Every day, it seems like we have less time to take care of our work. It’s paradoxical since there are so many apps, hacks and devices that help us save time nowadays. It seems like the very tips and tricks that should save us time actually take a major toll on our productivity.
I’m a big fan of using the most out of my time every day and I try to make all of my employees as productive as possible – especially the sales team, which is the most vital department in any SaaS company.
Here are some of the methods and tools that I use to save myself and my sales team more time and improve our overall productivity.
Hack 1: Track Your Time Religiously
I’ve been working remotely for more than 10 years now and I absolutely detest the idea of tracking your time as you work. I’ve never used it to check up on my employees, but I have found that it can be really useful for some applications.
For about a month, I tracked my time for every task that I’ve done. For complex tasks such as working on our marketing plan to something as simple as writing an email. I encouraged my employees to do the same for a month, for their own personal records. The results were eye-opening.
We realized how much of our time was wasted on completely useless tasks. In general, we spent much of our day writing emails and in meetings, doing very little actual work. Once we started tracking our time, we were able to realize how much of our time was actually wasted. We realized that our sales team spent far too much time entering data into our CRM instead of talking to prospects and selling our proposal software. We ended up completely overhauling our sales process and project management workflow to be more time-efficient.
Better Proposals enables you to create beautiful, modern proposals in minutes. Proposals made with this tool are web-based, trackable and high-converting. Knowing when the proposal is opened helps you follow up at the right time, and you will also receive a notification when the proposal is downloaded, signed or paid online. Automate your sales, impress your clients and win more business.
Hack 2: Eat a Live Frog?
First off, I don’t recommend actually eating live frogs. There is a famous quote by Mark Twain who said that you should eat a live frog the first thing in the morning. That way, you’ve done the worst possible thing that can happen in a day and everything else that happens can only be better.
Your own live frog is the worst possible task sitting on the top of your to-do list. For me, it’s managing customer support tickets. Every morning when I turn on my laptop, I dedicate an hour or two to reading and responding to customers’ emails. The rest of the day feels like a breeze. For my sales team, I recommend doing the same thing. Different people have different ideas of what their live frog is, so I don’t suggest the actual activity, but I do recommend doing the worst, most difficult tasks in the morning.
Hack 3: Leverage Social Proof for Your Website
Getting more sales through marketing costs time and money. Moreover, coming up with new ways to get customers requires lots of research and hard work. But there is a way to get more sales without spending any extra money – using social proof.
This marketing tactic is well-researched and proven to work in a number of different industries. Simply put, you should use your existing customers’ experience with your brand to convince more customers to spend money with you.
Popular types of social proof include reviews, endorsements, testimonials, conversion notifications and many others. There are also more contemporary methods such as conversion notifications.
If you already have satisfied customers, using their experiences in the right place on your website can make a major impact on your conversion rates and sales numbers. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and it takes some experimentation to get the right social proof formula. The good news is, it works and it works really well.
Hack 4: Take The Sale Online
Many sales teams still use a traditional approach where they want to meet the prospect in-person to close the deal. While this has many benefits, there are considerable downsides too. Every time you go out to a meeting, you lose considerable time and money, without knowing if the meeting will turn into a sale.
There are plenty of tools nowadays that make it easier to close sales remotely. Conferencing apps such as Zoom allow you to make a video call before arranging a meeting in person. That way, even if you don’t get the sale, you will only lose 15 minutes of your time instead of an entire day to visit the prospect.
Hack 5: Align Your Sales And Marketing Teams
In many of the companies I worked for, the sales process was bogged down for one simple reason. The sales department had no idea what the marketing department was doing with its content and marketing materials and at the same time, the marketing department doesn’t have a clue about what sales encounter every day. As a consequence, lots of information gets lost and both departments underperform.
To keep both teams on the same page, it’s crucial to have regular meetings where sales and marketing team leads and members can sit together and discuss what’s happening in each department. Marketing needs to know about the interactions that sales reps have with the customers. At the same time, sales need to know about the latest customer-facing content so that they can align their approach when contacting new prospects. All it takes is 15 minutes per week and both your team communication and productivity will improve.
Hack 6: Be More Strict With Sales Meetings
If someone from the sales team has a meeting with potential customers, they have all the time in the world. However, for internal meetings, our time is very limited. Remember the time tracking that we did? We learned that we spent 4 hours every week on meetings that did absolutely nothing for our sales goals.
Nowadays, we limit all of our meetings to 15 minutes at most. Anything more than that deserves an email and it’s a sign that the meeting agenda wasn’t set properly. Our employee appreciation has gone through the roof and we save tons of time nowadays – thanks to this simple hack.
A great sales team is a must for a company that wants to increase their revenue and the potential to grow. These are just some of the main techniques that we use to ensure that our sales team is as productive as possible, and I hope that you find them useful. Perhaps the most important takeaway here is that not every productivity hack boils down to automation and high tech – you can achieve amazing things just by changing some of your routines and habits.