5 Proven Sales Productivity Tips You Can Use Today
You have a call, and an hour later there’s another, and so on it goes throughout your day.
What do you do between the calls and the distractions? How do you cut down on all the noise and really get work done? How do you increase sales when there are just so many interruptions in your day?
Answer: You implement proven productivity strategies, such as:
- Time blocking
- The Pomodoro Technique
- The Eisenhower Principle
- Don’t Break the Chain
- The 80/20 Rule
- Get Proper Sales Training
- Stay Organized
Below, we’ll get into how you can become a highly productive salesperson, and never let procrastination keep you from hitting your sales quota ever again (you may even increase sales).
Defining Sales Productivity
Have you ever wondered why some salespeople are wildly productive while others are constantly distracted and always seem to be wasting time chasing the wrong leads, or focused on record keeping rather than record making?
In most cases, the reps that can’t seem to drive sales any further than their attention will hold them, simply lack a workflow that maximizes their time.
Productive sales reps are great at time management. They build to-do lists, streamline their sales process and schedule, and they know how to keep themselves from getting distracted.
Sales productivity happens when you’re using fewer resources (such as time) to maximize sales. You just have to know how to tap into that.
Biggest Contributing Factors To Sales Inefficiency
Did you know that sales professionals spend only 34% of their time actually selling? That’s because they’re spending so much time with data entry, quote generation, and other administrative tasks that keep them from developing a customer relationship.
Oracle did a study about sales efficiency, and uncovered these complaints by reps, and what they believe keeps them from talking to more leads:
- Repetitive and redundant tasks
- Using too many systems that don’t have integrations
- Wasting time on follow ups with prospects they know aren’t interested
- Managing a CRM and manual email data entry
This constant pulling of unnecessary tasks keeps sales reps from real sales activities — like negotiation and research on a prospect.
That’s why Kris Hartvigsen, our CEO over here at Dooly, completely cut some of the more administrative tasks (like updating his CRM) from his sales process entirely.
Instead, he kept an organized notebook, and held firm to the philosophy of “why do more” — when all you need are the five basic fields to get paid?
The result: he always exceeded his sales quota.
His expert advice: “Time is money and you’re asking for too much of my time to do things that don’t earn me money.”
Essentially, the biggest source of sales inefficiency is time management, and asking reps to handle more than they absolutely need to is the driver.
Key Pillars of Sales Productivity
Productivity is no coincidence, it’s a conscious choice borne out of habit and a good sales process. This means that productivity can be learned, whether through sheer will, or by adopting proven productivity strategies.
Below are some of the productivity hacks and strategies that some of the most productive sales reps today use to increase their sales capacity, and actually get a chance to nurture their leads.
1. Time blocking
Time blocking works by breaking your daily schedule into pre-planned, time-controlled blocks, which then prescribe your activity throughout the day.
Essentially, it's a way to establish a schedule and routine that dedicates time to certain activities.
For instance, you could set a thirty minute block for responding to emails first thing in the morning. Maybe you follow it up with a forty minute block for completing proposals and a two-hour block for meetings.
The benefit of this approach is threefold.
You’re able to hold yourself accountable for activity throughout the day. The set time constraints force you to be more productive when completing individual tasks instead of drawing them out. You can adjust blocks to prioritize the most important tasks, ensuring you don’t waste a minute.
2. The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique was created by a productivity guru named Francesco Cirillo, and is popular among writers, coders, and those whose work requires sustained activity.
The Pomodoro Technique is simple: you break up tasks into 25-minute segments called Pomodoros. In between each Pomodoro, you earn a 5-minute break. You keep track of each Pomodoro with a timer.
This method is likely to be most effective for time-intensive tasks like prospecting
Setting aside two hours to run through your prospecting process every day and using the Pomodoro Technique within that time helps you remain focused throughout the day and achieve more by breaking the work into smaller tasks.
3. The Eisenhower Principle
Named after the 34th President of the United States, the Eisenhower Principle has also been referred to as “eating the frog.”
