Every sales manager wants to know how to speed up their team's efficiency. It makes sense. So where do you start? Cut out tasks that can be allocated elsewhere, of course.
On average, sales reps only spend about 22 percent of their time actually selling, according to a study by Pace Productivity published in 2013. Yet, 33 percent of their time is spent on administrative and planning tasks, completely overshadowing reps' intended job function.
Even if you're running on a bare-bones structure, there are still probably tasks you can eliminate from your team to save you on productivity costs -- and not by assigning them to another person. The answer is automation. By automating a few key processes, sales will have more time to, well, sell.
Here are a few processes your team might be wasting time on and how automating these processes make them more efficient:
1. Multiple lengthy meetings with clients.Face-time with clients is great for building rapport and engaging their interest, but it can be a big time-waster if clients aren't qualified or ready to buy.
To gauge a client's interest, initially, reach them through an introductory phone call, then send a branded marketing document. Include images, videos, and just enough information to see if they qualify. You can do this through an automated sales content builder, which lets you create and store templates for quick design.
The client might choose to buy without needing to meet in person, and request information in the same format. If they haven't open your document, it may not be worth your time to meet in person. But if they opened and still want to meet, the sales rep will then be dealing with a warm lead and has a better chance of not wasting time meeting.
2. Data entry.Gone are the days of having to manually type in client information -- if you're using document management system that integrates with your CRM.
In the past, there was no other option. Sales would spend hours updating and customizing individual proposals to match the client specifications. Now, if you choose a software that integrates with your CRM, you can auto-fill client contact information throughout the proposal.
3. Waiting for approval.Paper inboxes might be the main culprit of any blockages your team experiences in their pipelines. Deals spend a lot of time hanging out in those bins waiting for approval, unless of course they're sent electronically.
Streamline the approval process by sending them through a software which tracks workflow. Sending documents this way will create a sense of urgency for the recipient, ultimately helping them pass from hand to hand faster.
4. Talking to clients through pricing.While discussing options with clients may appear to be part of valuable relationship-building time, it can easily waste time. Why should sales spend time doing something clients can do themselves?
Instead, place pricing options right into the price quotes you send electronically. With the right software, you can set up the pricing tables to be interactive, meaning as clients choose options, it calculates the total in real-time. It can also show any discounts or promotional freebies to help coerce them into purchasing more.
5. Payment and signing time gaps.When the client is ready to buy, they shouldn't have to wait to meet with sales reps in person to sign the deal. Sales can include a credit card form within the proposal document. If the proposal involves signing, sales can set up an electronic signing order to help guide clients through the signing process.
Additionally, automating the payment process will help free up extra time sales reps currently spend processing payments. Pace Productivity's survey showed sales reps spend 12 percent of their time processing orders. The faster sales can wrap up one deal, the faster they can start on the next, overall increasing pipeline efficiency.
Streamlining these process will help your team communicate with stakeholders more efficiently and close more B2B and B2C deals faster.
What are some ways your sales team might be wasting time? Which processes could you automate at your organization? Share in the comments below!