Recently I was asked about the best sales productivity tools for a sales team. Sales leadership is a role constantly under the gun. More closes, more revenue and more growth As a result they are compelled to drive more and more out of their teams. They ask “How do I squeeze greater performance out of my teams?” So do you just keep pumping your team full of productivity tools like PEDs to a professional athlete? Or is getting greater results often times about something else?
Professional sales is about creating value. Value for the customer and value for the employer. Tools that multiply value creation for each party to the relationship are what you should try and identify. That doesn’t necessarily mean CRM. It means tools that elevate a reps game at each stage of the sales cycle. You should first take a look at your sale process/funnel and see where you are bottlenecking. Is it getting interest, first appointments or second appointments? Can you never get past a demo or actually close the deal? That determines where you need to help the value creation process.
Value for the customer is supporting the buying process and allowing your company to be viewed as the most credible and valuable source of decision forming information. By providing tools to surface needs and inform the thinking of your prospect. By the time your prospect gets around to buying, your solution should look exactly like what they believe they need to buy. These are sales engagement tools that you to “play back” what you heard and influence the requirements of the customer. Early on they are oriented around business issues and solution components; later on they are confirming and focus on proof like ROI and references.
Value for the company is closing the right deals with velocity and volume. Supporting the reps with above tools is step 1. Step 2 is disciplined and insightful deal coaching done on a consistent basis. The weekly forecast! Done with care for the rep and their performance improvement and with structure that maps to your sales process it’s one of the single most important “tools” you can put in place. Companies create scale with great forecast discipline, and smolder without it. So change your view to one of creating more value instead of more productivity and you’re bound to get both!
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