On the Razor’s Edge: Closing the Sales Productivity Gap

August 06, 2015 | Ann Lambert
On the Razor’s Edge: Closing the Sales Productivity Gap

What’s the sales productivity gap – and how do you close it?

Closing the Sales Productivity GapRecently, Brainshark’s Chief Marketing Officer Robin Saitz was a guest on Barb Giamanco’s podcast, The Razor’s Edge. Barb is a sales and social selling influencer, whose “passion is in helping salespeople and sales teams sell more, more often.” It’s fitting then, that she chatted with Robin about ways companies can do just that—increase sales productivity.

Barb likes to bring people on to talk about sales, marketing, predictive analytics, and “essentially, all things related to doing business in a digitally disrupted world.” With Robin, she discussed:

  • The definition of sales productivity

  • The root causes of the sales productivity gap

  • Suggested solutions for closing the sales productivity gap

Download the full podcast here

Sales productivity, defined

Is the rep hitting their quota? Are they doing it efficiently? How can they get the most and biggest deals closed in the fastest way? The answers to these questions inform the level of sales productivity at any given company. In short, Robin describes sales productivity as yield per rep.

Mind the (sales productivity) gap

Costs are rising faster than revenue—and that’s a huge problem, says Robin. When Barb probed further about why sales are not closing more deals faster, they got to the root(s) of the issue.

Robin cited the Forrester statistic that 90% of sales meetings fail to meet the expectations of executive buyers. Too often, reps are more focused on their own solution than the buyers’ challenges. And part of this is a function of the training they receive (or lack thereof). For example, Sirius Decisions reports that 38% of companies lack a formal process for onboarding their sales reps. “How are you going to develop those skills without a formal process?” Robin implored. “You get random results.”

In addition to inadequate training, there is a content issue that further widens the sales productivity gap. Studies have shown that reps spend up to 40% of their time searching for or creating content. Marketing is churning out content all day long to help support the sales organization, but it doesn’t necessarily get into the hands of the reps when and where they need it.

Finally, Robin touched upon the fact that few organizations measure sales knowledge and behavior—which are good leading indicators of sales readiness. This lack of analytical insight breeds stagnation in the sales process. If you can’t correlate sales knowledge (what they are trained and prepared on) and sales behavior (what they are doing to engage buyers through prospecting and presentations) to sales performance (whether or not they are winning new business), then you have a critical blind spot that is deterring you from closing the gap between your "A" reps and your "B" and "C" reps.

Closing the sales productivity gap

Ready to close the gap? Listen to the full podcast with Barb and Robin to hear more about how to solve the sales productivity problem, who should be doing what, and how it will change the dynamic of the entire marketing and sales organization for the better.

Looking to drive sales productivity at your organization? Learn more about how Brainshark can help.

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