How to Maximize Efficiency of a Small Sales Team | 7 Tips

Posted by Nate Fuller on Sat, Aug 24, 2019

Maximize-small-sales-team

Whether you’re a startup working through a product launch, or a large enterprise operating a small division, there will probably come a point where find yourself in the catch 22 of business growth: You need more accounts to fund a sales team, but you need more sales from your current team to get there. It’s through these growing pains that efficiency is paramount in your sales process. We’ve been helping companies overcome challenges like this for over 30 years, and we’ve got some tips to share from this experience.

 

7 Tips for Maximum Sales Efficiency:

Even if your ‘team’ is a single person, you can still apply the following tips to maximize efficiency, get leads in the door, and close deals. If you need help with any of these, don’t hesitate to give us a shout — we promise to be nice.

 

1. Get Yourself a CRM

Before you read the next tips, you should get a CRM. If you’re using a CRM to manage your leads and customers, then you’re off to a great start. If you aren’t, there are free options out there to get you started. Just take the time to shop around for what works best for your organization. Make sure you consider how you plan to scale, and what your needs are for your various departments. Changing systems is no small feat, and an unnecessary expense, so talk to an expert if you have any doubts or questions. Okay, now that you have a CRM implemented, we can move forward.

 

2. Use Sequences

Sequences are available in many CRMs, though the name can vary by platform. If you’re using HubSpot like many of our clients, Sequences are available in Sales Professional and above. It comes at a cost, but it is worth it if you use the tool effectively. So, what are sequences and why are they so great?

Sequence Basics:

  • Build an automated string of actions (templated emails, call tasks, social media tasks, etc.) with your desired timing between each action.
  • Enroll a prospect or customer.
  • Customize your email templates and the cadence of your sales outreach for each prospect.

With sequences you can automate a large part of your sales outreach process, allowing more time for prospecting and growing your network! Note that sequences are different from automated marketing nurtures. Sequences contain personalized sales emails which are manually sent from a rep on a 1:1 basis, rather than bulk emails blasted to a target audience. This means that sequences are safe to use on prospects who may be opted out of marketing communication or opted out due to other restrictions. We love HubSpot Sequences and SharpSpring Sales Optimizer, and we would be happy to walk you through the use of either.

 

3. Prioritize Your Tasks

Great salespeople are extremely organized. With hundreds of prospects, conversations, tasks, and other duties at work, it can be hard to keep track of what’s important.

Here’s how we prioritize:

  • Sales reps create daily goals and monthly goals. Make sure these sync up.
  • Never leave for the day without addressing all open tasks on your list. Even if it means pushing the due dates out, make sure there are no tasks left behind.
  • Maintain focus on revenue-driving activities whenever possible.

4. Utilize Lead Scoring

Using a lead scoring system in your CRM is a great way to manage incoming leads and ensure that your sales team is only spending time on prospects with high potentials to close.

At its most basic level, lead scoring entails:

  • A point system, which awards points to a lead when they complete certain actions or activities.
  • An optimal score threshold that indicates a lead is sufficiently qualified for sales outreach (ex. "If a prospect earns 50 points, they are qualified for sales outreach").
  • Automated notifications and assignments to sales reps when a prospect crosses your minimum score threshold.

Interactions with emails, web pages, forms, social media posts, digital ads, and more can contribute to a prospect's score, allowing the entire qualification process to live in the hands of automation. This means when your sales reps first touch base with a prospect they are familiar with your brand and are most likely a majority of the way through the buyer's journey.


5. Use Effective Internal Communication

The best sales teams have powerful and helpful internal resources, and they're encouraged to use them. As Jill Fratianne, our HubSpot Channel Account Manager, said in our Hitting Sales Goals webinar, “You can’t sell on an island”. With the proper support, sales reps are empowered to stay organized and motivated. We outlined in tip #3 that daily and monthly goals are important for success. It's equally important to communicate these goals to colleagues and managers to improve accountability.

 

6. Be Direct and Transparent with Prospects

Although direct questions and answers aren't always easy to come by in sales conversations, you're doing yourself a disservice by not advocating for them. Your funnel doesn't fill with "somedays" and "maybes", it fills with concrete dates, RFQs, and dollars amounts. So how do you ensure your sales process is operating this way? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Assign a dollar amount to every prospect appointment, even if you need to ballpark it.
  • Never leave a meeting without scheduling the next one, or without assigning homework to the prospect.
  • Ask about budgets. It has to come up at some point, and the sooner you understand the range, the better you will understand the scope of the project.
  • Give your prospects deadlines, and/or expiration dates on your quotes.

7. Encourage Routines

Routines are the secret weapon in every great sales person's arsenal. Consistently setting and completing tasks, following up with prospects, and achieving internal goals makes failing harder than succeeding. Some of our sales team's routines include:

  • Clearing all tasks before end-of-day (mentioned in tip 3).
  • Owning and maintaining your deals in the funnel. This helps remind you of prospects needing followup, and keeps your pipeline squeaky clean.
  • Designated calling times each day/week. If you have calls at other times that's great, but this way you remain accountable.

 

Successful modern sales processes are invariably different from the 'old' way of doing sales. Sales people need to understand how to cut through the clutter without becoming a part of the clutter, and realize that long-term relationships have infinitely more value than one-off sales and quick wins. Use the above tips to get your sales team operating efficiently and reach your sales and growth goals.

 

Get our Sales Pipeline Guide to plan an attainable sales pipeline and achieve your growth goals! 

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About Launch Team, Inc.

We are a multi-dimensional, highly focused marketing firm that has helped companies in technical and engineering-driven industries succeed. We've been doing this for over 30 years, increasing and improving our offerings along the way. Our team's backgrounds include optics, chemistry, biology paired with a core business and marketing focus. This allows our team a unique understanding of your business, the decision makers you work with, and the engineers who will evaluate your solution.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Internal Communication, Sales