How Do Sales Management Software Improve Productivity?

Abhishikha Chatterjee
Published :
Jul 28, 2021
Updated :

Sales management software is not the only successful strategy that leads to high sales productivity. We know there are countless strategies you can implement. Sales tools no longer play a side role in the overall sales strategy, software solutions for sales management act as the backbone when it comes to improving productivity. Ask how?

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Sales management software is not the only successful strategy that leads to high sales productivity. We are sure there are countless strategies you can implement to attain high productivity yet you'll not like to overlook the power of a sales management solution.

Today, sales tools no longer play a side role in the overall sales strategy, software solutions for sales management act as the backbone when it comes to improving productivity.

This short conversation may interest you:

Interviewer: How important is a sales management process for you? 

Sales Manager: Sale is a vast function and highly dynamic. We face challenges and new targets on a day-to-day basis. There’s so much to accommodate- changing market trends, evolving buyers, and unpredictable external circumstances such as the unprecedented pandemic. On top of that, only about 1 in 5 for our sales rep is a top performer, which leaves a wide room for sales training and development. Without an organized sales management and training process, my team and I’ll be completely lost, putting the company business at risk.

Interviewer: What part of your sales process is most impacted by a thorough sales management process? 

Sales Manager: Definitely, the sales team's productivity. My sales team will be able to reach higher sales numbers as they become increasingly efficient and effective.

Interviewer: So, how does sales management software help? 

Sales Manager: Broadly, the process coupled with sales management software makes sales operations and sales teams manageable and well-orchestrated such that the sales team’s productivity climbs up accelerating sales revenue.

Interviewer: When do you know it’s time to purchase a software solution for sales management? 

Sales Manager: Growing organizations can’t wait for a red flag to purchase sales technology. An aggressive sales rep hiring, a growing span of control( more than 5 sales reps), and rising client numbers are perfect indicators for investing in technology. Any action taken later is damage control!

Sales productivity is highly dependent on processes, skills, and sales management software tools.
According to 81% of companies, better processes, skills, or competency training would improve productivity.

What Is Sales Management And Its Relation With Sales Productivity?

All organizations run a sales operation process and a team of sales professionals to bring business from a dynamic market. Sales Management is the method of orchestrating sales operations and sales teams in an organized, data-driven, and holistic manner.

Typically, a sales management process involves goal setting, planning, recruitment, coaching, tracking, and forecasting sales numbers. 

The sales management process is defined as a step-by-step method to manage and streamline all day-to-day sales activities. To measure the effectiveness of the process, an organization must examine certain metrics. 

As sales productivity improves, sales leaders are able to evaluate the sales process and take corrective action when necessary.

What’s Sales Productivity And Its Importance In Organizations?

Implementing sales strategies and hiring reps makes no sense if they do not move the needle. A sales manager must first identify gaps in their process before attempting to devise strategies, find talented representatives, and implement technology.

There's definitely room for sales reps' performance to improve and finding ways to meet overall sales goals for sales managers in a faster way. Hence, we’d like to touch base on how productivity is measured and then dive into how sales management software boosts productivity. 

Contrary to the expectation, sales reps spend less time selling and interacting with prospects/customers.
Only 39% of a sales rep’s time is spent selling or interacting with prospects and customers.

In assessing productivity, there is no one size fits all approach. Choosing the "right" metrics depends on your organization, industry, and company. 

Globally, certain metrics remain important for all sales managers and a huge part of sales productivity is determined by the performance of the reps. Therefore, we are more interested in the sales productivity aspect of a rep than the team or the function at large.

Let’s start with defining sales productivity.

SALES PRODUCTIVITY EXPLAINED

Sales productivity can be defined as improving sales results while optimizing resources spent, such as the time, energy, and cost associated.

The ratio of sales output (efficiency) to input (effectiveness) is the most suitable way to calculate sales productivity.

Hey, don’t get confused around effectiveness and efficiency!

