If you work in sales or marketing you’ve certainly heard the term “sales productivity” a time or two. Depending on when you started your career, the meaning may have changed. In the past, “sales productivity” meant task automation via tools that managers would use to track the progress of their sales people. Functional, right? Adding value for sales reps? Not so much.
Businesses are starting to recognize the need to revamp their selling efforts. Thanks to websites, social media, and other forms of digital information sharing, the customer expects more from the sales team when the initial point of contact is made. In fact, studies show that before the buyer engages with the sales person, they can already be as much as 70% finished with the purchase decision process.
And because it is so easy for customers to find information—about you or about your competitors—it’s increasingly necessary for your sales people to understand your prospective customers and their level of knowledge about you and your product. Traditional tactics such as cold calling are proven to no longer be as effective as before – in fact, studies have shown that only 3% of cold calls result in an appointment. For Microsoft, sales productivity means surfacing the right information at the right time so sales professionals can engage their customer in meaningful ways and grow their business. A true sales productivity solution helps organizations zero in, win faster, and sell more.
When you zero in, you’re focusing on prioritizing work that can lead to a more efficient use of the sales rep’s and the buyer’s time. These priorities include establishing relationships with the customer to build trust and credibility and identifying the right business opportunities immediately. With endless resources of product research available to the buyer today, it’s important to increase the product relevance in the buyer's mind and find new ways, such as social media, to effectively engage with the customer.
To win faster is essentially to increase the velocity of sales – the goal is to move buyers more quickly through the sales funnel. This encompasses efforts from the sales rep to help accelerate the purchase, and using personal and corporate networking to identify the right stakeholders at a company who are responsible for making buying decisions.
Selling more seems like a simple concept, right? I think this one is easier said than done. To scale sales operations, teams need to work like a network – connecting with the right people, content, and data to get the deal closed. Selling is now a collaborative effort, where teams must work across geographies and departments to quickly get information.
The Microsoft Solution
The Microsoft sales productivity solution allows businesses to transform the way they sell. It improves sales capabilities through helping sales reps focus in on the right opportunities, access key information on-the-go, and easily communication with customers, partners, and colleagues. The Microsoft cloud-based solutions for sales productivity brings together Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365 and Power BI to redefine sales productivity.
What’s your definition of sales productivity?