Sales Rep Productivity: 6 Frequent Roadblocks and Their Solutions
October 25th 2021
Remote Sales
Sales reps are the capital to your organization that derive maximum gains in terms of revenue. There can be constant hurdles that may divert them from reaching the ultimate goal of closing deals. In perspective, for successful sales outreach, your sales reps should be highly productive. However, this is easier said than done. When it comes to sales rep productivity, various roadblocks make the ride to success bumpy. Here’s what we’ll cover in this blog:

  • Roadblocks to sales rep productivity
  • Overcome roadblocks with these solutions
  • Tools to maintain sales productivity

Roadblocks to Sales Rep Productivity

Roadblocks are inevitable. To succeed, it is essential to locate these roadblocks and remove them before they prove to be fatal. Here are six major and frequently overlooked roadblocks to sales rep productivity:

Roadblock #1: Tedious and Repetitive Tasks

Sales reps have to perform repetitive tasks day in and day out. Besides this, they often work in isolation to achieve the individual target. The lack of interaction with other team members and performing tedious and repetitive tasks can negatively impact the sales rep’s productivity. They might lose focus due to decreased efficiency and productivity. It may lead to a lack of personal growth due to spending time unnecessarily on admin tasks rather than indulging in more critical tasks. It is a significant source of motivation for employees, and any lack thereof might alienate them.

Roadblock #2: Time Consuming Manual Research

Sales reps usually gather information from numerous sources including CRM, emails, social media, Crunchbase and other channels. Sales reps often spend most of their time identifying the right channels to consolidate data. It is a time consuming task when done manually.

AI or artificial intelligence can reverse this trend by making sure that all relevant information is available at one place and one interface. It can provide insights and data that can go beyond the capabilities of sales reps — all in a fraction of time.

Roadblock #3: Unstructured Sales Processes

According to HBR Review, B2B companies that defined a formal sales process experienced 18% higher growth. A structured sales process ensures consistency through sequences, workflows and playbooks. It increases sales rep productivity by providing them a direction to work without distractions.

Outdated sales processes create mundane tasks like sending emails, entering data manually into CRMs, and other trivial tasks that can otherwise be scheduled and automated. Using traditional ways instead of current sales trends blocks sales reps from focusing on critical tasks like building relationships with prospective customers.

Roadblock #4: Under Utilization of Available Data Accumulated in the Discovery Phase

Data is power. Empowered by prospective lead’s data collected in the discovery phase, sales reps can customize their efforts to increase conversion chances. However, when there are already set processes and a script in place, sales reps tend to ignore the value of data-generated insights. The time and efforts spent looking up data before contacting the lead can often be exhausting for sales reps. It can make them skip using it altogether. This profoundly impacts their productivity and conversion rates.

Roadblock #5: Too Much Information and Less Engagement Intelligence

Which stage is your prospect? What were the identified pain points of the prospect? What was the specific information extracted from previous interactions? What is the history of the customer in question? Too much information to track?

When it comes to selling, sales reps have to track an abundance of information. Often the inability to feed it manually to a tool affects the sales rep productivity. Identifying such information and using it to the advantage can be difficult with manual efforts.

Roadblock #6: Issue of Qualifying Prospects

Finding and pursuing prospective leads can be tricky. It is a long process that entails looking for leads, reaching out to them, and converting them into active accounts. Often while pursuing leads, sales reps tend to get carried away. At times, they tend to keep following leads that might not buy or convert into actual sales ever. Pursuing unqualified leads can affect the sales rep's productivity. It wastes their time and efforts while not producing any concrete results for them and the company. Organizations can solve this problem by having a lead qualifying strategy with mapped steps in place. The solution is to qualify before pursuit.

Overcome Roadblocks with these Solutions

How can organizations solve these problems? The answer is simple. Sales Automation software. The advantages of using such a software are manifold:

  • Eliminate Repetitive Tasks
  • A sales engagement platform eliminates repetitive tasks by automating them or pre-scheduling them in workflows. Besides this, they provide the feature of multichannel outreach not just for prospect engagement but also for customer communication. The increased interaction between employees helps in increasing productivity by giving them a necessary break and fulfilling their social needs. It also facilitates integration and enhanced team spirit.

  • Automate to Update
  • The recent developments in AI and automation have paved the way for better sales outreach processes. By making use of an AI-powered sales automation software, the roadblock of following an outdated workflow can be mended. They automatically store and process data which saves resources. They also provide the functionality of scheduling, sending emails, messages, and other such sales communication. Using sales automation tools allows sales reps to build relationships with clients and generate leads that increase their productivity by manifolds.

  • Make Data Accessible
  • There are ways in which companies can use technology to solve this problem — simplify dealing with available data. The key to unlocking sales rep productivity in this regard is to make data accessible. Software, tools and applications can be used to simplify the process of adding data into the system while in the discovery stage.

    AI-powered sales automation software goes a long way in cutting down the time spent doing repetitive manual tasks. It doesn’t just automate administrative tasks but also facilitates the storing of historical data. You can use historical data about previous successful sales or leads exiting during sales training.

  • Clearly Defined Lead Qualifying Process
  • Sales reps can find it easier to pursue leads with more chances of being converted if a proper qualifying process is in place. Once in the exploratory stage, the focus should be on finding out if the lead has any scope of conversion or not. Qualifying or disqualifying leads by asking questions and filling up gaps in knowledge is essential to save sales reps' valuable time and effort. You can devote time towards converting prospects that would be interested and increase sales productivity.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • AI can considerably reduce the manual efforts of sales reps. It can automate and augment several sales processes leading to sales reps focusing on the most essential factor: revenue. The Salesforce State of Sales report concludes that high-performing teams are 4.9X more likely to use AI than others. Using historical data it can help in predictive forecasting, lead scoring and prioritization, and much more with personalization throughout the sales journey.

Sales Productivity Tools to Boost Overall Performance

Besides CRM platforms and AI-powered Sales Automation tools, there are specific additional tools that sales reps can use to increase their productivity. These tools are cheaper to use and can go a long way in organizing the day-to-day working of sales reps. Some of these tools are as follows:

  • Calendly:

  • As the name suggests, Calendly helps you organize daily meetings, demos, and other activities to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. It has partnered with major clients like Google and Outlook to make sure meetings are booked for all attendees without sending an invite.

  • DocuSign:

  • Tools like DocuSign help create online documents like online proposals to customers, agreements with partners, etc and simplify eSignatures. It integrates with various apps.

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

  • It helps sales reps navigate through LinkedIn, an essential tool for finding leads online. It helps in searching, viewing profiles, and qualifying prospects to send emails, and starting conversations through InMail.

  • Toggl:

  • Toggl is used to track time across different apps or browser extensions. All the entries are then automatically synced. It also provides the additional benefit of calendar integration and project planning.

There are several other similar tools available online which are free and known for delivering effective results.

Once roadblocks are identified, and solutions are in place, the next important step is to ensure proper implementation and control. Streamlined performance, timely appraisal, and timely review of solutions will lubricate to smoothen your sales outreach. If you make sure you take care of your sales rep, and they’ll take care of the rest!

Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
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