You have your sales team up and running; they are effective, and they are producing results. The natural next step is to focus on their efficiency. How can you as their leader, get the team to do more of what they do right — cheaper, faster and better? We spoke with sales and marketing leaders to find out their take. This post outlines where the low hanging fruits are with a potential to boost your teams’ efficiency by 30% or more. 

(1) Lead Sourcing:

Your sales development reps should focus on having quality conversations with prospects, not browsing around on LinkedIn to find leads. We saw teams saving up to two hours per day per rep by automating their lead sourcing tasks. If you have a team of four, that’s like getting one extra rep! Once you identify the target customer profiles and set them up in your lead sourcing system, it can keep funneling leads to your sales development reps for outreach. It’s a great way to both save time and ensure consistency in your team’s throughput.

Tools of the trade: ClearBit Prospector, Leadiro

Watch out for: Data errors. Based on the tool you pick, some of your leads may come with inaccurate or missing information.

(2) Outreach: 

Sales development reps spend a good chunk of their time doing cold touches and follow-ups. Outreach tools take away the burden of staying on top of all these interactions. These tools automate personalized outreach and follow-up at scale. Instead of doing the mechanical task of cranking out emails and creating reminders, reps are empowered to do more human tasks like figuring out which sequence is more appropriate for a given set of leads and how to add extra personalization where appropriate. Outreach tools significantly increase the throughput per rep.

Tools of the trade: SalesLoft, Outreach

Watch out for: Embarrassing auto-fill mishaps in outgoing emails caused by bad data, Improperly configured sequences sending pre-scheduled emails after the lead has taken the desired action. 

(3) Scheduling:

Back and forth scheduling emails clutter inboxes and takes up time. Use a scheduling tool to show availability and let your prospects book a time that works for them. In addition to saving a couple of email round trips scheduling links offer a clear call to action!

Tools of the trade: Calendly, HubSpot Scheduling

Watch out for: Meeting time cushions leading to odd availability times, Booking conflicts due to the use of multiple calendars

(4) De-duplication and Account Matching:

Untangling the messes caused by duplicate records and wrong lead assignments are time-consuming. We are seeing sales and marketing leaders effectively combating these inefficiencies by deploying tools to prevent duplications from happening in the first place. These tools scan leads as they get added to prevent duplicate entries and uses rules to match them up with the correct account in your CRM.

Tools of the trade: RingLead, DupCatcher

Watch out for: Override limitations adding friction to your lead creation process

(5) Opportunity Prioritization:

Once you have a good sales pipeline with a lot of activity, opportunity prioritization becomes key. The leads that come through your pipeline are likely to be spread across the full spectrum. You will find everything from students who are doing market research to VPs at a large company looking to fill a need within the month. The process for understanding who is who takes time and effort. Predictive lead scoring systems can help you slash the time from hours to seconds. These systems sift through both internal and external data to point out which leads are of potential higher value; so your team can direct their energies accordingly.

Tools of the trade: hydra.ai, SalesForce Einstein

Watch out for: Ideal customer profiles based on assumptions reducing the scoring effectiveness 

Well-run sales teams have shown double-digit efficiency gains by automating some or all of the above tasks. Now it’s your turn to take a close look at your process to find the efficiency gains. As with any software roll-out, you will get better results by spending some time upfront to understand the as-is process, end goal and the expected ROI. We would love to hear how you are planning on boosting sales efficiency at your company and the lessons learned along the way.

Hima is the CEO of hydra.ai. Hydra scans all your customer touch points using A.I. to determine who is likely to buy, upgrade or churn — empowering your sales team to focus their energy on the right opportunities.