As a sales professional, you’re always on the lookout for ways to get more done in less time.
Getting more done doesn’t have to involve clocking more hours at the office or burning yourself out. The key to improving efficiency is to work smarter not harder.
But where do you go for actionable tips and advice to help you get better at your job? According to HubSpot research, over half of sales reps turn to their peers for advice on how to sharpen their skills. So when it came time to research tips for increasing sales productivity, we figured the best resource to ask was our own sales team. Here’s what they had to say.
How to Work Smart, Not Hard
Know your audience.
Create sequences for email correspondence.
Batch tasks in your CRM.
Use meeting scheduling tools.
Take inventory of your projects.
Automate lead qualification with predictive scoring.
Customize your CRM fields.
1. Know your audience.
According to HubSpot Sales Enablement Manager Cody Normand, gauging your prospect’s genuine level of interest in your offering from the start is a must for reps who want to work smart, not hard. Cody says:
"Know who is going to buy, and who isn't going to buy. You can work your tail off running demos, being the top salesperson in activity metrics, and creating custom presentation decks. However, if you're spending your time doing that for people who are never going to buy, you're not working smart. Spend your time with the prospects and customers who you know are genuinely interested in evaluating your product.
This is a really hard skill to learn but it comes with repetition and practice. Once you master this skill, you'll be able to sniff out the true buyers just based on the tone in their voice/emails and how they're engaging (or not engaging) with you."
2. Create sequences for email correspondence.
Are you starting from scratch every time you send an email? Allow us to introduce you to email sequences. By setting up a series of personalized emails and messages to your prospects, you can put follow-up on autopilot. Because this automation works directly with your CRM, you can repurpose messages and share templates with your team.
3. Batch tasks in your CRM.
For HubSpot Revenue Specialist Emily Tong, using CRM to its fullest potential is her key to success.
"I work smart, not hard, by utilizing the task queues in HubSpot CRM. As I'm looking through emails and taking in new issues, I determine whether something needs further action, create a task for it, then move on to the next thing in my inbox. When I have time for followup, I take care of this in bulk all at one time when I go through the task queue.
I also apply this mindset to meetings with members of my team. Rather than asking one-off questions as I am ramping up into my new role, I have a running list of questions to review during our 30-minute or hour-long meetings. This way, we have pertinent topics to discuss and I can breeze through multiple items at once and make the most of our time together."
4. Use meeting scheduling tools.
Is there anything more annoying than a back-and-forth email chain with a prospect trying to decide on a time to meet? We don’t think so. That’s why scheduling tools come in handy.
For easily scheduling one-on-one calls, our sales team likes to use this free meeting scheduling tool that allows your contact to set a meeting time based on your availability. Struggling to find a good time for a team meeting? A tool like Doodle lets your team vote for their preferred meeting time — freeing up your inbox and saving you time.
5. Take inventory of your projects.
Diving into one project after another without taking stock of how much you’ve got on your plate can lead to overwhelm which can seriously impair the quality of your work and your ability to work smart.
Steve Sears, Sales Strategy and Operations Manager recommends the following approach for getting everything done, and doing it well:
"Take the time to identify the projects you've committed to do and make sure you've identified the next step for each one. Then plan when you're going to take each next step."
6. Automate lead qualification with predictive scoring.
Having a hard time identifying qualified leads? Not sure how to prioritize your leads? Allow data to help you.
Members of the HubSpot sales team use predictive lead scoring to optimize their outreach strategy. All customer data points are tracked in one platform helping reps decide what prospects to reach out to, and when getting content in front of the right leads, at the right time.
7. Customize your CRM fields.
Your CRM can be a powerful tool when it comes to helping you work smarter, not harder. On the HubSpot sales team, reps prefer to customize CRM fields to prioritize key pieces of information they need for the sale.
For example, if you sell B2B software and the size of the company you’re selling to impacts how your team will navigate the sale, you may want to create a custom property that specifies the size of the company you’re working with. This way, anytime you or a member of your team open that contact record, you can see this important data point without having to search for it.