|     6 min read

10 Things Sales Leaders Can Do to Make their Teams More Efficient

Pablo Penades

Jul 13, 2022

Michelle Pietsch

I’m often asked, “Would you rather have a big team with select top performers, or have a small team where every seller is at goal?”

My response: a small team with 100% top performers, hands down.

When our small team hits their individual goals, we reach Dooly’s goals. I allocate that budget to another sales-team pathway, like the BDR motion and this generates even more revenue.

It’s difficult to create a predictive and predictable sales motion when all your sellers aren’t reaching their goals. As sales leader, you can help your reps get there by focusing your efforts on efficiency.

Here are the 10 things you can do to make your team more efficient.

1. Coaching

When deciding between coaching your seller through a situation vs. giving them the answer, always choose coaching. Instead of telling them what to do or how to do it (which, spoiler alert, doesn’t really teach them anything), you get them to identify it themselves.

Here’s how to coach your team:

  • Share honest, candid feedback. Coach your sellers weekly, or even a few times per week, depending on your sales cycle.
  • Observe sales calls. With experience in high-velocity sales motions, I know the team has 5 to 10 calls per week. I have a key opportunity to listen in and provide actionable feedback.
  • Understand each seller. You need to understand how your team likes to be coached; get to know each sellers’ personality and cater your feedback accordingly. This step goes a long way toward building trust. 
  • Ask open-ended questions. Take your sellers through a situation and ask, “How could you have done that better? Walk me through your process when you did x, y, and z. What gaps exist in this process?”
  • Do your part. Unfortunately, not every seller is coachable. Overcoach at first and set expectations around sharing feedback.

One of my sellers recently suggested a new way to share pricing with customers. He asked for my approval, but I first wanted to understand his methodology. 

I asked him to walk us through the process, so we could jam on it to find the best solution. Then I let him run with it. With regular training and coaching, your sellers will take initiative themselves and start to win more business.

2. Set up processes

The perfect sales team has clear processes, from the top of the funnel down to closed-won. Create yours by understanding every step in your reps’ day-in-the-life journey and peeling back the layers. 

Your process for sellers’ first step, inbound leads, could look like: 

  • Get an open lead
  • Open up your email-cadence tool, like Apollo or Outreach
  • Look at your persona and actions taken based on the source
  • Provide them with messaging

This is a clear, actionable process your sellers can follow. Keep going until you hit every task on your sellers’ list.

One caveat? How your sellers handle discovery and negotiation. Everyone has a different approach. We provide our sellers with a discovery-flow methodology instead of a process.

3. Use playbooks

Dooly provides sellers with playbooks to put all the answers in one place. You can spend so much time and effort on sales training and enablement; if your sellers are opening countless tabs and tools to find the answer, they’re not going to succeed. 

When getting started with playbooks, look at your personas to make sure your team is armed with the proper discovery call questions, pain points, competitor intel, and value proposition.

Our core personas are the account executive and sales leader — and they each have completely different pain points. Sellers are enabled to ask the right questions and follow the correct demo flow, all thanks to our playbook options.

4. Encourage creativity

The sales cycle is very process-oriented. To shake things up, enable your reps to try out-of-the-box prospecting techniques

Elevating the cold email with a video message or GIFs, or commenting on your prospect’s social media posts can build that rapport right away. Your reps can sell without actually selling.

Every tactic might not be a slam dunk. But it doesn’t hurt to try. When a tactic does work, your reps can roll it out to the entire team. 

Keep in mind, your reps will be more creative when they’re in a workplace environment in which they feel safe and empowered to do so. Creative culture starts from the top down.

Let your team know it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Leave space in team meetings for prospecting and deal success stories. Encourage your team to hype each other up in Slack. 

Being authentic is key to closing a deal. By giving your team room to play, they can apply creative tactics that allow them to be themselves all the way to closed-won.

5. Play to the strengths of each team member

Each rep has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. It’s your job as sales leader to uncover and empower these strengths.  

By identifying them, you’ll know what your sellers love about the work and how to create the right development opportunities. You can also try to make strengths repeatable across the team.

Some of my past reps excelled at personalized messaging. They took the time to understand who they were connecting with, then added a personal touch in each email or cadence message. You can identify that strength and coach the entire team on it.

6. Team selling (collaboration)

Dooly’s ethos is one team, one dream. Winning together is one of our core values.

