As the B2B landscape changes and evolves, companies continue to ask themselves the question – how can we improve sales productivity?
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions woven into the fabric of today’s B2B sales culture. Until these incorrect beliefs and practices are corrected, sales reps won’t achieve their productivity goals. So follow along as we break down some of the biggest myths about sales productivity.
Myth: You don’t need a break.
With the constant pressure to hit quotas, sales reps often make the mistake of thinking they should work nonstop throughout the day. After all, time spent away from your desk is time you could be using to make calls, right? Yet, the “work non-stop” mentality is part of the reason more than 1 in 10 companies experience turnover rates north of 55% (source).
An occasional break might actually increase sales productivity. In fact, research has shown that taking breaks can dramatically improve your mental performance (source). So, step away from your desk throughout the day and you’ll find yourself less stressed, more focused, and generally happier.
Myth: More calls means increased productivity.
When a business experiences issues with sales productivity, the natural instinct is to have sales reps make more calls. While we aren’t saying increased sales activity is a bad thing, it’s a mistake to put high value on call volume. Instead, focus on the quality of the calls and conversations your team is having.
Call quality starts with good data. If your contact database contains inaccurate information, you won’t be able to reach decision-makers. Consider enlisting the help of a b2b data provider to ensure your sales reps have access to accurate, up-to-date contact information.
Rather than making more bad calls, they’ll be able to consistently make the right calls.
Myth: Limit your follow-ups.
80% of sales require 5 follow ups, yet 44% of sale reps give up after only one follow up (source). Do yourself a favor and continue to follow up with leads and prospects. You’ll make more sales and reduce the stress of continuously having to find new prospects.
We get it – you don’t want to waste time that could be spent calling a different prospect. But in the world of B2B sales, persistence pays off.
Remember: productivity isn’t about how much work you do, but rather how effective you are in reaching a desired outcome. By giving up after one or two calls and moving on to a new lead, you may feel that you’re saving time – but really, you’re losing opportunities.
Myth: You must multitask.
Multitasking has become an attractive buzzword not only in sales but throughout the entire B2B landscape. The ability to handle multiple tasks at once is seen as one of the best qualities an employee can possess – but research shows otherwise. Multitasking significantly damages your productivity and impacts the quality of your work (source).
Sales reps are particularly guilty of multitasking. Studies show that salespeople only spend one-third of their day talking to prospects –the rest of the day consists of writing emails, entering data, attending meetings and scheduling calls (source). Because of our inclination to not fall behind on any one task, we often juggle these responsibilities throughout the day.
Instead, place emphasis on prioritization of tasks. Create a to-do list or schedule, focusing on high-priority tasks above all else. If you tend to be at your sharpest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., then that’s when you should devote your time to calling prospects.
If you tend to lag towards the end of the day, schedule that time for more tedious tasks like checking emails. Build a schedule that works for you so that you can always focus on the most important task at hand.
No matter how efficient you are, there is always room to improve productivity. The first step to doing that is taking a hard look at every step of your sales process and asking – is there a more efficient way to do this?
If you remedy these commonly-accepted myths, you’ll not only relieve sales pressure, but you’ll also increase your overall productivity.
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