LinkedIn Live Recap: 5 Strategies to Improve Sales Efficiency
September 17, 2019
Editor's Note: This post was written by Gabe Villamizar, Global Sales Evangelist at Lucidchart.
In a recent “Live with Sales Leaders” livestream hosted by LinkedIn, I sat down to chat with Samantha McKenna, Roderick Jefferson, and Nicole Desjardins to discuss a relevant ways to improve sales efficiency.
After an amazing 45-minute discussion with live Q&A at the end, here are my top five takeaways:
1. Prevent poor performance with consistent weekly planning
Between countless sales meetings, prospecting, discovery calls, and updating CRM, there’s never enough time to accomplish all of your important sales activities in any given day or week. With that said, a simple yet effective way that you can increase your productivity is by consistently planning your upcoming week on Friday afternoons. Chances are that your team members and buyers are winding down and getting ready for the weekend, which makes this an excellent opportunity to quickly take 30 minutes to review what you did during the week and plan your upcoming week with specific purpose-driven activities to help you get more done.
Schedule and block off certain days/times in your week so you can work on crucial non-negotiable activities that you know are important and need to get done no matter what. If you adopt this tactic, when you start your week and log on Monday morning, you’ll know exactly where to start, and you’ll hit the ground running without having to use your precious time and energy remembering where you left off.
2. Multi-thread every single deal
One of the fastest ways to predict if a sales deal is at risk is by simply analyzing how many strong relationships a sales rep has developed with decision-makers, champions, and even users at one of their target accounts. When a sales rep devotes the majority of their attention on building a single relationship (a.k.a. single-threading), they’re walking on thin ice. The way decision-makers research and buy products/services is more complex than ever before, and multiple individuals, directly and indirectly, influence every stage in the buying journey. In fact, according to recent research from Gartner, there are now 6-10 buyers involved in a traditional B2B buying committee.
This means that sales reps need to have a multi-threaded mindset in order to increase their chances of getting visibility, earning trust, and penetrating the account. If you’re a sales leader, one way you can introduce this concept and make it stick is by identifying the different personas that are usually involved in your buying process. Next, create a buying circle/committee relationship map template that each sales rep is encouraged (or required) to follow whenever they're working a mid-market, enterprise, or strategic deal.
3. Enhance sales productivity with technology
Three tech tools that can facilitate a multi-threaded mindset are LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Lucidchart Sales Solution, and Crystal Knows. When used correctly, these practical sales technologies can help you obtain relevant contact/account insights, create visual relationship maps, and help sales reps know what kind of verbiage to use when communicating with each different decision-maker in the buying committee.
Before you try and implement any new and fancy sales technology, begin with an end in mind and assess how a specific tech tool, platform, or app can increase your sales rep’s efficiency and effectiveness. With over 5,000 tools in the sales tech landscape, it’s quite easy to justify getting just one more tool to make things faster and better. But before you do so, bestselling author Simon Sinek recommends that you start with “why.” Once you identify and know the “why,” the “how,” and the “what,” you can find which technology is a must-have vs. a nice-to-have in order to help your sales reps achieve their goals and ultimately increase productivity.
4. Create a sales coaching culture
Over the years, I’ve noticed that world-class sales coaches all have one thing in common: they care about their people. And they show they care about each individual team member, not on a weekly or monthly basis, but they do so daily. They don’t tell their team what to do, they show them how and what to do. The best sales leaders go above and beyond by jumping in the trenches with their reps and show them how it’s done, and then they get out of their way without micromanaging them. When it comes to weekly 1:1s, they treat that time as sacred, and no other meeting can overthrow that time.
Here at Lucidchart, sales managers/coaches follow a specific purpose-driven agenda in order to get the most out of that time with their reps. Many of them give specific, actionable, and measurable feedback during a 1:1 while listening to sales calls via Chorus.ai, which is a conversation intelligence platform we use across sales, customer success, and marketing to learn and find areas for improvement.
5. Personalize sales conversations
Sales is all about relationships. With so many sales automation tools available in the market today, it’s quite easy to jump on these tools with the end goal of creating more sales interactions faster than ever before. Even though the intent of using these tools is good, your buyer is a human being, just like you and me, and they want to be treated as such instead of just a number.
If you want to stand out from a sea of generic emails, messages, and calls that your buyers get on a daily basis, all you have to do is a little research to become relevant. Being relevant builds trust. And trust is the gateway for sales success. At the end of the day, buyers want sellers to show them they care and that they’ve done their homework on who they are and what their business is all about.
For more tips and tricks on sales strategies, check out the full session on-demand, LinkedIn Live with Sales Leaders: Strategies to Improve Sales Efficiency.