Sales productivity is a key performance metric (KPI) that defines an industrial sales rep’s level of success. If your company sells to the industrial marketplace and your sales reps aren't productive, they'll sell fewer products or services. As a B2B sales rep, there are ways to increase your productivity and help your company achieve greater success. In this post, we're going to cover 10 easy ways to increase sales productivity for the industrial industry.
#1) Gain Prospects' Trusts
When communicating with industrial prospects, you should seek to gain their trust. According to a report by HubSpot, only an abysmal 3% of buyers trust sales reps. If a prospect is skeptical of your company or offer, it's doubtful he or she will make a purchase. Win the trust of prospects by providing them with case studies and testimonials of previous clients who've experienced success using your company's industrial products or services.
#2) Focus on Selling
It's easy for an industrial sales rep to get bogged down with dozens of micro tasks. In fact, CSO Insights reports that the average sales rep spends just one-third of his or her time actually selling. You'll become more productive by focusing the bulk of your time and energy on selling.
Every industrial sales rep has the good intention of making cold calls, even an hour a day. Some times it happens, many times it doesn’t. Here’s something to make it easier to set the time aside to make calls. SalesLeads employs researchers to find and track industrial projects. These identified industrial projects come with key contacts, their direct dials and email addresses. Do you think you’d be able to find the time to call identified projects to set an appointment? I think I know your answer.
#3) Spend Less Time in Meetings
There's nothing wrong with hosting or attending meetings, but you should be conscious of how much time you spend in them. According to one survey, three in four employers report losing two or more hours each day because of meetings. If you're going to participate in meetings, set a time limit so that they won't hinder your productivity.
#4) Set Up Google Alerts
Do you spend countless hours scouring the internet when researching industrial prospects and their respective company? If so, consider setting up Google Alerts so that you'll be automatically notified when a prospect's name or their company's name appears online. Google Alerts is a free-to-use online tool that lives up to its namesake by alerting you when a new page is published online that features your specified keyword. You can set up Google Alerts for a prospect's name, company's name or other relevant keywords.
#5) Use Productivity Tools
There are countless productivity tools available, and using them can undoubtedly have a positive impact on your industrial sales productivity. Customer relationship management (CRM) software, for example, offers a single and convenient interface where you can manage prospect correspondences, sales, advertising campaigns and more. There's also project collaboration software like Trello that allows you to collaborate with other sales reps and marketers to achieve a common, shared goal.
#6) Focus on a Single Task
Multitasking may sound like an effective way to increase your industrial sales productivity. By working on multiple tasks simultaneously, conventional wisdom may lead you to believe that you'll get more work accomplished in less time. The truth, however, is that multitasking lowers productivity. According to Marketcircle, it takes the average worker more than 23 minutes to regain his or her concentration after switching to a new task. Therefore, you should focus on a single task at once to improve your B2B sales productivity.
#7) Call at the Right Time
Assuming you contact your industrial prospects via phone -- either cold calling or warm calling -- make sure you call them at the right time. If you continue to receive the prospect's voicemail, try calling at a different day and time. Statistics show that industrial prospects are most likely to answer the phone on the weekdays between 7:00 a.m. (or before) and 6:00 p.m. However, keep in mind they may work a 6:00 – 3:00 shift. Earlier may be better.
#8) Ask for Referrals
It only takes a few minutes to ask an industrial prospect for referrals, but doing so could send new leads and clients your way. According to the same Marketcircle report previously cited, 91% of customers are willing to give referrals but only 11% of sales reps ask for them. After breaking the ice with a prospect and gaining his or her trust, ask for referrals. Who knows, it could attract a new, loyal client to your company.
#9) Create a To-Do List
You'll have an easier time managing and performing tasks by creating a to-do list. At the end of each workday, create a list of the tasks that you need to accomplish the following day, prioritizing them according to level of importance. You should place your most important tasks at the top of the list, followed by the least important. When you arrive at work the following day, refer to this to-do list to improve your B2B sales productivity.
#10) Use Video
Don't be afraid to incorporate video into your industrial sales strategy. According to Google, 70% of buyers watch at least one video throughout the sales process. To take advantage of this trend, create and share relevant and informative videos with your audience. You can create product demo videos, tutorial videos, case study videos and customer testimonial videos.