Here’s how it works: Always focus on important tasks instead of ones that are most urgent or have the closest deadlines.
The benefit of this technique is that we replace business with productivity.
On any given day, there are a myriad of distractions for salespeople, but the only ones that really matter are finding quality leads, developing the customer relationship (developing rapport), and driving those leads down the sales funnel.
If you apply the Eisenhower Principle to your day-to-day, driving sales performance will always be your top priority. You can either delegate the rest, add CRM automation to your sales tools, or pare down on what really matters.
4. Don’t Break the Chain
This method is credited to comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
While it generally focuses on creative success, it can be used by salespeople to develop consistency and accountability to sales goals, and to form better sales habits — never a bad thing.
The way it works is simple: Buy a calendar or build a dashboard, create daily goals, then mark an X over each day you accomplish your goal.
For salespeople, the goal might be to make a certain number of contacts, or to follow-up with a certain number of prospects.
Make sure to pick goals that can increase sales performance, and then, most importantly, stick to it and don’t break the chain.
5. The 80/20 Rule
Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 Rule is another system which encourages people to do more of their highest-value work.
As the name implies, the 80/20 Rule posits that eighty percent of our output stems from twenty percent of our efforts.
In practice, a follower of the 80/20 Rule would identify which activities are responsible for most of their results.
In sales, it’s usually prospecting, following-up, sifting through replies from prospects, or seeking creative ways to boost the customer acquisition process.
The second half of the rule encourages followers to minimize ineffective activities: usually busy-work and administrative tasks (one way to do this is to embrace sales tools designed to increase sales productivity).
So measure sales activities, figure out what’s working, then do your best to cut everything else from the sales cycle (or at least shortcut those sales processes).
6. Get Proper Sales Training
Inside sales training can increase productivity by up to 88%.
That’s a shocking number, until you learn that 87% of sales training fades from the mind within weeks.
There are a few ways to overcome this:
- Ongoing sales training
- A sales team shadowing program
- Sales enablement tools like Dooly Playbooks to help with real-time objection handling
Proper initial sales training and enablement tools to implement it on calls can set you up with a productive mentality from the very beginning, and help you meet your sales career goals.
7. Stay Organized
Our CEO became a top sales performer (3X quota) in his former positions with a simple, but organized notebook that contained only the most pertinent information about the customer journey and the buyers themselves.
The truth is, you really don’t need much to succeed in sales (besides maybe a few deal-closing personality traits). You just need to streamline your sales processes, establish good sales habits, and use sales tools to automate redundant tasks.
Luckily, Kris turned his winning sales notebook into Dooly, so you can win at sales too.
Beating your competitors with productivity
Measuring sales productivity comes down to actual sales outcomes, as our Founder Kris proves.
To increase sales, you need to cut out the redundant tasks, and focus on the real work. That may mean taking breaks every 25 minutes, or using time blocking to dedicate certain hours to deep work.
It may also mean automating things like Salesforce updates and simplifying the sales process with tools like Dooly.
Get to know Dooly, and see how it can increase your sales productivity today.
Top performers use Dooly
- Celene L.Account Executive
I like how it cuts down time editing and updating Salesforce. My favorite feature is the board page, it is great to get a whole view of pipeline or accounts.
- Pierre P.Account Manager
It is so easy to take notes while I'm on a call. The app just works! The best thing is that it allows us to centralize our notes across all client-facing teams. We all stay aligned because of this: from pre-sales to post-sales.
- Zoe M.Enterprise Account Manager
It syncs beautifully with Salesforce and I can make tasks for myself as well as add contacts through it. It makes me way more efficient!
- Chip S.Strategic Account Manager
Blown away by how much time it saves me on a daily basis. Keeps me not only hyper organized but on top of my most important aspects in my pipeline. Also - first tool I have used that I can share with other team members!
- Jonathan C.Account Manager
What really makes Dooly stand out from competitors like Scratchpad is its "Playbooks" functionality... Playbooks deliver key content in the moment.