Here’s all you need to know while calculating sales productivity-

  1. Sales Inputs refer to all the resources put at stake to achieve new customers for the organization. Right from budget to the technology used, all aids determine the sales inputs. Now, the quantity and quality of resources allocated to salespeople determine the efficiency of the team or individual.
  2. Sales output on the other hand is even simpler to understand. The sales milestone a sales guy achieves determines how well the sales tools were exploited by them.

Sales reps need a scalable, and replicable sales process that delivers continuous outcomes. The sales management process is capable of doing the same. However, if a process is not measured periodically, it is hard to determine if it has any value. And, once the process is assessed and evaluated against the right metrics, it proudly enters the winning formula category in the sales playbook. 

Without further ado, let's dive into a few productivity metrics that will help salespeople evaluate their performance and take appropriate action.

How To Measure Sales Productivity of sales reps?

1. Conversion/ Win Rate

The first fundamental metric to assess a sales rep’s productivity is the conversion rate. Identify how many prospects are converted into customers. Client conversion is the ultimate goal of all sales organizations and all efforts revolve around achieving the highest win rate.

To make it easier, calculate the win rate, or the opportunity-to-win ratio, which is the % of deals closed to total deals( including all open, lost, or in pipeline phase).
2. Customer Acquisition Cost

Let’s not forget there’s a fair cost associated with the customer acquisition process. 

Another way of measuring sales productivity is determining the cost incurred during customer acquisition. 

The sales manager should be alerted if they see that a certain kind of customer is costing you too much money. Immediately investigate and understand the reason behind the high cost of investment. If the sales team is spending $3,000 to acquire a deal worth $4,000, it might be necessary to reassess the client for long-term profitability.

3. Revenue to cost ratio

Another way to examine the cost associated with the client is by assessing the revenue to cost ratio. A sales manager needs to add up all costs, including salaries, incentives, commissions, and perks of individual team members. Next, estimate the revenue generated by the rep. 

Now, divide the total revenue by the sales costs calculated above to get a ratio of revenue to cost.

As a sales best practice, you should be eyeing a ratio somewhere around 2-to-1 or 3-to-1. Through this metric, you'll be able to identify reps that are generating revenue in relation to their cost. Additionally, you can control any previously unrecorded spending.

4. Pipeline Health

No doubt, the sales pipeline is a futuristic approach to examine productivity. Nevertheless, it plays an important role. 

Salespeople must know how their pipeline is doing and take serious actions on fulfilling their quarterly numbers. Pipeline health is an indicator of quota attainment. 

Here’s the thing- if you don’t have a solid pipeline to meet your quota, it’s going to be nearly impossible to achieve your sales goals.

5. Quality of Client Conversation

Sales reps are trained on products and services. They are highly knowledgeable about the company, price, values, processes, and every little detail attached to the company. But when it comes to communicating on the call and handling client objections, often, trained and experienced sales guys fumble and kill the chance of winning. Agree?

The quality of sales conversations is a direct indicator of sales productivity. 

Sales leaders invest time and money in coaching reps. Evidently, reps are expected to perform well and convert client conversations into winning sales stories. 

In Convin’s conversation intelligence-enabled sales management software, sales lead as well as the representatives can monitor the quality of each potential customer conversation by parameters such as the number of calls, call duration, call length vs. time of days, as well as call outcomes like talk ratio, interactivity, longest rep monologue, and topics discussed.

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In Convin’s conversation intelligence-enabled sales management software, sales lead as well as the representatives can monitor the quality of each potential customer conversation by parameters such as the number of calls, call duration, call length vs. time of days, as well as call outcomes like talk ratio, interactivity, longest rep monologue, and topics discussed.

How Does Sales Management Software Impact Productivity?

Performing sales teams are backed by sales technology solutions for better management and productivity.
High-performing sales teams use nearly 3x the amount of sales technology than underperforming teams (source).

Naturally, sales management software doesn’t come for free. And a good chunk of dollar value is associated with purchasing a sales tool. 

But the time-saving feature and growing sales numbers make the cost bearable and eventually, recoverable.

As an industry best practice, organizations invest in software tools that can support the sales process.  And sales managers take control of the investment to gain sales productivity from the sales process.

