Tracking and improving sales efficiency is critical for both cutting costs and boosting revenue. But an equally valuable fringe benefit is a highly engaged sales team, with greater retention and reduced turnover.
According to Gartner, 90% of sellers report feeling burned out, dragged down by a number of factors, including a high burden of unproductive administrative tasks. The majority of them are actively seeking new positions.
More efficient processes, tools, and training are in-demand as sales leaders look to reverse this trend.
Sales efficiency measures the ability of your sales team to achieve their goals with little to no wasted time, energy, or resources. If your processes are optimized – and you’re providing your salespeople with everything they need to do their jobs – your team will be as efficient as possible, leading to more opportunities and conversions.
So what does “sales efficiency” actually mean? How can you create a truly streamlined, effective sales organization?
In this post, we’ll explore what sales efficiency is, how to measure it, and offer solutions to release sales reps from some of their most unproductive, low-value tasks.
What is sales efficiency?
Sales efficiency is a key performance metric that tracks the amount of new revenue generated for every dollar invested in outreach, promotion, and selling. Your sales efficiency ratio gives you a high-level measurement of how long it takes your customer revenue to exceed your sales and marketing costs.
To close consistently and perform at their best, your sales reps must work productively and make the most of their time and resources. Tracking sales efficiency helps you measure whether they are meeting those expectations and if your sales leaders are providing the training and coaching necessary to succeed.
Tracking sales efficiency: the key to improving your ROI
Sales efficiency is one of the simplest ways to measure a company's performance.
To calculate sales efficiency, add up your sales and marketing costs – including training expenses, salaries, and marketing costs – then divide by the amount of business revenue your team generated during that period.
Sales efficiency provides true transparency into the relationship between the revenue your organization generates and your team's performance, making it a great starting point for analysis of your entire sales operation. Essentially, it enables you to measure the speed of your sales operations.
For example, if a sales team generates $100,000 in revenue in a quarter at a cost of $50,000, that team has a sales efficiency ratio of 2 or 200%.
If your sales efficiency ratio is 1 or above, your sales team is creating positive revenue for every dollar your organization spends on sales and marketing. If it dips below 1, your team is struggling to sell efficiently with their current resources, training, and support.
How to improve your sales efficiency metrics
How much time do your sales reps spend on manual tasks, tracking down documents, and sending personalized content? Start by unlocking those hours, so they can spend more time interacting with prospects and cultivating the critical long-term relationships that lead to revenue growth.
Investing in smart sales enablement strategies can help you improve your sales efficiency metrics by providing all your reps the resources they need to succeed. With established best practices, just-in-time training, and marketing content at their fingertips, your reps can streamline their selling process and focus on converting leads into customers.
Want to improve your sales efficiency metrics? Here are four ways to maximize your sellers’ time and remove redundant processes that keep them away from customer engagement.
Make it easy to search for and distribute sales content
According to data collected, sales reps spend an average of 440 hours every year searching for the content they need to share with customers and prospects. Think about what your sales team could accomplish if you gave them back 440 hours a year.
The consequences of not being able to locate critical content can be dire. If your reps can’t find the content they need, they could send irrelevant or impersonal content to prospects, hurting relationships and lowering conversions.
With 62% of B2B decision-makers finalizing their decisions based solely on the content they receive during the sales cycle, you can’t afford to make it harder for your reps to find relevant, up-to-date content.
Conduct an audit of your content repository to remove duplicates, identify missing assets, and look for inefficiencies that make it harder for sales reps to locate assets. Optimize and set up a logical taxonomy for your content library to support better sales efficiency and make your assets easily searchable.
With Pitcher’s cloud-based Content Conversion Engine (CCE), your team can also convert and update all your content into the file formats they need, without having to rely on the marketing team to supply assets. Self-service content management tools and drag-and-drop interfaces allow your reps to work more quickly, increasing sales efficiency.
Reduce time spent on manual tasks
Recent research suggests that sales reps spend only 37% of their time on revenue-generating activities like outreach, meetings, and connecting with customers. The rest of their time is spent on non-selling tasks, including data entry into CRM tools and manual delivery of content to prospects.
You can save time, money, and energy by automating content delivery using technology solutions like digital sales rooms. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 30% of B2B sales cycles will be managed through digital sales rooms that enable customers to virtually access the content they need, without the hassle of organizing face-to-face or online meetings.
Removing some of the most time-consuming human intervention from content-related tasks will improve customer experiences and drive consistency across your brand.
Pitcher’s content automation tools connect multiple data sources so sales reps can automatically generate personalized content tailored to individual audiences.
Salespeople also get content recommendations that incorporate prospect-specific information – and all of Pitcher’s tools are connected to your CRM, even when your sales reps are offline.
Deliver customized customer presentations in less time
One of the keys to increasing your conversion rate is always showing your customers the right content at the right time – including presentation decks that reflect their specific needs.
Your team can use sales enablement solutions to quickly and easily create custom-tailored slide decks that include pitch content and data specific to each prospect based on information in your CRM.
Start by segmenting your customer base and creating personas based on buyer journeys, then map out the problems each segment is struggling with. Use those personas to identify the ideal value propositions for each group so that you can spotlight them in your presentations.
When sales reps generate pitch decks, they can use personas to create highly personalized content for every prospect, leading to better engagement and an improved customer experience.
Within a sales enablement platform, you can create richer, more powerful pitch decks; then, key account managers can share their best practices for using those presentations to drive sales.
Want the details on what’s working and what’s not with your content? Pitcher’s patented sentiment technology enables you to analyze content to find out exactly what content your customers like so you can produce more of it.
Create an efficient sales team with better training
Efficient sales reps are made, not born – effective training and onboarding are critical when building your team. Focus on efficiency in your training and coaching processes, spotlighting the best, most efficient practices with new hires.
Train your reps on using digital sales rooms and other virtual tools to interact with customers, so they can become trusted advisors to customers and achieve greater win rates.
With Pitcher’s sales enablement solutions, you’ll be able to transfer best practices from the field and provide instant feedback to improve sales reps’ performance.
With smart sales enablement solutions, your sales teams can engage customers in multiple channels using automated guided selling, personalized digital sales aids, and content recommendations that reflect customer needs.
Leading the way to improved sales efficiency
Companies must focus on improving their sales efficiency to make more sales and receive the highest return on their sales investments. Close rates alone don’t reflect the entirety of sales success – keeping track of sales efficiency can help highlight problems and provide insight into where you can provide better tools and training to help your reps be as efficient as possible.
To learn more about the business impact of sales enablement and how you can improve your team’s sales efficiency, download our free ebook, [Business Impact of Sales Enablement].