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8 Tips to Boost Sales Effectiveness

Keeping an eye on a company’s sales effectiveness is essential. As we covered in Improve Sales Efficiency: The Short Guide, monitoring specific metrics, constantly assessing operations, or being aware of the staff’s activities are all key elements when thinking about sales effectiveness.

To boost sales effectiveness however, you have to look beyond numbers. Metrics are only as good as the metrics themselves and what they tell you. You need to know what to improve specifically, and it might be hard, perhaps even impossible, only by looking at numbers.

In many cases, measuring metrics efficiently and seeing beyond the number or benchmark measured is a matter of leveraging the right technology. The appropriate tools will provide better insights into the sales process and help highlight areas you can optimize.

In this article, we will cover 8 tips to boost sales effectiveness. While a few of those tips are traditional, we will also focus on the importance of using the appropriate tools and paying close attention to the quality of sales content. We will draw from the findings of the research we conducted with 154 professionals in B2B marketing to illustrate our points.

Professional content increases sales effectiveness

In sales, you need to use existing content or create new material. There’s no way around it, whether it’s through emails, brochures, documents, presentations, videos, etc. However, one thing to remember is that we are in 2021, and your content should show it, both in terms of the quality of the content itself and the support on which you present it.

Using a robust presentation tool can improve your presentations and interactions with clients to make them look like something a professional presentation a designer would create. This is more important than it sounds because most clients will always have a better impression of a company that transmits a professional and experienced image.

Those new tools can also provide excellent options to make presentations more interactive and tailored to your clients’ needs with a few clicks. These are all features that help prepare better presentations and can ultimately lead to improved sales effectiveness.

Older and traditional supports and software like PowerPoint simply can’t offer that level of technology and features. That’s why it’s crucial to stay one step ahead of the competition and use the best tools available. They will increase your competitiveness and can be a gateway to better efficiency and sales.

If you want to learn more about Sales Enablement, read our guide: What is Sales Enablement?

Track your sales team’s workload

Before thinking about boosting sales effectiveness, you should know how your team members spend their time. If you manage their time or workload, it will give you a better indication of their activities and capacity. Calls, meetings, or emails are all a good indication of activity and potential sales waiting to happen.

The idea is not to watch their every email but rather to know how they spend their time to ensure the processes are clear and efficient. It’s also to see how long it takes to make a sale and how that sale happens. That will give a good indication of which steps are important and which might not be relevant. It will ensure salespeople adopt methods that are adequate for the type of sale and client targeted.

At the end of the day, the more time is spent on the sale, the more that sale will cost in wages and effort. That’s why it’s a good idea to determine which methods are adequate and ensure your salespeople adopt them. If a sale drags on, it becomes more expensive and less efficient.

Sales effectiveness rhymes with communication

According to our research, 80% of marketing professionals say they are always involved in creating sales content. While that’s good news at first glance, only 35% of them know what content is actually used during a presentation. That’s a problem because it means that the marketing team can’t know if their content works or if it needs to be adapted.

Communication within the sales team and with the marketing team is essential. It can give the marketing team insights into what the most profitable salespeople do, share, or include in presentations. Good ideas could then be shared and benefit the whole team. That is not happening at most companies however, as 65% of professionals interviewed do not have a good understanding of what salespeople use in online meetings.

It’s essential for sales and marketing to be aligned and to work hand in hand. Unfortunately, 59% of people interviewed thought their sales content was not adequately aligned to the key stages of the sales funnel. That means the sales staff could be using inadequate content, or the marketing team may be producing material that is not in line with what the market wants or needs, leading to inefficient and uninteresting offers to clients.

Time your interactions with clients

In sales, few things are more unsettling than silence. When you send an email or documents after a presentation, you like to get an answer, but it doesn’t always come right away. One way around this uncertainty is to track your email interactions to see whether your clients read your emails and how they read them.

In sales, few things are more unsettling than silence. When you send an email or documents after a presentation, you like to get an answer, but it doesn’t always come right away. One way around this uncertainty is to track your email interactions to see whether your clients read your emails and how they read them.

Despite the value tracking tools can provide, only 25% of professionals interviewed said their company uses tracking tools. That constitutes a disadvantage because tracking information can help you know what is attractive to your clients and how to continue the discussion.

And speaking of continuing the discussion, follow-ups are essential, as we discussed in Follow Up Email Tips That Work. When you send an email, the client may not always be available to read it right away and might forget about it. Sending a reminder is an excellent idea. Tracking your emails to send a follow-up when your client has just read your email is even better.

