wonder sales operations managers are often viewed as sales superheroes!
From our latest eBook, here are three expert tips that will supercharge your sales team’s productivity.
Make no mistake, sales reps’ most valuable resource is time. According to Franco Anzini, Senior Director of Sales Operations at Xactly Corp., “The most valuable resource that a sales organization has is its number of selling days. And the productivity within those selling days should be maximized. The question sales operations has to ask is ‘how do I continue to give my salespeople more time to sell?’ And the answer is: automating sales processes whenever possible.”
Here are processes that can be automated to save reps time:
- Reduce the time reps spend writing emails by using personalized email templates
- Reduce research time by using tools that surface data about prospects and tools that provide data from CRM in the context of sales calls automatically
- Reduce dialing time by using one-click dialing solutions
- Leverage tools that automatically log calls, emails, tasks and other data in CRM automatically
- Use voicemail automation to save hours a week leaving voicemails
While automation is crucial in order to compete in today’s ultra-competitive business landscape, it’s important not to take automation too far. Unfortunately, there are a lot of sales organizations that go way too far with automated sales emails. They just send out generic blasts without adding any context around the email or providing any value. Chances are, you have probably received an email from a sales rep who didn’t take any time to uncover your unique drivers or pain points. While some amount of templatization can be beneficial for sales teams, emails should always be personalized with a clear reason for reaching out. If you are creating email templates for your sales reps, coach reps to personalize emails in order to add context.
Another way to give salespeople more time to sell is through specialization. When salespeople can laser-focus on the specific role they were hired to do, they are often far more productive. As a sales operations manager, you can then seek out tools that cater to reps in specific roles. As an example, say you have a team of sales development reps (SDRs) that spend much of their day calling prospects with the goal of setting up demos. They might benefit greatly from a tool that automatically captures call data in CRM, but they might not need a tool that automates quotes. Whereas your team of account executives (AEs) might benefit more from configure price quote (CPQ) software. Since many SaaS solutions operate on a per-seat basis, specialization not only saves time but can reduce cost when assembling a sales technology stack. But we’ll speak more about how to assemble a winning sales technology stack in a bit.
One of the best ways that sales operations can give sales reps more sales time is by prioritizing accounts for them. This can be handled manually by sales ops, though a lot of sales teams are using solutions to automatically prioritize leads. If left to their own devices, some salespeople (usually the A-players) will intrinsically choose the right accounts to target. But those middle-tier reps (i.e. most of the reps on your team) will not just hemorrhage time deciding which accounts to target, they’ll also waste time trying to contact low-priority accounts, when they could instead be selling to prospects that are far more likely to buy.
One of the most powerful ways that you can influence sales success is by providing them with lists of accounts and/or prospects to target. These lists can be prioritized based on a variety of factors including:
- Marketing lead score
- Account size
- Funding details
- Similarity to existing customers
Data tools such as Datanyze, and even sites like LinkedIn and Crunchbase provide data that can help you prioritize accounts. Some of the most successful sales operations managers go the extra mile by leveraging tools that can help reps prioritize leads in real time. Alerting reps to changes in status, content downloads, form completions or other important factors can help ensure that no sales-ready leads unnecessarily slip through the cracks. This is especially crucial for inbound sales reps, since inbound leads have a notoriously short shelf life.
For more amazing sales operations tips, check out our free eBook.