Jan 18, 2018 | Sales Best Practices
4 Manual Tasks your Sales Reps Shouldn’t Waste Time Doing in 2018
Because working smarter should be your team's 2018 resolution.
How many opportunities are your reps managing at any given time? If you’re like most modern sales organizations, the answer is a lot. It takes time to cultivate those opportunities and build relationships with prospects, which means every second of your reps’ day is sacred.
So why do so many reps burn valuable hours doing manual tasks that have zero impact on your win rate, customer satisfaction, and bottom line? In reality, there are a lot of low-value manual tasks that your reps should be outsourcing to technology so they can focus on building meaningful relationships. After all, it’s 2018. If you’re using technology to breeze through inconsequential, time-consuming tasks like hailing a cab, buying groceries, and paying bills, then your sales team should be using a Sales Engagement Platform (SEP) to make their tasks more efficient as well.
Here are four manual tasks your sales reps should spend less time doing this year so they can spend more time solving problems for your customers:
1. Scheduling — and rescheduling — meetings
Booking meetings is the most important part of a sales development rep’s day. But if your reps are manually creating every individual meeting invite and spending precious hours going back and forth on scheduling, you’re losing valuable time. Scheduling meetings is an arduous process when both parties are on different Gmail or Outlook orgs and don’t have visibility into each other’s schedules. You can easily go back and forth four or five times before you settle on a call next Tuesday at 11:30.
With the right Sales Engagement Platform, your reps can schedule and send meetings with just one click. For instance, Outreach Meetings allows sales reps to create and share custom calendar links, giving prospects the ability to see open time slots on your rep’s calendar and schedule a time that works well for both parties in just one click.
However, the back and forth of booking meetings isn’t the only thing tripping up your reps. Rescheduling meetings can be just as burdensome, if not worse! Trying to find a holy grail time slot just once is hard enough - if you need to find a new time, you’re basically asking for a miracle. An SEP can solve this problem by allowing prospects to reschedule meetings with your team in one click (you’re probably catching on that one-click solutions are very in this year). Think of all the things your reps can do with this newly saved time and energy.
Get the Sales Leader's Guide to Reducing Meeting No Shows
2. Manual prospect research
It’s critical to understand everything you can about your prospects, but opening up 20 tabs in Chrome is so 2008. It’s time to bring your team into the future of sales with a streamlined way to do all of your prospect research in less time because every second your reps spend Googling is a second they’re not building relationships with prospects.
The right SEP will provide your reps an all in one view of the myriad sources for prospect research. Imagine being able to see a prospect’s LinkedIn info, their company’s crunchbase profile, a summary of your target account, and even the local weather where your prospect is -- all in one view! With sales intelligence features, like Outreach’s Sales Intelligence Tiles, you can save hours on manual prospect research without sacrificing any of the personal connection that you need to sell effectively. In fact, reps can win back up to an extra week of selling time over the course of a year.
Think of all the hours you’d save compared to researching prospects the old-fashioned way, and what your team could collectively do with that time (hint: they could win the hearts and minds of a lot of new customers). Now why would you ever let your reps go back to researching prospects the manual way?
3. Setting reminders
Unless you are superhuman, no one can remember every single task they need to do, especially when you multiply that by the many accounts your reps are working at any given time. Reminders are critical to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, but there’s a better way than the to-do lists your team is making and the reminder events they're creating on their calendars.
Sales engagement tools are designed to integrate follow ups seamlessly into a rep's workflow. Outreach, for instance, is equipped with a feature called inbox bump, which allows reps to resurface emails to the top of their inboxes after a set amount of time for an automatic reminder to follow up.
Think back to all of those threads you meant to follow up on, and totally lost track of. A quick bump like this helps prevent the human error that could cause your team to lose an important lead, while saving the time they would otherwise spend on manually scheduling tasks and reminders.
4. Copying and pasting
Copying and pasting at first glance seems like the pinnacle of efficiency, and you probably think I’m nuts to claim this is wasting your reps’ time. After all, writing the same emails and paragraphs over and over is the most inefficient way you could use your time. But hear me out! Here’s why you need to ctrl + X this habit out of your team's outbound email workflow.
Copying and pasting might be more efficient than rewriting everything from scratch, but the right technology can actually help your reps reuse key content in a scalable way. SEPs help you optimize your outbound email content by testing what works and saving those emails or text snippets to share across your whole team.
Rather than having every rep keep a 50-tab Evernote of their favorite things to say in emails, have them use email templates or Snippets to insert your team's top performing content into an email instantly. This is the data-driven copy-paste improvement you need in 2018.
We use technology to solve so many of our modern problems efficiently — just think about how long it takes to find the perfect song in a curated Spotify playlist vs. the time you used to spend combing the aisles of Best Buy looking for the new Nelly CD. And yet, so many organizations are hesitant to adopt the incredible new technologies that will bring Spotify-level efficiency to their employees’ workflows. Sales Engagement Platforms like Outreach make the most of new technology to automate the time-consuming but inconsequential parts of a sales rep’s job so they have more time to forge incredible connections with your future customers.