Whether at work or home, being productive is something we all strive to be. To measure it, you might consider how fast you complete a task. But does that apply to career fields like sales? The answer is yes, but not entirely.

From how many loaves of bread a baker can cook a day. To how fast a hairstylist can give a haircut. Productivity is measured through different key performance indicators (KPIs).

Sales productivity indicates how fast/well salespeople can achieve KPIs per work hour. Today, we'll talk about what productivity in sales is, how to measure it, and how you can improve your team's performance with four proven strategies. Interested?, Let's start!

What is sales productivity?

According to economics expert Will Kenton, productivity is the output per unit of input, such as labor, capital, or any other resource.

In the context of business, productivity represents the rate at which a company is able to produce or sell a good/service according to time, resources, and processes available.

Sales productivity measures how efficient and effective sales teams are at generating revenue. In other words, how fast salespeople are at achieving business targets given their resources and internal processes.

Why is productivity critical to business success?

Sales productivity rate influences the profitability of businesses. If sales teams aren't productive, they don’t produce enough results to cover companies' costs and efforts. Resulting, in some cases, in negative investments for companies.

As a result, the more efficient and effective your salesforce is, the more productive they are at performing their job and yielding results for your company.

How to measure sales productivity?

To measure the productivity of your sales department, you need to look at the different types of processes your team is using. Once all processes are identified, pinpoint the most relevant KPIs to measure your team's performance.

Here are some examples according to job function:

✅ Sales Development Representative

SDRs are responsible for initiating the sales cycle. To measure their performance, choose metrics that best track the success of their tasks, such as reply rate in cold email campaigns, demo meeting acceptance rates, and time spent qualifying leads.

✅ Account Executive

AEs are all about bringing new customers into your company. To measure their productivity, select KPIs that directly correlate with their work. Some examples are time spent developing proposals, number of calls taken, number of proposals sent, and close rate.

✅ Customer Success Representative

CS reps are responsible for growing and expanding ongoing customer accounts. To measure their performance, focus on the number of calls taken, upsell, and cross-sell rates.

✅ Sales Manager

Managers help hire, train, motivate, and guide sales to achieve quarterly and yearly business goals. To measure their performance, opt for KPIs that track their primary responsibilities. Some examples are time spent measuring rep performance, time used coaching new and existing reps, and time allocated creating and updating internal best practices.

4 Strategies to increase sales team productivity

There are many ways you can boost sales efficiency. Today we'll discuss the top four ways you can improve your sales team's productivity.

1. Align Sales with Marketing and Product Teams

A way to improve productivity in sales is by aligning sales operations with marketing and product teams.

✨ Marketing and Sales

One of the biggest challenges companies face when sales and marketing don't work together is wasted resources. According to Forrest's research, the silo of marketing and sales departments leads to 60-70% of B2B content not being used and 75% of marketing leads never converting into a sale.

When marketing and sales teams work together, research shows they are more likely to exceed revenue goals. Why? Because they focus efforts on the same set of accounts within the market. In other words, they work for the same goal/target.

With the alignment of sales and marketing, companies can generate better leads and create more relevant content to use during the buyer's journey. Not surprisingly, this leads to higher productivity rates as higher quality leads and sales content accelerate pipeline generation.

🌈 Product and Sales

A barrier to company success is the misalignment of departmental goals and operations. Although sales and product teams cannot work together the same way marketing and sales can, collaboration between both departments is vital for business growth.

When salespeople communicate with prospects, they are able to identify what pain points and needs potential customers are looking to solve. When this information is not shared, or the product team doesn't respond to it accordingly because they don't see it as a priority, opportunities to close or provide more value to customers are wasted.

To Tony Ulwick, "This misalignment results in inefficiencies, slower time to market, and ultimately, a greater likelihood of failure. More importantly, internal misalignment offers competitors an opportunity to deliver a better solution first."

As a result, product and sales teams need to work together. Not only to align priorities and define customer needs. But also to develop more competitive and successful solutions.

Doing so will help your team improve productivity - as more competitive solutions offer reps less friction to close.

2. Automate workflows

According to Mckinsey, over 30% of sales tasks can be automated. However, only one in four businesses automate sales processes.

Sales automation tools help sales teams automate processes by reducing manual and repetitive tasks. For instance, do you want to minimize time outreaching prospects? An email automation platform might help. On the other hand, if you want to facilitate scheduling meetings, an automated meeting scheduler is the answer. The point is that many tools are available to accelerate processes and boost revenue growth.

Start by evaluating which processes use most of your reps' days and optimize operations with the appropriate tools. This will help your sales team accelerate operations and improve productivity throughout the sales cycle.

3. Centralize data

Imagine starting a job and not being given guidance into internal processes. Do you ask management for training? Or do you fake it until you make it?

To many professionals, this is a complete nightmare and something your team should never go through.

Sales teams deal with a tremendous amount of data, from thousands of contacts to different types of documents. Many elements come into play in sales operations.

To reduce misunderstandings, create one source of truth for all data. Centralize information and provide access to playbooks, CRM, pitch decks, and other relevant work tools to improve transparency and visibility across your team.

This will help solidify your sales processes and reduce unnecessary guesswork for your reps.

4. Measure and Improve Performance

Another way to improve sales productivity is by analyzing and correcting ongoing processes.

Measure how your reps communicate and interact with potential customers. Analyze and compare operations according to previously given KPIs and once all processes are assessed, identify the best-performing techniques and update internal best practices.

Improve Sales Productivity with Thumb

Thumb helps sales teams automate tasks, collaborate, centralize data in CRM, and improve sales strategy with conversational analytics. Invite Thumb to your calls to record, transcribe, and summarize sales interactions automatically. And get strategic insights about your customers, product, and competitors.

Make your sales team more efficient and effective. Surface the most effective selling techniques, update your sales playbook, reduce performance gaps between reps, and close more deals faster with Thumb.

Learn more at thumb.is or get a free demo here.