How much time are your inside sales reps really spending selling? A few years back, I read a study saying that average sales reps only spend 35% of their time selling. My first thought was, “that can’t be right!” But think about it – how much time do your sales reps spend entering data into Salesforce, browsing prospects’ social media feeds, leaving voicemails and creating their own sales materials? Unfortunately, the answer is probably “way too much time.”
We know that even the most efficient sales reps have to spend a certain percentage of their time on administrative tasks. But think of how powerful it could be if every rep on your team could spend just one extra hour of each day actually selling. That’s 20 hours a month of sales time per rep. If your sales team is 50 reps deep, that’s 1,000 more hours a month of extra sales time. Make no mistake about it – ramping up sales productivity can be the shortest path to ROI.
Here are 5 ways that you can help your reps gain back valuable sales time and close more deals as a result.
Every minute a rep spends trying to decide who to call is one minute they aren’t selling. It pays to help your reps prioritize leads. This not only can save them time deliberating between who to call, but it also enables reps to spend more time selling to the hottest prospects.
One way to do this is to share real-time marketing automation data with reps. Marketing automation tools like Marketo and Pardot offer views for sales reps that help them prioritize who to call based on lead scores and trigger events (such as filling out a form or downloading an eBook). Another way to help reps hit the ground running is for managers to create pre-prioritized lead views in Salesforce. This enables outbound prospectors to power through lists without wondering who to dial next.
For the most part, sales reps should not be creating their own content. Research shows that sales reps spend 35 hours every month searching for and creating their own content. Even if your reps are spending half this long, it’s a giant productivity killer. When sales reps are creating their own content, it usually means one of two things. Either marketers aren’t creating the right content for salespeople, or reps can’t find the content they need. The quickest way to solve both of these problems is by using Salesforce Content. As someone who has worked on both the sales and marketing side, I can’t speak highly enough about this tool. Marketers can use Salesforce Content to set up searchable libraries full of content that can help sales reps close deals. Not only does it make it extremely easy for sales reps to find the right content to provide prospects with, but it also enables marketers to track which content is actually being used to close deals.
If we’re being honest, most reps have a love-hate relationship with their CRM. Reps love being able to quickly access valuable data about prospects like their sales history and past communications. But few sales reps enjoy logging data in their CRM after a call. One of the best ways to get sales time back is by automatically capturing as much data in your CRM as possible. We’re currently helping our customers log every call, in-depth call metrics, call recordings and more in Salesforce automatically. The result is that sales reps don’t have to break their flow after a call to manually enter a lot of data in their CRM. Instead, they’re free to quickly dial their next prospect.
Your reps are probably spending a lot more of their time leaving voicemails than you think. The typical sales voicemail lasts around 30 seconds. If a rep leaves even 25 voicemails a day, that’s over an hour a week. And in many industries, sales reps leave well over 100 voicemails in a single day. Voicemail automation can be an easy way to give sales reps more time to sell. Revenue.io’s voicemail automation tool enables reps to leave perfectly recorded voicemail greetings with just one click. Our customers who are using this feature are saving hours of sales time every month.
When inside sales reps have to prospect for their own leads, follow up with leads from marketing, ensure current customers are successful and close deals, productivity is bound to suffer. Specializing reps by role is a great way to maximize productivity, since switching from role to role is a productivity killer. It saves a lot of time when prospectors can spend all of their time honing their prospecting skills, lead response reps only have to follow up with inbound leads from marketing campaigns and account executives can spend all of their time closing deals. This also enables managers to provide reps with tools that make reps more productive within their roles. For example, we provide our customers with tools that help prospectors connect with more outbound leads, as well as tools that empower inbound reps convert more callers into customers.
Find out more about sales role specialization in our latest eBook.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.