According to a survey of over 127 sales and marketing executives, sales productivity is the top driver for hitting revenue goals. However, the study also indicates a disconnect between how management defines sales efficiency and what sales reps say they need to become more efficient and close more deals.
With a narrow focus on analytics and results, sales management is often unaware of a critical issue faced by their sales team. Sales reps say their greatest challenge to closing more deals lies in their ability to find and use basic sales-related systems, processes and existing resources. In fact, it's estimated that sales reps spend only 32% of their time selling with the remainder of time spent on various administrative tasks or data entry.
A focus on closing deals means some sales reps will bypass important steps in the sales process, like CRM maintenance, in an effort to save time and spend more time actively engaging with prospects. While in the short term this may lead to more deals getting closed each month, other metrics like “close rate” and “average deal amount” may reveal a different story.
And, without proper CRM utilization, there is no way to analyze data to uncover patterns that allow teams to adjust and improve their sales strategy. That’s where HubSpot’s CRM comes in.
By eliminating administrative tasks and streamlining repeatable tasks, HubSpot incorporates business intelligence with practical solutions for sales and marketing alike. When used in combination with the marketing automation software, sales pros can maximize their hands-on selling time.
Here are 6 shareable ‘hacks’ that will improve your sales efficiency:
1. Automate Manual Tasks with Workflows
If you spend time manually updating contact records in the CRM, you can use the Workflows tool (available on Professional and Enterprise) to automate repetitive tasks. Here are some of our favorite ways to use workflows to increase overall sales efficiency and save time each day:
- Notify sales reps when a form submission occurs
- Send follow up emails to leads
- Set a contact property based on actions taken by a lead
- Assign a lead to a sales rep based on location or other criteria
- Schedule a task in the HubSpot CRM when new leads are created
- Assign lifecycle stage after a lead takes a specific action
2. Use Hidden Form Fields to Reduce Manual Data Entry
When a lead fills out a form, you can automatically set a property value for each lead using the hidden fields in the forms tool. One way sales teams can use this feature is by setting lifecycle stages based on specific form submissions.
For example, when a lead fills out a form to request a demo, that would indicate that they are sales-qualified. By setting the lifecycle stage to “Sales Qualified”, you can ensure highly qualified leads don’t slip through the cracks because someone forgot to update the lifecycle stage contact property.
3. Use Custom Views for Engaging With Top Prospects
Sales reps are constantly on the hunt for the best, most-qualified leads in their database. In HubSpot’s CRM, sales reps can filter data based on specific criteria that matters most for a specific type of prospecting or sales initiative. Once those criteria are set, sales reps can even customize the way the data is displayed and save the list as a custom “View” that can be used at any time.
Continuing with the example used in #2, one of the most effective ways to use this tool is to identify all sales qualified assigned to a specific sales rep. From there, sales reps are able to prioritize the leads that are most qualified and have the highest chance of closing.
4. Gain Actionable Insights With HubSpot’s Default Properties
Expanding on the last hack, there are many default HubSpot properties that can be incredibly useful for sales reps when setting up views and identifying top prospects. HubSpot’s default properties require no manual data entry and are updated automatically based on a user’s actions. Here’s some examples of these default HubSpot properties:
- Lifecycle Stage
- HubSpot Owner
- Last Contacted
- Number of times contacted
- Associated Deals
- Total Revenue
- Associated Company
- Next Activity Date
- Last Activity Date
- Became a Customer/Lead/MQL/SQL date
- Days to close
- Recent Sales Email Clicked Date (Sales Professional Only)
- Recent Sales Email Opened Date
- Recent Sales Email Replied Date
5. Identify Sales-Ready Prospects that Have Visited Your Site
HubSpot’s Prospects tool allows you to see which companies are visiting your site, even if no one at the company has filled out a form on your site. The tool identifies companies based on IP address and then automatically populates relevant data into your CRM. You can see company name, location, number of visits, pages views and more.
By checking the Prospecting tool frequently, you can find qualified companies that are interested in your products or services and already familiar with your business. Depending on the company’s number of views or number of visitors, sales reps can determine whether or not a company is sales-ready and decide on an engagement strategy accordingly.
6. Send Emails in Record-Time Using the Task Queue
The “Task Queue” tool in HubSpot (formerly the call queue) allows sales reps to run through task or call lists quickly and efficiently. Once tasks have been added to a specific task queue, sales reps simply hit play and each task is presented one by one with all relevant tools and information shown. There's no need to navigate elsewhere in HubSpot.
The benefit to using task queues for communication is so sales reps are able to focus on all similar tasks during one focused stretch of time.
Even if sales reps have taken the time to automate email communication using HubSpot templates or sequences, finding the right email or sequence of emails to send to a prospect can get confusing, especially when there are a large number of templates to choose from. However, when sales reps organize their task queue by category, they are be able to quickly schedule tasks that require the same type of email or messaging strategy. This not only reduces confusion and allows for greater efficiency, it also ensures sales reps are able to promptly deliver a consistent messaging strategy to a defined persona.
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