High-performing sales teams don’t just happen – they know which activities drive the best outcomes and stop doing the ones that aren’t adding value.
For an overwhelming number of sales teams, the majority of a reps time is spent on non-selling activities; a problem that boils down to not having a clearly defined process and necessary technology to execute.
“But, where do we start?”
There are so many different activities a rep and manager can be working on in a given day, week, month or year. Not all are created equal.
With the help of smart technology and data-driven insights, reps and managers can scale by uncovering where and how they can allocate their time, energy and resources for the highest return.
In this post, we’ll look at 10 data-backed sales activities reps and managers can adopt to build a pipeline that drives predictable sales results.
What are sales activities?
Let’s get crystal clear on what we mean by sales activities.
Sales activities are the day-to-day actions, tactics, or practices that reps and sales management take part in. Over time, these activities lead to results, like winning a big opportunity or exceeding a sales quota.
Sales activities can be divided into two categories: qualitative and quantitative
Examples of qualitative sales activities:
- Contacting new prospects or existing customers
- Presenting your product or service
- Nurturing strong client relationships
- Following up diligently
- Customer satisfaction
- Brand awareness
Although qualitative activities can’t be measured by data, they do provide insight into how your team is doing, offers a way to motivate, gives insight into customer satisfaction, and helps fill in the overall picture of sales performance.
Examples of quantitative sales activities
First Stage to Won:
Visits to Next Stage (Average Number of Visits):
Visits to Next Stage (Total Efforts):
Leads Created by User:
Value of Pipeline:
Leads Created by Territories:
Quantitative activities can be pulled as raw numbers, which is very useful when it comes to understanding the efficiency of your sales team. You’re able to see the number of new opportunities, new leads, amount of revenue last quarter, etc.
Quantitative insight allows you to assess the current state of your reps and team, coach those who need help in a certain area of the sales cycle, as well as model future growth based on past performance data.
Increased activity doesn’t necessarily lead to increased results, however; not all activities are created equal. By understanding which sales activities yield the strongest results, sales teams can make the most of their time.
10 sales activities that will move the needle in 2020
Monitoring and tracking key sales activities lets you know where the sales team is at as a whole; allowing you to drill down to identify what’s working, what’s not working, who needs coaching, so on and so forth.
Having a grasp on the following 10 activities will set your organization up for success.
1. Manage your daily sales activities with a CRM
Lack of tracking is one of the most critical gaps faced by sales managers when trying to identify the most important sales activities. If sales teams don’t know what they’re doing, they have no way of knowing which activities are leading to results.
CRMs fill this gap by helping sales teams keep track of contacts, accounts, deals and activities.
In fact, SPOTIO’s Field Sales CRM gives sales leaders visibility into how top outside reps are making it happen and where leads are falling off in the sales process. With features like pipeline visibility, next best action to take, simplify and automate prospecting, sales material management, and document storage.
2. Strategically assign sales territories
Sales territory management is the process of using data to segment customers and prospects to better track sales, streamline prospecting, map visits, and overall enhance how a reps time is spent in the field.
In addition to cutting out the noise of low-return accounts, thoughtful sales territory management aligns salespeople with the most appropriate customer base – whether that’s by geography, vertical, expertise, or past relationship. It allows sales teams to focus their attention on viable accounts and spend more time in the field making face-to-face contact.
SPOTIO’s territory management software is one great tool that enables managers to create custom maps of different territories for assignment to sales reps.
3. Close more deals in less time with smart routing
Sales reps have the potential to waste hours of valuable time wandering aimlessly without a strategic plan for where and when they will spend their time. Smart route planning is an essential activity to ensure sales teams spend their time in an optimal way.
Route planning software, such as SPOTIO Routing enables reps to see exactly where to go, what to do, and the most efficient way to get there. Users can set up meetings, update notes in real-time, and prospect new accounts in between meetings.
4. Examine your sales data for insights
These days, there’s copious amounts of data available to sales teams for tracking the activities that lead to the best results. Most organizations have data at their fingertips, but only the best sales teams put deliberate motions in place to monitor and track data to augment activity and improve results.
Some useful activities to measure include the volume and timing of email, sales calls, meetings, marketing campaigns, and phone calls. By monitoring your data, you’ll be able to track the activities that lead up to a sale.
Some examples of tracking data:
- View Pipeline activity inside territories
- Historical prospect, contact, and opportunity data
- Real-time insights of rep activity and performance
- Performance tracking
- GPS verified location tracking
- Colorized data views
- Real-time rep visibility
Smart CRM solutions like SPOTIO field CRM goes beyond aiding the sales team by tracking and organizing data so it can be easily consumed and actioned by sales leadership.
