Want to take your sales operations to the next level? Of course, you do! The goal of any business is to expand revenue while creating momentum for continued growth. From a sales standpoint, the seemingly obvious approach would be to close more deals. Boosting effectiveness can improve conversion rates, but that's only half the story.
As a sales leader, you don't want your team to focus all of their attention solely on increasing their sales volume at the expense of efficiency. You also want your team to improve and streamline their sales processes, creating a noticeable change in overall efficiency.
What Is Sales Efficiency, Anyway?
Sales efficiency refers to how quickly your reps can convert leads into paying B2B customers. It measures how fast your team can move potential buyers through the sales funnel, ultimately getting you a higher return on your sales investment.
Think about it this way:
Every touchpoint a prospect experiences will cost your business money. You're paying for marketing to drum up interest, sales material to turn prospects into leads, salaries to pay representatives making cold calls, and even utilities for your office space to make it all happen. Every minute counts. The longer it takes to close a deal, the more money that sale costs your company.
Sales efficiency is about shrinking that time frame as much as possible — a quicker conversion results in a higher return. You can have two identical deals. But the one that closed faster is the one that earned a greater return. The easiest way to calculate sales efficiency is to divide your gross revenue by sales and marketing expenses during a given period. From there, you can create benchmarks to measure your sales team's ability to close deals quickly and take steps to improve. You can also look into your sales efficiency ratio to better understand how long it might take for revenue to cover the costs of getting those sales.
Sales Effectiveness vs Efficiency
When looking at sales efficiency vs. sales effectiveness, the difference comes down to what you measure. For efficiency, you're looking at the speed of your sales operations. But with sales effectiveness, it's the number of wins over losses.
An effective sales process means your team does a stellar job of turning prospects into paying customers, moving potential B2B clients through the buyer's journey without hiccups. Time is not a factor. Instead, the goal is to experience more winning moments.
Both sales effectiveness and efficiency are keys to success. You can have all the sales in the world, but if they cost your business too much time and money, it's hardly worth the trouble. The same goes for completing quick sales with hardly any volume. Your team needs both!
7 Key Steps to Cultivate Efficient B2B Sales Teams
It's one thing to understand the performance of your sales department, but doing something about it to increase efficiency is a different ballgame. If you're struggling to see improvements, here's a step-by-step guide that can hugely impact your gross revenue and profits.
1. Clearly Define North Star Objectives for Your Reps
You can't expect your sales force to make changes if they have no goals to set their sights on. The first thing you should do toward your journey to better sales efficiency is set an aspirational goal. North Star objectives are lofty yet reachable goals that help your team stay on course. It inspires them to work harder and provides a purpose for the changes they'll make.
This objective should be realistic and achievable. But, it should be challenging enough to take time. Increasing efficiency is not something your sales department can do overnight. It'll take continuous work, and that North Star goal will be the light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Invest in Training, Coaching, and Enablement
Your training efforts shouldn't stop at new sales reps. Sales are ever-changing, and there are always ways to improve. Invest in your team! Put the resources toward helping them streamlines sales operations and make those incremental improvements. Small steps can lead to massive leaps in the future, but you'll never get there if you don't invest in additional coaching.
Take time to create enablement content and give your sales reps every ounce of support they need to succeed. As a sales leader, you can't just sit back and hope that your team will do the heavy lifting. You need to be on the ground floor with them, putting in the work to assist them every step of the way.
3. Cultivate Peer-to-Peer Communication and Knowledge Sharing
Sales managers don't have all the answers! Sometimes, the best way to learn is to turn to peers. Foster an environment of shared learning. Encourage your reps to spend as much time as they can sharing ideas and enabling one another to succeed. A platform like Flockjay is a great place to start.
Capture winning moments and turn your top salespeople into educators who can drive the entire team forward. There's a lot of potential in your sales department. Make it easy for everyone to communicate and learn, and average performance can improve across the board.
4. Use a Digital Sales Room to Unify In-Person and Remote Employees
If you have sales reps working from multiple locations, it's a good idea to unify your team. That's not always possible in person if you have some representatives working remotely and others holding down the fort in the office. However, you can use digital rooms to make communication much more manageable.
Digital rooms can cultivate an environment of peer-to-peer learning, knowledge sharing, motivation, and general workplace camaraderie. When your team works and learns together, they can succeed together.
5. Synchronize Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success Teams
Most sales organizations are split into various departments. You have your sales floor, marketing team, and customer success crew who ensure that B2B clients make the most of their purchases. While it's okay for every department to work independently and focus on their respective roles, best practices say that keeping these teams in sync makes a difference.
Sales inefficiency is sometimes a byproduct of poor communication. The old model of marketing handing over leads to sales teams isn't as successful as it used to be. Nowadays, sales reps need to know what marketing is doing and vice versa. Then, all that information needs to go to customer success. The goal is to keep every team on the same page, allowing them to support one another to increase conversions and reduce funnel drop-offs.
6. Get Serious About Performance Metrics and Win / Loss Analysis
There's a good chance that your company collects a treasure trove of data about the sales process. But do you actively use it to make improvements? If not, now is the time.
Data can unlock tons of information about your operations. You can use key performance indicators to identify strengths and potential choke points in the funnel. No process is perfect, but you can take steps to make things as efficient as possible. The best way to do that is to harness the power of data.
Perform those all-important win/loss analyses to understand what your B2B prospects think and what they do to make a purchasing decision. Then, make adjustments to develop an approach that's impactful and efficient.
7. Reward and Retain Your Top Sales Reps
Finally, don't forget to reward your winners. People like to feel appreciated. No one will put in the work to increase efficiency if they feel like their efforts go unnoticed.
Capture the winning moments, provide praise, and recognize hard work when you see it. Keep your talent happy, and they can share their knowledge to uplift the entire team.
Turn Your Team into an Efficient Sales Engine with Flockjay
You don't have to rest on your laurels and settle for good enough. There's always room to become more efficient. If you need help getting there, turn to Flockjay!
Flockjay is an innovative sales platform that can create winning teams. With Flockjay, you can encourage peer-to-peer learning, build an enablement strategy, and so much more. Utilize our platform to its full potential to help your sales team reach theirs.