Sales productivity: Key metrics and how to boost them

Posted April 10, 2024

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By Serena Miller

Editor, Sales Best Practices at Outreach

Sales productivity isn't just some industry buzzword — it's the lifeblood of your organization. The way your sales team operates affects everything from your bottom line to your market presence. Now, we all know that quota is king — but it's not just about hitting those targets. It's about creating an environment where your salespeople can really flourish, not just for this quarter, but for many more to come.

Here, we’ll explain exactly what sales productivity is, how to measure it, and how you can start taking steps to improve it.

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Why sales productivity matters

Efficiently converting leads is the trademark of any high-performing sales team. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many important metrics impacted by sales productivity.

Average revenue per seller

Average revenue per seller quantifies the mean amount of revenue generated by each sales representative within a given period. It provides insights into the effectiveness of individual sales efforts in driving revenue for the organization. Increased sales productivity leads to higher average revenue per seller as sales reps become more efficient at converting leads into paying customers.

Sales capacity

Sales capacity assesses the volume of sales-related activities that a team can handle over a specific time frame. It evaluates the team's ability to meet demand and  effectively manage sales opportunities, making it relevant to resource allocation, workload management, and forecasting. 

Sufficient sales capacity ensures that sales reps are adequately staffed and resourced to handle both current and future sales needs. Increased sales productivity can expand the sales capacity of the team by enabling sales reps to accomplish more in less time. 

Sales quota attainment

Sales quota attainment tracks how many sales representatives achieve or exceed their assigned sales targets. This metric helps identify top performers and provides insight into the effectiveness of specific sales reps. Improved sales productivity often results in higher sales quota attainment as reps become more efficient at converting leads.

Conversion rate

Your organization's conversion rate measures the percentage of leads or prospects that successfully progress through the stages of the sales pipeline and become paying customers. Conversion rate is perhaps the best indicator of how effectively your sales team turns prospects into revenue-generating opportunities. With higher sales productivity, sales reps will likely have become more adept at qualifying leads, navigating the intermediate portions of the sales funnel, and closing deals, leading to higher conversion rates.

Deal velocity

Deal velocity tracks the speed at which deals move through the sales pipeline, from initial contact to closure. Measuring deal velocity is a key part of sales forecasting, resource allocation, and revenue planning. A quick deal velocity means that your sales team is able to close more deals and generate more revenue. Improved sales productivity can accelerate deal velocity by reducing bottlenecks and improving the effectiveness of sales activities.

Average deal size

Average deal size calculates the mean value of deals closed by the sales team within a certain period. This metric helps assess the general quality and profitability of sales opportunities. As sales productivity rises, average deal size should also increase, as sales reps become more effective at identifying and pursuing high-value opportunities together with cross-selling or upselling additional products and services.

See how a Head of Sales Development uses Outreach to measure the productivity across her teams

How to measure sales productivity

Before you can start improving sales productivity, you need to understand where it stands now. These are some of the metrics your company can start tracking today to develop a full picture of how productive your sales team really is.

Number of emails sent

The number of emails sent is a quantitative metric that tracks the outreach efforts of your sales team. It provides insights into the team's communication strategy and the volume of interactions with potential leads and existing clients. A higher number of emails sent suggests the team is taking a proactive approach in engaging prospects and maintaining communication throughout the sales process. These outreach efforts can expand the reach of your sales reps and increase the likelihood of generating leads and closing deals.

To increase the number of email contacts made by your sales personnel, consider implementing a sales platform with email automation features. Your organization can also provide sales reps with a diverse range of well-crafted email templates, produce messaging strategies targeted to different buyer personas, and offer time management training. These practices contribute to increased outreach without compromising the quality of sales interactions.

Calls per day

Calls per day assess how frequently sales representatives talk with current and potential clients. A higher number of calls per day indicates that your team is actively pursuing opportunities, addressing customer inquiries, and working towards building and nurturing relationships through direct communication. Your company can improve the quality and number of calls per day by providing comprehensive training on effective communication techniques and implementing a structured approach to call planning and prioritization.

Number of overdue tasks

The number of overdue tasks highlights your sales team’s ability to efficiently handle their responsibilities. Overdue tasks can be indicative of bottlenecks in the sales process, and monitoring this metric helps identify ways to streamline workflows, prevent delays, and avoid missed opportunities. 

If the amount of overdue tasks is higher than you’d like, adopt a sales platform that includes robust task management capabilities. You can also encourage honest communication within sales teams to address challenges and roadblocks that are contributing to overdue tasks.