5. Proactively schedule follow-up activities
Sales reps are almost always juggling tasks and priorities. Between prospecting, nurturing, working a deal, or closing there’s a lot to be done. To ensure the pipeline flows smoothly, sales reps need to schedule important tasks to make sure nothing falls off the radar.
92% of salespeople give up after no sales on the 4th call. 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes (source).
By scheduling follow-up tasks and committing to your schedule, you can avoid getting lost in the moment and getting consumed by a single activity. Time is your most important asset. Scheduling specific follow up activities by prioritizing the outcomes you’re looking to drive at a strategic level.
SPOTIO’s appointment setting functionality empowers users to create appointments right in the calendar tool for themselves and other team members. It gives users the ability to see busy and available times for anyone on the team and book appointments accordingly.
6. Focus on the best prospects
One way to optimize time in sales is to focus on the most qualified prospects in your pipeline. Specifically, you want to focus on those prospects who have shown interest in your product or solution – the ones who just need a little push. Those who haven’t engaged are not as worthy of your time.
When you’ve identified your best prospects, your role is to keep them engaged. One example of an activity you can perform is sending an email with a link to an article your prospect would find useful. Another thing you can do is stay active on social media where prospects can see the way you interact with happy customers.
7. Segment lead management activities
One way to make your lead management activities more efficient is to segment your leads by where they are in the sales process.
For example, cold leads may need to be re-engaged, warm leads may need follow up or nurturing, and hot leads that are further down the funnel need to be pushed to the finish line.
By segmenting your leads and lead management activities, you can organize your time to focus on certain types of activities in bulk. You can use templates and repeatable behavior to be efficient and stay focused.
SPOTIO’s lead management software allows you to further identify prospects by assigning them a specific color based on where they are in the sales funnel. This creates a database of “lead intelligence” within the app (colorization).
8. Use a sales tracker to pinpoint bottlenecks
Instead of monitoring every move a rep makes outside the office, you can use sales tracking technology like that offered by SPOTIO to track sales data instead. A sales activity tracker will help your team identify which activities are driving results, as well as which ones are not, so you can improve the sales process.
If performance is down, you can go straight to the source of the problem and correct it. Likewise, if you notice certain activities are driving a lot of sales, you can dedicate more resources to them and scale. Tracking and acting on sales activity data is one of the few ways sales teams can control their outcomes.
Sales management should be tracking both quantitative and qualitative data. Qualitative data helps you paint a bigger picture of how customers view your company. Quantitative data can be used for more concrete things.
For example, you can create clear sales goals like increasing your lead generation by a certain percentage over the next quarter. After the quarter is up, you’ll have some data on what part of your sales funnel is generating the most leads, and what parts need work.
9. Nurture customer relationships
The most successful sales teams are super focused on nurturing their customer relationships to fuel repeat and ongoing sales. In fact, a Bain study cites that repeat customers are known to spend more than 60% more than new customers.
The best way to nurture customer relationships is to learn their business, understand their biggest challenges and goals, and make your interactions about them and how you can help them reach their potential. You can do this by ensuring you celebrate their successes, either via social media or with an acknowledgement phone call.
You can also keep them engaged by ensuring they’re the first to know about any new product releases, services or company news.
10. Communicate with your team
All great relationships hinge on the quality and consistency of your communication habits. Great communication ensures that everyone involved is clear on expectations, marching toward the same outcome, and familiar with where they stand. Poor communication, on the other hand, often leads to mismatched anticipations and disappointment.
In a management scenario, clear communication is necessary to clarify desired outcomes, maximize productivity and minimize churn, and perhaps most importantly, prevent frustration and failure. For sales teams who spend the bulk of their time on the road, clear communication is critical.
To get the best results from their teams, effective sales managers use a mix of communications tools in-app chat, email, team meetings, dashboards, and one-to-one conversations to keep the lines of communication active. They concentrate on predictability and consistency.
Some sales enablement solutions like SPOTIO offer communication features like Team Chat that encourage sales rep engagement and create an open feedback loop with managers. With the ability to talk with individuals 1-on-1 or chat with a specific group, these tools keep the line of communication frequent and open.
Which activities are you going to incorporate into your sales process?
Successful sales organizations know that the secret to success is to work smarter, not harder.
Nobody has more than 24 hours in a day, so the key is to find ways to make the most out of your time with a focus on the things that add value to your customers and accelerate sales.
With features that allow you to maximize your time, SPOTIO’s solutions are a great place to start. With CRM capabilities designed for reps in the field, territory management functionality, route planning, scheduling, sales tracking and more, SPOTIO is the perfect tool for capturing sales activities at the rep and manager levels.
Spotio is the #1 field sales acceleration platform designed specifically for outside sales managers and reps to squeeze every drop out of their field sales efforts.
Want to see a product demonstration? Click here to see how SPOTIO can take your sales game to the next level.