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7 ways you can help your sales team be more effective

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Nov. 20, 2014
From CRM to gamification, sales and marketing experts share strategies and tools that can help salespeople be more productive and close more deals.

As for signing contracts, consider using a service such as DocuSign. "This is a wonderful tool that lets your sales team get sales orders and agreements signed electronically," explains Dudayev. "When out in the field, the salesperson can make changes as necessary, using an iPad to get a digital signature."

Finally, because "communication is crucial, if you don't already have an enterprise-level communication app in place, it's time to get one," says Michael DeFranco, CEO, Lua, a mobile messaging provider. "Instantaneous communication coupled with data security and privacy lead to better [sales and] customer experiences, fewer errors and employees that work as one cohesive force."

4. Offer regular training and opportunities to share best practices. "Top performing sales organizations invest in the development of their teams," says Mark Donnolo, a sales compensation strategy/design expert and founder of SalesGlobe, which helps sales organizations be more effective. "From technical training on products and services to sales process training, or gathering regional teams together once a year to share best practices, a well-planned training and development program provides a measurable ROI," he says. "In addition, training helps to retain top performers and shift critical middle performers into top performers."

5. Minimize time spent on administrative tasks. "Almost all sales roles have non-selling administrative or customer service aspects," notes Donnolo. "But too often, those activities take up more time than the selling activities," he notes.

"Organizations that understand how to minimize the amount of time salespeople spend doing administrative tasks, such as data entry, win by helping them be more productive," says Somrat Niyogi, cofounder & CEO, Stitch, a sales automation app.

So what can organizations do to minimize the amount of admin work for salespeople? They can hire sales support personnel and/or make sure non-sales issues get routed to the right department, be it marketing, tech support or customer service, says Donnolo. They can also provide tools that make it easy to enter customer data from a mobile device, says Niyogi.

6. Employ gamification strategies. "Gamification taps into the natural competitive streak in reps and delivers positive results as reps strive to climb to the top of the leader board," says Leslie Stretch, CEO, CallidusCloud, a SaaS provider of sales effectiveness technology. "Give points not just for customer wins but also for sales activity -- getting a new lead or face-to-face meetings with senior executives," he advises. "According to a report from Aberdeen Group, companies do better on their quotas with gamification: with it 85 percent of reps attain their quota and 51 percent of new hires achieve their numbers in their first year. While in the absence of gamification, only 78 percent of reps make quota and only 42 percent of new hires meet their numbers."


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