Businesses spend years and millions of dollars trying to find surefire ways to grow their sales. Sadly, this is like the quest for the philosopher’s stone: just like there is no way to turn base metals into gold, your salespeople can not be 100% productive all the time. However, there is something they can do to improve their efficiency. Namely, they can (and should) identify and focus on high-payoff activities.
According to a study, 90% of CEOs report that their sales teams focus on low-payoff activities and fail to identify the right prospects. As a result, sales teams waste time and efforts on irrelevant, low-priority tasks and are unable to target hot prospects.
While low sales productivity might not cause damage right away, research shows that it may cost businesses about $1 trillion annually. That is why it is so important to prioritize high-payoff activities in your sales process.
Unlike wasteful low-payoff activities, high-payoff activities (HPAs) will inevitably be rewarded in the long run. HPAs are those that bring you closer to your goal. In terms of sales management, this results in increased productivity, reduced costs, and guaranteed revenue.
There is no single definition of the high-payoff sales activities. Every team should study its own activities to understand which actions have a consistently higher payoff in achieving customer sales. However, there are some proven sales activities that should be prioritized by any team.
Instead of trying to close a deal, strive to help your prospects solve their problems. By addressing their concerns and pain points, you will not only close a deal faster but build loyalty and retain your customers for the future. Research shows that acquiring a new customer might cost 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. Moreover, increasing your retention rate by just 5% can boost your profits by up to 95%.
In Hubspot’s State of Inbound report, 30% of respondents said that prospecting good leads is becoming increasingly difficult. Thus, determining the engagement level of your prospects is crucial for an efficient sales process. Docsify is a tool that can help save time and effort when reaching out to your prospects. By providing rich insights on prospect interactions with the emails and content your business shares, it enables you to prioritize your sales pipeline and focus on your most engaged prospects.
If you spend your meetings with prospects talking about your product or service, you are most likely wasting your time. Prospecting means asking questions. Keep digging until there’s nothing left to uncover. Keep asking questions until you’ve exhausted the hunt for their challenges both great and small. Then, you will be able to better understand the needs and issues your prospects face and tailor your offer accordingly. This will result in a higher win rate and a better understanding of your customer base.
The questions you should ask depend mostly on the business, product or service you are offering. However, some common questions include:
One case described by Harvard Business Review further proves this point, demonstrating that a 20% increase in the time spent on customer-facing sales activities resulted in up to 10% higher win rates and 40% faster sales cycle.
While high-performance activities are vital for an efficient sales process, they might be hard to focus on. They are typically ongoing, complex tasks that require a significant amount of effort and commitment. It is easy to become distracted and lose track of such tasks when there are numerous small, easy-to-do low-payoff activities crowding them out every day.
In order to focus on HPAs and stay productive, consider the following strategies:
The conventional wisdom “time is money” is especially true when applied to sales activities. Thus, it is very important to organize your efforts in order to improve sales performance. In this regard, prioritizing high-payoff activities can prove to be one of the best strategies to increase your throughput and boost your sales efficiency.