What is sales productivity and how can you improve it on your team?

Teams that use Lessonly's training and coaching software improve sales by more than 75%. Jump into this quick lesson to see how.

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Sales Productivity

It’s inevitable that every business will struggle with sales productivity now and then. And while there are many exterior factors that can impact sales productivity, there are plenty of factors that any sales team can control to help improve productivity as much as possible.

Perhaps you’re struggling to ramp new sales reps quickly. Or, maybe you’re looking for a better way to coach reps to improve their sales skills while they’re busy juggling making calls, delivering demos, and negotiating contracts. All of these elements can greatly impact how to measure sales performance. But, the good news is that there are plenty of tools, tactics, and strategies that sales leaders and organizations can use to improve sales productivity

Sales Productivity Definition

Before we dive deep into all things sales productivity, it’s important to understand what the term sales productivity means and how to calculate it. Sales productivity is determined by comparing a team’s sales effectiveness to their sales efficiency. Simply put, sales effectiveness measures a sales team’s ability to succeed at individual stages of the selling process and earn business revenue on proper terms and within a predefined time frame. 

Sales efficiency is the amount of new revenue a sales associate or team can generate for every unit of money put into producing, marketing, and selling a product. With that being said, the simplest sales productivity definition is the maximization of results and minimization of resource and finance inputs for the sale. 

Sales Productivity Statistics

High sales productivity is the lifeblood of any business or organization. Without closing sales effectively, no company would gain customers or make a profit. This means that there needs to be some changes in the standard for the sales industry, and hopefully, we can clean up a few sales productivity statistics along the way. 

For example, did you know that the average ramp time for newly hired sales reps is generally six to nine months? That means your sales team misses out on a lot of potential customers and revenue opportunities while they’re getting up-to-speed. Fortunately, you can significantly reduce the number of missed opportunities caused by long and inefficient onboarding and training. All you have to do is decrease the ramp-up time by implementing the proper sales training and enablement for your reps. These extra resources will allow them to meet their quotas an average of seven weeks faster than the industry norm. 

Did you know there’s also a substantial disparity between the amount of revenue generated by a company’s best sales associates and those immediately below them? Recently, a Sales Talent Study found that in most businesses, the top 20% (on average) of sales reps produce over half of the company’s overall revenue. By providing all sales reps with the tools, training, and resources they need to sharpen their skills and increase their sales abilities, you may be able to minimize that gap.

The average sales rep spends around 43 hours searching for relevant information each month. Whether it’s about the product, their potential customer, or some other aspect of their job, it’s time that could be spent making sales and generating revenue. By routinely and adequately training your sales team and providing them with resources to share their knowledge more efficiently, you can decrease this time and thus allow them to focus on other aspects of the sales process.

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How to Measure Sales Productivity with Sales Metrics

While organizations must optimize their sales productivity and their employees’ abilities, there are some things they need to establish first. They must gather, analyze, and implement a number of data points and sales metrics to correctly figure out sales productivity on both an individual and team level. Here are a few sales productivity metrics and key performance indicators that you should be including on your sales metrics dashboard so you can accurately calculate your team’s sales productivity. 

Activity metrics

An activity metric measures the number of activities that your team or organizations undertake. Activity metrics hold important data that is vital to the sales productivity formula. Without activity metrics, you would have nothing else to compare the rest of your data to, thus making it impossible to properly analyze your organization’s skills, progress, and abilities, sales teams, and individual sales associates. 

Pipeline metrics

Pipeline metrics track how much intake your organization gets in terms of new leads and potential prospects. This data is used to compare how many successful sales your sales teams make and deduce their success rate and which areas need improvement. 

Productivity metrics

Productivity metrics are a culmination of all of the data gathered from the other metrics mentioned above. They are used to track and analyze efficiency and effectiveness within your company by comparing the results of the other metrics to each other. 

How to Improve Sales Productivity

Now that you know all of the metrics and uses for sales metrics in terms of sales productivity, it’s crucial to learn and understand how to improve sales productivity. Here are some important strategies to consider: 

Evaluate and optimize the sales process

The first step to improving any aspect of a business, especially regarding sales, is gathering and evaluating all relevant data. Once you analyze it, you must implement what you’ve learned to adjust and improve the sales process. 

Deliver effective new rep onboarding

Onboarding a new sales rep takes a lot of time and effort and can take away from other sales reps meeting their quotas. That’s why you need to create and deliver the right sales training course for beginners that effectively explains the new rep’s responsibilities thoroughly. After all, good sales productivity training can speed up the process while providing them with more essential knowledge than a lesser training process. 

Provide ongoing training and enablement

Everyone needs sales training, not just the new employees. Sales teams should provide even the most experienced sales veterans with ongoing training and sales enablement to keep their skills sharp and their eyes on the prize. 

Prioritize personalized coaching

Everyone learns differently, so you shouldn’t shoehorn them all into the same coaching programs. What works perfectly for one employee might frustrate another to the point of quitting. Get to know your employees and what works for them. 

Track employee performance and metrics diligently

There’s no way to guide your sales reps and help them improve if you don’t know their current skill levels. Diligently track employee performance and their relevant metrics so that you know where they excel and where they could use a bit more training. 

Improve Sales Productivity with Lessonly by Seismic

At the end of the day, the best sales coaching or B2B sales training programs need to be backed with the right tools and resources for your sales reps to use. That’s why we created Lessonly by Seismic. Our online sales training software can optimize your sales productivity as quickly and effectively as possible. With Lessonly by Seismic, you can ramp up new hires in as little as ten days, reduce the time it takes to provide ongoing training by 67%, and effectively coach employees at scale. To learn more, jump into a free lesson and see how sales teams use Lessonly by Seismic to improve productivity.