How to Increase Your Sales Efficiency in 90 Days: Updated for 2020

June 17, 2020

Now more than ever productivity and efficiency are important. I would make the argument that productivity is the outcome of efficiency and that the goal is to be more efficient and effective in your job, thus being more productive. So we should then focus on the root of productivity, being efficient. Effective is important too, you cannot forgo efficacy for efficiency, but if you’re being effective. We need to find ways to do more of it.

Time, effort, and attention are all non-renewable resources, we must make the most of them.

These are imperatives for a truly effective revenue generating organization.

In 2018 we posted this guide with 4 main points

  1. Qualify your leads
  2. Reduce the time needed to develop sale leads
  3. Increase Conversion Rate
  4. Increase Average Order Value

Now, these are all still good points of advice, but over the last 2 years, we’ve developed a deeper and better approach and have a greater impact on efficiency and result in development of a strategic sales plan.

Sales will always and forever be a balance in time and effort. There are always people who need what you’re selling, but they may or may not be looking for it or even be aware they need it yet. Sale’s job is to help them in that journey. Now, the biggest struggle is balancing the effort of being too much or too little to help someone get to this understanding.

1. Make sure you’re clear on your ICP.

First and foremost, if we’re talking about efficiency, we need to make sure that we’re at least talking to people who can benefit from what we do. Thus extreme clarity on your ICP (Ideal customer profile) is important.

If you’re trying to sell Ice to an Eskimo, you’re probably going to be wasting a lot of time

Focus on talking only to people who can benefit what you sell and speak directly to them in their language.

2. Measure Lead Quality

All leads are not created equal. A lack of efficiency can be when reps are spending too much time on unqualified or underqualified leads and missing opportunities to talk to the most qualified leads who are most likely to make a decision.

The quality of your leads can be measured a number of different ways, but the most important and quickest way is through conversion metrics and lead scoring.

Conversion Metrics

These will show you where your process and skills are the weakest when you see a large drop off between different stages in the buyer’s decision-making process.

Best practice suggests looking back at the data and sees how your best-performing ICP customers (now), went through the process and then compare your existing funnel and prospects. This should identify points of friction in lead qualification, conversation quality, and create a dynamic sales process.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring applies a value to profile, activities, and actions taken by the lead. Weighted scores are assigned to different actions based on how much intent for purchase might be indicated by the action. These actions and scores are aggregated to total that allows for a ranking system of a lead’s quality compared to others.

This allows reps to prioritize the best and most qualified leads who are the most engaged first.

All Leads are not created equal, find the ones that best resemble your best-performing ICP and prioritize them.

3. Quality Interactions over the Quantity of interactions.

Sales Tools and automation has made it easier than ever to put a highly powerful tool in the unskilled hands. Email, linkedin, and social media interactions are diluted with meaningless interactions. Quality stands apart and is transparent.

100 mediocre emails are better than 1000 bad ones, which are both worse than 20 amazing ones.

Focus on quality first. Then figure out how to scale it.

4. But Quantity also matters.

You can’t take so few shots that you go hungry.

In a world where Account-Based Activity/Sales/Marketing is all the rage (and rightfully so because as we mentioned spam is diluting every message out there), it’s important to know that volume does matter when it comes to sales.

Just because you target an account that can benefit from what you do, doesn’t mean you can will a sale into existence. Companies have contracts and relationships and many times are just lazy or stubborn. So don’t sell yourself on someone who isn’t willing to change and make sure you’re speaking your efforts around.

I think of sales like planting seeds to grow your own food but you have limited water (water here is your time, it’s limited but nothing happens without it). You know the seed should grow if you water it. But the reality is that not every seed will result in an adult plant that you can eat and survive. You can’t water all of them or else you’ll run out of water and nothing will grow, but you can’t only water a few of them because some might not grow at all and you’ll go hungry. So you must strike a balance and water just enough of them so that your best chance at eating.

5. Automate what can be safely automated.

Automation is powerful and must be used effectively. These days there is a piece of software for everything. If you had an unlimited budget would you want unlimited tools? All of the shiny toys? The answer is no, because its all about how/if the team’s use them that adds value to the process.

Some sales teams use sales automation tools incredibly effectively, while others are burning leads and diminishing their chances at a deal no and in the future.

Where some have a nurture process that automatically reminds them to follow up or even do it for them, other’s are so burned by the step-by-step process of the tool stack that they are paralyzed and start using spreadsheets again or ignore the tool altogether.

Automation is like perfume or cologne, a little goes a long way. The most effective uses are small and barely noticeable and if you’re noticing it too much, then it’s probably overwhelming.

Final Thoughts

These can be easily forgot in the chaos of the day to day and the urgency of the moment, but if you’re ever seeing an underperforming sales org or you want to take the existing one to the next level focus on these 5 areas.

  1. Focus on talking only to people who can benefit what you sell and speak directly to them in their language.
  2. All Leads are not created equal, find the ones that best resemble your best-performing ICP and prioritize them over the others.  
  3. Focus on quality first. Then figure out how to scale it.
  4. Quantity matters. You need to plant and water enough seeds to be able to eat.
  5. When it comes to automation, a little goes a long way.

If you’re looking for some assistance with that 90-day strategy, we have the resources you need to succeed. Request a consultation and we’ll let you know how we can help.

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