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Part III: Experts on Sales Efficiency

In parts I and II of this series, we took a specific look at how several sales leaders in various fields answered this question: What is the number one way to improve the efficiency of your sales team?

Those answers represented many points of view—actions and tactics that proved successful in the experience of individual respondents. In this third and final installment, we'll step back, look at the big picture and try to detect any trends or common threads running through nearly three-dozen responses.

To do so, it is necessary to make some judgments about where to place these very specific answers. It seems logical that even the most specific and detailed of responses can be traced back to one of these general buckets: Motivation, Hiring/Training, Sales Process, and Management/Coaching.

For starters, here's the big picture: All 34 sales leaders' response to "what is the #1 way to improve the efficiency of your sales team?" distilled into a short statement.

  1. Proper training, reinforcement and observation
  2. Motivation
  3. Leverage personality style of each salesperson
  4. Teach basic concepts of time management and emotional intelligence
  5. Strict accountability
  6. Provide better data
  7. Motivation
  8. Motivation
  9. Weekly one-one-one meetings
  10. Streamline reporting
  11. Implement a sales management rhythm
  12. Use behavior profiling to match reps with right roles
  13. Hire terrific sales reps
  14. Set specific goals and follow up
  15. Minimize non-sales activities and be open-minded about technology and software
  16. Make sure reps are working with useful and productive leads
  17. Increase customer referrals
  18. Maintain a 360-degree view of the customer
  19. Creates a strong sales process that catches mistakes and shortcuts
  20. Continuous culture improvement in the organization
  21. Have a CRM system that helps reps track leads and opportunities
  22. Give constant feedback
  23. Teach reps to talk less and listen more
  24. Empowering and incentivizing
  25. Get them to work as a team
  26. Assess sales team's sales enablement efforts
  27. Not more leads, but better leads
  28. Equip reps with the necessary tools to sell
  29. Minimize non-sales activities and create a very specific path to follow
  30. Ensure that reps truly understand their product or service
  31. Give reps opportunities to win, acknowledge them publicly when they do, pay them accordingly
  32. Build a team with the right players
  33. Integrate sales with marketing and customer service
  34. Ask them to do only one thing—sell.

The next step was to make some judgments about where to place each of the specific responses within our general category framework. This is what that effort yielded.

Motivation: 5

Hiring/Training: 5

Sales Process: 11

Management and Coaching: 13

Clearly, judgments about where a given response belonged were arbitrary, and occasionally arguments could be made for placement in either of a couple of categories. Of course, all of this is very informal and unstructured.

Still, nearly 40% of the respondents indicated that management/coaching was the number one way to improve sales efficiency. .

There is no silver bullet here. No insight that answers for all time and in call cases, "What's the number one way to improve the efficiency of your sales team?" But there is within this survey and its findings, perhaps a new starting point—a fresh perspective about what a narrow slice of sales leaders think about sales efficiency and how to get more of it.

Efficiency is our middle name.

Ok, it's not. But we are really good at sales efficiency.

Learn more now

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