The Little Things That Crush Sales Productivity

As a sales leader, you have high expectations for your team. You need each member to stay productive, focused, and motivated to hit their targets. Yet, productivity can be a challenging metric to measure, especially when so many distracting factors are vying for your team’s attention.

Building a strong sales function that operates efficiently and with consistency means taking an inventory of culture, behaviors and other activities that chip away at your sales team’s time—their most precious resource. Let’s take a look at one example that isn’t new or novel, but which require a second look by leadership.

Social selling or plain old socializing?

Your team is likely spending more time on personal social media accounts then they should.  According to a survey by HubSpot, “69 percent of salespeople admit to wasting time on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.” To mitigate this distraction, yet not flatten morale, offer constructive alternatives to the sales team. For example, introduce new ideas around micro-habits to improve sales skills and behaviors.

The idea is that your sales team would adopt these habits and put them into practice in addition to their daily workload. They will essentially start repurposing time spent scrolling through feeds towards manageable activities that gradually improve performance.

Sales leadership is the catalyst.

The approach is to not come in heavy-handed and scold personal social media use or other common derailers. Instead, take inventory of what the productivity killers look like in your organization and present a better way forward.

Of course, for any new alternative to stick (because people love their comfort zones), it has to be communicated, recognized, and ideally incentivized. Showcase people in your sales organization who are productive. Highlight efficient ways of working and share the business benefit that comes with it.

So much of really great sales leadership is being clear about what’s expected, creating cultural conditions that nurture desirable behavior and communicating both the successes and consequences for a range of behaviors. Leading from the front on make-or-break issues like productivity doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to be consistent.


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