Nov 29, 2023
Beyond Headcount and Marketing Spend
In a growth economy, every sales team is under pressure to generate more pipeline, and as a result, increasing sales productivity is a top priority. However, to do this most orgs focus on increasing headcount and marketing spend rather than considering time savings as a priority. Some company boards are ensuring no additional spend goes to marketing or sales development. This means Account Executives (AEs) need to spend more time prospecting and generating pipeline.
Surprising Statistics: Reps’ Time Management
However, according to Salesforce's State of Sales Report, 72% of a rep's time is spend on admin. If you don't have the time to do it, how will you generate the much needed pipeline that doesn't cost the company any additional $$$. You can utilize AI tools to reduce this significantly. Not to name drop too much (the data is too interesting not to include), HubSpot's State of AI showcases that using AI tools drives 2.5 hours of savings/day for reps.
Productivity Killers: Manual Admin Tasks
Let's talk about these productivity killing tasks. Follow-up emails, CRM entries, transferring data to and from a number of different tools. When you have a number of calls in a given day, it's not enough to record every call although that's a great start. This implies that you have time to go back and rewatch these recordings. Most teams don't, so the recordings just sit stagnant in a library for the occasional one-off watch or review.
Tackling Productivity Killers: The Power of AI
As HubSpot referenced, this is where AI tools can be incredibly valuable. OpTonal (shameless plug) takes your call recordings and analyzes them automatically, extracting the basics like summaries, next steps/action items, and drafts the follow-up email for you. You can even chat with your calls, so if you need to communicate specific info to a team member in another department you can just ask OpTonal to grab that for you vs searching and scrubbing the recording.
Balancing Tech Overload in Sales Environments
Now, it's important to note that AI tools won't solve everything. Adding more tools can be harmful. According to Gartner (I know, I know) 49% of sellers are overwhelmed by the number of technologies needed to do their job. These same sellers are 43% less likely to achieve quota than non-overwhelmed sellers.
Overcoming Context Switching
Enter the final boss: Context Switching. Context switching kills productivity. This is why when you evaluate a tool, you have to ensure it can seamlessly plug into your current ecosystem and not require an additional tab. It's not about the number of tools, it's about the context switching. If they have Slack open all day, find something that can meet them there.
Time Savings as a Strategic Asset
Ultimately, there's no one size fits all here but time savings should be taken seriously as a way to get to more pipeline, and therefore more revenue. Too many CFOs and revenue leaders dismiss time savings, but the data suggests your reps need more time and not just tools that promise this, but tools that won't contribute to the context switching.