As a sales manager, once you define your sales process, and sales productivity metrics, the next task at hand is to identify a suitable software solution for sales management that supports the attainment of your goals without hindrances. 

Generally, the best software for sales management is based on these seven capabilities that help in improving sales results quickly: -

  1. Analytics 

    Hands down, analytics has transformed sales and marketing. Every activity is attributed to data points gathered or forecasted by tools such as sales management software. Transparency and visibility into customer calls, data, sales performance, and the team’s overall performance are possible because of sales analytics. 

    Reps are more confident while pitching their products and services, and more attentive in collecting details about the prospect. Apart from the sales pitch, reps find analytics as a brilliant format for identifying bigger goals, review progress, estimate targets, and prepare in advance( preparation is no longer a hypothesis and theorizing like yesteryears).
  2. Training And Development

    Addressing the call coaching gap ranks higher in improving sales productivity. 

    Interestingly, even today, training remains one of the undervalued and unstructured components of the sales process.  Some managers fail to allocate necessary time, others are unable to develop a formalized process around coaching reps or neglect training and development altogether.

    Like it or not, investment and time allocated in training sales representatives bear fruit in the long run. Just not the new hires, but experienced veterans often need the training to learn and unlearn new techniques. 

    For instance, reviewing demo calls by new sales guys can not only train them on the product but also, highlight tips and tricks to handle client questions. Attending a live demo call may not help a rep as much as a recorded and transcribed call. The rep can revisit and Google their queries as they proceed with the recorded calls.
  3. Sales Playbooks

    Sales management software with a library can efficiently capture and maintain sales best practices. They provide in-depth information on what a salesperson can do differently in different situations.

    A sales playbook should be handy and available to all reps. Sales managers must invest undivided time in detailing and developing the library.  

    In addition to productivity, playbooks often help to redefine perceptions and unlearn old concepts.
Ramp-up time of sales reps is much higher without the application of sales management software.
42.5% of sales reps take 10 months or longer to become productive enough to contribute to company goals. Source
  1. Collaboration 

    Sales reps often collaborate with sales leaders on client-related documents, meetings, calls, discovery notes, and secondary research. The software tools ensure to make the collaboration process less overwhelming by reducing the need to reach multiple tools. 

    Additionally, collaboration ensures two sets of eyes are better than one in client interactions. If sales reps fail to perform in a meeting, other members can offer their support and valuable learnings wherever possible.
  2. Centralized and Easy Customer Data Access

    Calls and meetings are the most critical part of customer interaction. Each call is a treasure box bursting with plenty of unidentified moments, action items, hidden opportunities, and engagement points for the next call. 

    Reps investing time in reviewing previous calls are definitely in for bigger wins. Therefore, it’s critical to have centralized access to all call and client data. Additionally, access to those calls and peer calls( for practice and training) should be easily available. 
  3. Review And Feedback Process

    Sales organizations build a solid review and feedback system. The scoreboard is difficult to crack but great for acing sales numbers.

    Best sales management software in the industry gives importance to review and feedback scorecards and build a thorough review process to accelerate sales reps’ performance.
  4. Customer And Market Knowledge

    A sales representative has only so many hours in the day to cover multiple sales activities on their plate. One important sales initiative that takes a backseat is customer and market research. Unintentionally, reps are unable to keep up with the information floating in the market.

    A full-proof sales management software may be capable of solving this problem and allow more inputs before sales meetings.

Sales Management Software Is Not A Choice, A Necessity!

The bottom of the funnel activities plays an unparalleled role in achieving new business and making a positive impression of the firm in the market. But that’s not all.

Salespeople( or customer success teams)are also responsible for retaining existing customers and extracting new opportunities from them. 

This is why none of the scaling organizations compromise in sales efforts and resources.

Hence, purchasing sales management software shouldn’t be your last priority. Once the sales processes are in place, investing in a sales tool shouldn't be delayed for too long.

If you face difficulty in making the right decision in choosing a sales management software tool, get simple and deeper knowledge here.

Or, you can connect with our team to get a free consultation.

Like this blog? Here's a podcast that might interest you:
Sales Gambit Podcast
Host : Ashish Santhalia
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