Defining Sales Productivity for Partners So You Can Improve It

sales productivity

Time is a valuable, but finite, resource. It’s also the easiest resource to waste. And many sales professionals may think that time is something that they never seem to have enough of. True, time is something we cannot control, but we can make the most of our time as sales professionals—and maximize both our efforts and our profits.

In today’s breakneck sales landscape, productivity is the name of the game. So, what is sales productivity, and why is it something that channel managers should be aware of? While the term is relatively ambiguous, when it boils down to it, sales productivity is the frequency at which a rep acquires revenue for an organization. It’s the rate at which reps sell.

Rather than get too bogged down with technicalities, however, we’re here to say that sales productivity is simple.

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Keep It Simple, Stupid

While the KISS acronym traces its origins to the U.S. Navy in the 1960s, it’s since been adopted by the professional world. In a nutshell, the KISS principle states that things work best if they are kept simple rather than made overly complicated. The same goes for productivity.

Contrary to popular belief, sales productivity can—and should—be measured in simple terms. The best performers are the ones who can minimize distractions and get down to business. Again, this concept might seem simple. But that’s exactly why it works.

How so?

Because in doing so, reps focus on time spent selling.

Think of the last time you multitasked. Perhaps you’re even doing it right now (we see those 15 tabs currently open on your internet browser). In today’s fast-paced sales society, multitasking has become an acceptable practice. However, if your attention is being pulled in multiple directions, you can start to lose track of the details in each task. You risk stretching your attention too thin—which results in wasted time used to refocus on each new task.

Let’s consider this in the context of a channel sales rep.

An oft-quoted study shows that only one-third of a rep’s time is actually spent on selling. Instead, reps spend 31 percent searching for content and another 20 percent on administrative or other customer relationship management tasks.

That’s a lot of wasted time.

Partners that are enabled to work smarter, not harder, are the ones that succeed. Sales enablement tools automate tasks so that reps can shift their attention away from sending boring, bland emails and instead to crafting personalized responses. They also decrease lead response time.

When your direct and indirect sales reps are able to respond to leads in a timely fashion, they can generate more wins in the long run. Enabling reps to find the right content they need in order to transfer the right information to prospects not only cuts back on wasted time and boosts productivity, but it increases engagement.

Long Live the Laptop

Now that we’re on the topic of productivity tools, let’s take a step back and mention what they’re not. Back in 2015, we wrote about the empty promises of mobile applications as they pertain to productivity. There are thousands of mobile apps that claim they can improve productivity or drive communication efficiency. But they don’t.

Hear us out….

Sure, some companies may find minor success through mobile apps. They may streamline communication efforts and inspire collaboration. However, these accomplishments are incremental—even minuscule—in the larger context of sales productivity.

The most successful partner sales platforms are instead creating an improved user experience in tried-and-true web apps. Mobile apps are a cute attempt to make sales reps more productive. However, at the end of the day, the best reps are living in their browser windows and bouncing from web apps and websites to social tools and productivity platforms.

We’re not saying that the mobile phone is obsolete (that’s far from the truth). Rather, it’s important to integrate mobile capabilities into an established, browser-based platform that delivers the knowledge, tools, and resources your partners need—no matter where they are located.

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