Let Your Closers Close: How to Make Your Sales Team More Productive

Posted by LinkedSelling in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights

Your sales team could be selling more.

Did you know that InsideSales found that salespeople on average spend 60% of their time on tasks that aren't actually selling?

This brings into question what types of tasks your sales team is actually be doing. Here’s the problem: Good sales talent is hard to find and if they’re only spending 30% of their time on actually closing sales, is that the best use of their time (and your budget)?

This blog post will show you how to build out a sales development team that allows your closers to focus on what they’re best at: closing.

First, let’s take a look at what sales teams actually spend their time on.

In most cases, they’re doing lead gen, prospecting, and admin work. Incredibly, according to Hubspot, sales people actually spend 66% of their day on admin tasks.

Frankly, that is a shocking statistic. Your sales team is a valuable asset that needs to use its experience and skills to close sales. Not prospecting. Not doing admin work. Your sales team needs to be the hunter, not the gatherer and you need to provide support for them to be able to focus on hunting, or in other words, on spending more time on using their talent to close sales.

Outreach.io agrees,

“Since a hunter should have one job and one job only — hunting — your team should be
comprised of members in supporting roles whose job is to give your hunters the tools
they need to work as effectively as possible at all times.”

If you feel that your sales team isn’t as productive as they could be, or that they are focused on tasks other than closing, it could be indicative of a deeper problem…

Ask yourself: Is your current sales process actually standing in their way?

It may be.

Here’s why:

Sales pros spend only 36% of their time on selling-related tasks. (Salesforce)

And...

42% of sales professionals say prospecting is the hardest part of their job. The rest say it’s closing (36%) or qualifying (22%). (Hubspot)

What this means is that most B2B businesses have their sales team spending 60% of their day doing tasks that:

A. Are not the main reason they were hired.

B. Are what 60% of sales professionals struggle with the most.

So not only are your closers doing work that does not directly result in revenue, you are also risking burnout by having them do tasks that they do not fit into their core competencies.

Frankly, it’s likely that your sales team could be selling more.

You should care about this. Here’s why:

According to Forbes Agency Council, “Optimistic sales professionals outperform pessimists by 57%. That’s even true when pessimists have better selling skill sets.” (Forbes, Seligman)

If your best salespeople are spending the bulk of their day doing admin tasks, they are likely underperforming. The numbers will show.

Your closers should be closing.

Not tinkering around on LinkedIn. Not writing and sending one-off emails. Not prospecting. Not cold calling a leads list.

Overloading your sales team leads to missed opportunities and communication breakdowns with prospects.

How to Make Your Sales Team More Productive

In order for your sales team to focus on closing sales, you need to provide a way to manage prospecting and admin tasks, without bogging down your sales team’s time.  

Because of the common approach of tasking closers as both the hunter and gatherer, many businesses develop leaks in their sales pipeline. It’s no wonder that 44% of executives think their organizations are ineffective at managing their sales pipelines. (Harvard Business Review). They’ve got their sales guys focused on the wrong tasks!

If effective sales development means maximizing the productivity of your sales team, it’s worth it to look at how your sales team actually uses its time - and it might be time to consider adding lead gen and sales development support. Too many businesses hire sales reps, SDR’s, and a whole sales team with expanded job descriptions - things that distract your hunters. That will reduce your team’s productivity and their capacity to sell. Instead, you need your team to focus on what they are best at. You want them dialed in on the work you hired them for: closing. 

This means that you need to provide a way to manage prospecting and admin tasks, without bogging down your sales team’s time.

Here’s the bottom line: Effective sales development means maximizing the productivity of your sales team. You need your team to focus on what they are best at. You want them dialed in on the work you hired them for - closing. That means you need to build out your team with others who can cover the lead gen, the sales development, and the admin tasks.

The Easiest Way to Build Your Sales Development Team

As a leader in your space and in your company, you want to be able to forecast the next month, quarter, and year, so you can make plans for growth. 

You want an integrated multi-channel outbound approach that gets results and positions your brand and team as trustworthy leaders in your space. 

And you want a lot more leads with prospects that need and can afford your products and services - Without years of trial and error. 

That’s what we do here at LinkedSelling and why we should talk about your options. If you’re interested in partnering with an expert lead gen team who can do the prospecting and on behalf of your sales team, allowing them to focus on managing and closing the sale with their best leads, we should talk. 

Click below to schedule a call with our team to talk about your current lead gen approach and how we can help you streamline and ramp-up your sales development processes: https://linkedselling.com/SDTalk
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