Scaling up your sales function usually means hiring.
After all, a bigger team equals more opportunities and consequently, more revenue, right?
In reality, new sales folks take months to start delivering a positive ROI on the hire. Sales rockstars deliver faster, but even they take time to get up to speed on your products, right? Besides, they are super-expensive!
In fact, any hiring is expensive. You either need more in-house recruiters or sign up a recruitment firm.
Moreover, your sales managers have to invest valuable hours in screening CVs and taking interviews. Not a job they enjoy!
What if you could scale your sales function – make more revenue – without hiring more people?
The key is to build a more productive sales team.
Here are 6 ways to scale your sales process without hiring
1. Have Well-Defined Processes
High performing sales teams all share one thing in common.
They follow robust sales processes.
These processes are about how to send a cold email, do a discovery call, qualify a lead, draft a proposal, deliver a presentation and more.
Processes help a team take actions that are tried and tested, rather than apply arbitrary tactics and hope to get the sale. They also help you have a more predictable pipeline and improve the performance of low performers in the team.
Essentially, processes help close more deals in the same amount of time.
But implementing processes can be tough. That’s why you should go ahead and map them in a project management tool such as ClickUp.
ClickUp allows you to define processes as task templates. For instance, you can define the processes for a discovery call by creating a recurring task. Each of the steps of the discovery call would be a subtask. The task can also have a checklist of items that you need to cover in the discovery call.
Your sales managers can also keep track whether salespeople are following processes or not, simply by looking at their ClickUp project dashboards. And a better-managed team is a more productive team.
2. Improve Teamwork and Collaboration
Sales is usually looked at as a solo sport.
People are expected to close deals on their own, and their incentive systems are structured accordingly.
But you can build a far more productive sales team by making it a team sport.
First, sales teams can get together to discuss their experiences of what works and what doesn’t. That is a crucial step in building more productive sales processes.
A tightly knit team can also help each other with introductions and work together on deals. For example, in enterprise deals, it’s sales teams that get the business, not individual sales folks.
However, to build a closely knit sales team, the essential ingredient is effective communication.
Don’t just send an email to your team and tell them to communicate more frequently! You will need to invest a bit of effort in giving your team the means to communicate easily and effectively. This could include leading by example by having an open door policy or encouraging your team members to ask more questions during sales meetings.
You should minimize internal communication over email and switch to tools like Smarp, which are specifically designed for promoting teamwork. You could also encourage weekly informal sales meetings where senior leaders are not present, to make people more comfortable bonding with each other.
A team that works closely works far more efficiently and brings in more customers.
3. Align with Marketing
There’s no denying it.
Sales and marketing are rarely the best of friends. It usually gets the ugliest during the quarter end, when salespeople are struggling to fulfill their quotas and marketing hasn’t been delivering enough satisfactory leads.
However, by collaborating more closely, both teams can agree on a cohesive strategy for acquiring business and seamlessly execute the different moving parts of that strategy.
Here’s an example.
Marketing launches different types of campaigns that get leads from all stages of the buyer’s journey. If they work more closely with the sales team, they will be able to shed insights on the best ways to deal with leads from different sources.
The sales team should be aware of the various campaigns that marketing is running as well as the different lead generation and nurturing tools they use. That will help sales have a better understanding of lead segmentation and nurturing. Sales will accordingly be able to judge better what constitutes a lead that’s worth reaching out to.
For instance, just because someone has downloaded an ebook doesn’t mean that you should call them and ask them to buy. That’s usually a waste of time because the lead is too high up in the funnel and can hardly be called a Marketing Qualified Lead.
In fact, calling people too early would turn off people who might have become customers later on. Rather your sales team should invest that time other qualified opportunities.
But this is only possible if sales and marketing work closely. Only then will they be able to jointly decide on a lead management strategy and agree on the right time to reach out to different types of leads.
When you stop chasing after leads who are not qualified yet, you get more time for opportunities who are ready to buy. And you close more deals.
4. Have Shorter and More Productive Calls
How long do your salespeople spend on each call?
The longer the average call duration, the fewer calls you will make in a day.
One of the simplest ways of reducing call duration is to guide your people through what you want to show them, rather than just tell them.
For example, if you are talking to someone on the phone, they will most likely browse through your website at the same time.
However, you don’t really know which page they are looking at, or what they are looking on the page. You might say something, but their attention might be elsewhere. They might ask you a question, and you might not get the context because you don’t know exactly what they are reading.
You could always try doing that through a regular screen share, but that has several limitations.
- Any call over Skype or Zoom would usually have to be pre-arranged.
- You might have received an inbound call from a lead and you just can’t ask them to switch to Skype!
- Besides, plenty of people would not be comfortable sharing their screen with you. Especially prospects in organizations with strict compliance requirements.
A better alternative is co-browsing with a tool like Talkative. Co-browsing allows you to see only your website on the prospect’s browser and no other tabs or any other part of the prospect’s screen, so it’s fantastic for security. The prospect doesn’t need to download any software, so it’s hassle-free. You can also take control and guide the prospect through parts of your website, rather than ask them to locate links and click on them.
Co-browsing can help you wrap up calls in less than half the time. Moreover, you also give the prospect a far better call experience, which makes them more likely to buy from you.
5. Automate Prospecting
Most salespeople spend only 30% of their time selling.
The remaining time goes towards routine activities which add little value to your pipeline. Sending internal emails, updating the CRM, internal meetings and more.
But one of the biggest culprits is prospecting.
Most salespeople spend an excessive amount of time prospecting for quality leads. However, Aaron Ross, author of the SaaS sales bible, Predictable Revenue, and several other sales experts will tell you that good salespeople dislike prospecting.
In fact, they are not even very good at it.
Most of the activities in prospecting can be automated. For instance, you can use Nimble Prospector to search for companies in your target niche, get the contact info of their key decision makers as well as useful details of their background. Using Nimble instead of trying to prospect manually with Google will save you hours every week.
This single step can improve your sales productivity by 20% or more.
6. Continuous Improvement
Sales is a skill, which means that there’s always scope for improvement.
Investing in sales training (product as well as selling skills) for your team is a start. But there’s plenty you can do to make sure people keep growing every day on the job.
For example, you can encourage your salespeople to pick up simple memory techniques to remember names and other details of their prospects, such as the names of their family members. Asking how a family member is doing is a quick way to build rapport, and it goes a long way towards closing more deals!
Coach your sales team members individually and advise them on challenges they are facing with specific deals.
Keep a library of sales books that people could read and have weekly discussions about different sales techniques that work best.
Offer additional incentives for people who keep improving their conversions over time.
All these steps will make striving for improvement an integral part of your team’s culture.
Use the right technology and deploy powerful processes that help your sales team close more deals – faster.
Not only will you save time and money, but you will also build the fundamental systems to support a high performing sales team. So even when you do hire, your new sales folks will reach their potential more quickly.
Which of these techniques will you apply today?