No rep should ever feel like they’re siloed or can’t collaborate with their peers or manager. Not only is it beneficial — it’s essential for sales leaders and reps to collaborate on deals. 

Everyone has a different approach to a discovery call or building rapport. Learn about these approaches by listening, asking the right questions, and making yourself known as a resource your team can come to. 

Once you find an approach that’s really working, why not roll it out to the rest of the team? This is the backbone of team collaboration

7. Provide the right tools for the job (more tools is not always better)

Sales teams can get caught up in shiny object syndrome: this tool helps sellers forecast! This one helps them send emails! This one helps them look up contacts! Then you check how often your reps actually log into those tools, and half the team doesn’t even log in once.

More isn’t always better (usually, it’s worse). Too many tools creates a bloated tech stack, with more noise to cut through in order to sell. 

Find out what tools your team really needs by asking them:

  • How many steps does it take to close out an opportunity?
  • What tools are you using?
  • How do you make the most of these tools?

Narrowing your tech stack helps your team be as efficient as possible. Really, your team just needs email, a way to discover contact information, and an enablement tool, like Gong or Chorus. You have to consider: is this going to make my team more efficient and spend less time context-switching? 

It can be hard to measure ROI with most tools. Start with the amount of time saved; that time can be used for prospecting, coaching with their sales leader, or collaborating with their team. It’s all about giving your reps more time to sell.

8. Focus on the best leads

You’ve likely heard the old saying, “Sales is a numbers game.” You just have to dial more numbers, and eventually you’ll close a deal.

Personally, I’d rather see quality over quantity—less activity, and more personalized and high-quality engagements. You need to take time to understand your persona and the person you’re reaching out to. Go to their LinkedIn or their Twitter, and see what they care about.

Dooly’s sales team has one person who just doesn’t do cold calls. Yet, they have the most effective LinkedIn and social media presence, and the highest number of demos booked and held. Every customer (and rep!) is different. Understand what’s most effective for them.

More than anything else, stop to consider why they’d want to hop on a demo. What’s the value you’re going to add? To get the answer, you need to take the time. 

9. Eliminate all non-selling activities

95% of reps Dooly surveyed said if they spent less time on non-revenue generating activities, it would help them meet their quotas. After all, 41% of their time is spent not selling.

Whether it’s context-switching — moving back and forth from one low-value task to another, the toll of internal meetings, or lacking the right tools, non-selling activities quietly steer reps away from their revenue goals.

These reps also said they’d hit 38% more revenue if they didn’t spend time on non-revenue generating activities. That’s huge. To give your reps selling time, consider tools that condense (or, better yet, eliminate) non-selling tasks.

Dooly gets your reps out of Salesforce and back to selling. When high-performing sales and revenue teams power their sellers with Dooly, they save more than five hours on weekly Salesforce updates.

10. Celebrate and reward wins

Every single sales day is a grind. If your workplace culture doesn’t acknowledge wins, your employees won’t want to come to work.

Celebrate your sellers’ wins by:

  • Recognizing your sellers’ deals in all-team meetings
  • Sharing an amazing customer interaction on Slack
  • Writing a LinkedIn post about your sellers
  • Encouraging your team to embrace each other’s wins

Your team is negatively impacted every time you neglect to boost their morale. Add celebration to your culture in small, big, and frequent ways.

Building the ultimate sales team

Want the perfect sales team? You need to make your sellers more efficient.

Early-stage startups or agile environments see constant change. A lot of sales leaders are laser-focused on the revenue target—but you can’t get to that revenue target if you don’t understand your team and what they need.

Figure out how each rep communicates, what gets in their way, how you can coach them, and why they come to work every single day.

You’d be surprised by how much you learn by taking the time to understand your people. That’s what makes the perfect sales team: enabling them to do their best work and really, truly caring about them along the way.

Join the thousands of top-performing AEs who use Dooly every day to stay more organized, instantly update their pipeline, and spend more time selling instead of mindless admin work. Try Dooly free, no credit card required. Or, Request a demo to speak with a Dooly product expert right now.

Pablo Penades

I’m Pablo, a SaaS marketer fueled by human connections. I excel in inspiring teamwork and creativity to tackle complex challenges. My "Get Stuff Done" approach is my superpower, alongside a curiosity that drives me to explore, build, and learn in tech. Find me at conferences, playing guitar, or in front of a chess board.