Whatever your preferred communication method, whether calls or emails, use the right tone and tailor your message to your client. As each client is unique, a generic message you use for every client will not resonate as much. Adapt your communications to each client to look more professional and better suited to take them on and advise them.

Act on the sales insights you gain

We just covered email tracking and the values it brings to both companies and clients, but you can go a step further. Some tools allow tracking your clients’ interaction with the material you send. That means you can know which links they click or even what they do and how much time they spend on all the material you share.

That information is extremely valuable to help you follow up efficiently and eventually close sales. It tells you what your clients need and what is important to them. These are insights you can use to address your clients’ needs and provide them what they want. They also tell you precisely what your content contributes to the sales process. It’s just what marketing teams need.

Tracking is important, especially considering 67% of marketing professionals we interviewed said their organization has a mediocre or poor ability to collect sales insights. And only 7.3% think their organization’s ability to use collected insights is strong. That means there is a lot of room for improvement.

Getting the right tool will help you evaluate your clients’ needs and the quality of your content. Using the insights tracking tools provide, you will be able to produce more compelling content that will strike a chord with your clients. If there are any gaps, your marketing team will be able to identify them and create any missing material content.

Use geography to boost sales effectiveness

Considering geography or looking at a map can also make your sales more efficient. Companies often divide territories among their sales staff to improve efficiency. It’s a good idea, but it’s essential to evaluate each territory periodically and track the sales movement.

If the sales volumes of some territories start to change, it can be relevant to redefine their size or the number of employees working in those territories. That will ensure each area always has the optimal number of staff assigned. It will avoid overworking some salespeople or have others working below their full capacity.

Some territories might also have specific subtleties such as language or cultural considerations. They might also follow a different process and require training or refreshers.

Keep an eye on your book of clients

Winning clients is great, but you should also focus on the ones you lose. You should try to understand every win or loss to learn anything you can. If something went well, you could look into implementing the positive elements in the day-to-day process, if you haven’t already.

If something went wrong, you need to know why it happened and how you can fix it in the future. It could be a need for training or for new fresh content to attract and persuade your clients. Whatever it is, it should be seen as an opportunity for improvement.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the retention rate. The most profitable client is the one you retain. New clients cost money in time spent selling the product and implementing the new plan. Existing clients do not. You can use email tracking and professional content creation tools to always be on top of your clients’ needs, as we mentioned before. It will help you retain their business.

Sales effectiveness is about profitability

When all is said and done, a business needs to bring in more money than it spends to succeed. You can track this by looking at revenue and profitability. Revenue growth is one thing, but you need to compare it to operating costs. If your revenue grows slower than operating expenses, the company risks losing money. High general expenses a company may face can include acquiring real estate, equipment, software, etc.

Sales efficiency is a useful metric to consider, even though it doesn’t take every element into account, as we highlighted in Improve Sales Efficiency: The Short Guide. Another one is net profit margin. Simply deduct your overall expenses from your overall revenue to know your profitability.

Other more complex metrics exist, but ultimately, the key is simple. You need to consistently bring in more money than you spend. That will give you a profit which you can then allocate however you want. There are plenty of ways to invest profits, but that’s a whole other story we will not cover here!

Recap: Get the right tools to boost effectiveness

To boost sales effectiveness, you need to be aware of your sales performance, both in terms of quantity and quality. Knowing the numbers by tracking metrics or KPIs will help you evaluate your performance against your objectives and perhaps make decisions related to your strategy. 

However, you also need to focus on your qualitative performance. Ultimately, it’s the quality of your product and sales dialogue that will determine how much you sell. An efficient way to improve quality is to use professional tools that give you an edge over your competition and provide you key insights. 

Such tools ensure transparency between departments of an organization and can provide an in-depth evaluation of content performance. In sales and content management, staying current with technology can give a serious advantage over competitors. 

In short, the right tools brings value to your company by saving time, collecting insights, and evaluating your processes. They also provide value for your clients as you can give them more tailored, compelling, and relevant materials. 

As our research demonstrates, many marketing professionals think their company does not leverage the appropriate tools to increase sales effectiveness. Companies use an underwhelming approach that makes their employees’ jobs more challenging and satisfying clients more complex. That’s why using professional tools is so essential: it contributes to everyone’s satisfaction and global effectiveness.

Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about how sales effectiveness can transform your sales, then join our sales enablement webinars.

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