If you give someone a fish, you feed them for a day. If you teach someone to fish, you feed them for a lifetime. Thinking of this quote, many will likely think “ah yes, of course!” And the quote has merit—learning to do something yourself will be the best method. But shouldn’t there be a third part of that quote? An ending about which tools the man should use to fish? Imagine learning to fish with your hands, with a spear, or with a fishing rod. Which one do you think would be most effective to catch fish? Or the easiest method to teach?

Sales is a lot like that. The soft skills of selling will always be the most important, but handing your team the proper tools will enhance their abilities and efficiencies. The tools we use can guide us through the process, simplify our work, and offer a leg up in our work, whether that’s catching fish or closing sales. We teach salespeople to fish, but we teach them with rods so they have the best tools at their disposal to make them more efficient.

Research has shown that salespeople are spending too much time on the least productive tasks. Many are juggling so many prospects they lose count. There’s so much to do in a day that sellers frequently spend far more than just 40 hours a week on their tasks. All this combines into sales teams needing the right tools so they can win more often.

Here are five to get your teams started:

  1. Automation: Save Time and Focus on Selling 

Using automation in the right way–not for email spamming–will help your team eliminate obstacles to efficiency. Correct automation will be robust enough to focus your reps on the right activities, automate administrative tasks, and make workflows run more effectively. Auto-data entry, rules-based record enrollment, cadence-linking, and more all save you time and help you get the most from your effort.

  1. Prioritization: Create a Repeatable Revenue Engine That Works For You

Sales teams handle so many projects and prospects at once, it can get overwhelming. A sales engagement platform should prioritize tasks based on custom rules you establish for what’s most valuable and urgent. It should also perform some of the heavy-lifting of identifying, and setting at a higher priority level, the leads, accounts, and contacts that are most likely to engage and close with your reps.

  1. Predictive Data: Utilize Metrics to Win 

Data is king in just about every team in an organization. Customer support uses metrics such as response time, marketing uses metrics like click-through rates and content downloads, and sales of course use lead scoring. Predictive data is useful for sales teams to strengthen many of their KPIs. Predictive data can be used to produce scores and inform teams on who is most likely to engage or buy. It can also bolster other capabilities, such as verify contact data, suggest new contacts, and fill in missing fields.

  1. Buyer Hints: Important Hints on Every Buyer

Knowing who will engage and who will buy solves one important part of the sales challenge, but another part is knowing how your reps should engage with them based on their behaviors. Buyer’s behaviors are changing constantly. The most successful sales teams will use insights and recommendations based on those changes in real time. This includes knowing the level of influence of your target buyers, the deals they’ve been involved with, how they’ve engaged with other vendors, when they’ve engaged with other vendors, the contact numbers they use, and much more. Reps can align their efforts in ways that matter to buyers.

  1. Gamification: Motivate Sales with Some Friendly Competition

It’s no secret that sales reps are competitive, it’s often their favorite part of the job. One of the best methods to increase their efficiency is to lean into that side of their personalities. Create challenges like daily dials, closed revenue, booked meetings, or any other important metric your sales team cares about. Have your sales team compete with each other (or themselves) in a healthy, sustainable way. Gamifying your sales metrics can spark a fire under them to light up their performance.

Your managers may be the best coaches around, but without the right tools, your team will still be fishing with their hands and fish will still inevitably slip through their fingers. Give your team the right tools in sales engagement and see your sales efficiency increase.

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