8 ways to increase sales productivity

Boosting sales productivity is within reach for any organization — if it follows the right strategies. Here are nine proven ways to increase sales productivity and drive more revenue at your company.

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1. Adopt a platform with automation and analytics capabilities

Investing in a sales platform with automation and analytics capabilities can transform your sales processes and drive significant productivity gains. These platforms streamline routine sales tasks, like data entry and follow-up emails, freeing up valuable time for sales reps to focus on building relationships and closing deals. Their analytics features provide valuable insights into sales performance, enabling teams to identify trends — both positive and negative — and guiding them to act on these insights together with other stakeholders at your organization. Look for a platform that integrates with the tools your team already uses every day, and provide comprehensive onboarding support to ensure that your sales team can fully leverage the platform's capabilities without delay.

2. Select and track metrics that everyone agrees are meaningful

By aligning your sales team and other stakeholders around meaningful metrics that accurately reflect sales performance, your company can take real steps towards improving productivity. Start by collaborating with sales leadership, marketing teams, and other relevant stakeholders to define and prioritize sales metrics that are relevant, actionable, and aligned with organizational goals. Continue by clearly communicating the importance of these metrics to the entire sales team, regularly reviewing and analyzing the selected metrics to prioritize areas for improvement, and making data-driven decisions to optimize your sales process.

3. Create accurate and detailed buyer personas

Without developing accurate and detailed buyer personas, your organization can’t effectively tailor its sales efforts to meet your clients’ needs, which has a serious impact on productivity. Buyer personas represent idealized representations of your typical customers, encompassing aspects from demographic information, to pain points and motivations, to purchasing behavior. When creating buyer personas, conduct market research, gather customer feedback, and analyze sales data to accurately reflect the diverse preferences of your target audience. And don’t forget to regularly review and update your company’s personas based on evolving industry trends, additional customer input, and new sales insights.

4. Spend time on the right prospects

Allocating time and resources to the most promising prospects has a major impact on sales productivity. Rather than pursuing leads indiscriminately, focus on identifying and prioritizing prospects that align with your organization’s buyer personas and have the highest likelihood of converting into paying customers. Implement lead scoring and qualification processes to categorize prospects, ensuring that sales reps are spending their time and energy on opportunities with the greatest potential for success. This leads to higher conversion rates and improved sales productivity.

5. Document and codify your sales processes

Documenting and codifying your sales processes lays a foundation for consistency and scalability, ensuring that every sales team member has a roadmap to follow. Map out every part of the sales cycle, clearly defining the steps and actions required at each stage. 

Dedicate time to educate current workers and new hires on your processes, so everyone is on the same page. And update your documentation to reflect changes in your business, market dynamics, and customer preferences, ensuring that these guidelines remain relevant and effective as time goes on.

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How I close more deals by using MEDDPICC with Outreach

I've seen too many AEs waste time on inefficient, manual processes and run their deals based on gut feel. To win today, we need to be more productive, efficient, and consistent in the way that we sell. This is where MEDDPICC comes in.

6. Invest in talent development

Talent development helps drive long-term sales productivity at your organization by empowering your sales personnel with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their roles. Supporting your sales reps’ professional development enhances their capabilities while boosting morale, motivation, and retention. To get the development ball rolling, provide training opportunities that cover topics such as product knowledge, sales techniques, and negotiation skills. Your organization can also encourage continuous learning and growth by providing access to online learning resources and implementing coaching initiatives that give new hires an experienced guide from onboarding forward.

7. Align sales and marketing through sales enablement

Sales enablement involves enabling effective collaboration between your organization’s sales and marketing teams, accelerating the sales cycle and improving productivity. Marketing leaders should give sellers the messaging and materials they need to engage prospects and close deals effectively, from relevant case studies to informational content that addresses the needs of your target audience. In turn, sales personnel can provide marketers with first-hand insights into what buyers are looking for and which marketing channels they prefer. To facilitate sales enablement, ensure that your sales execution platform has features that connect marketing and sales by providing a hub for communication and knowledge sharing.

8. Offer incentives to keep your sales team motivated

Incentives are one of the best ways to engage your sales team as they pursue the goals your organization has set. Whether it’s a potential bonus, higher commissions, public recognition, or some other type of reward, providing sales reps with incentives as they reach new milestones reinforces positive behaviors and fosters a culture of excellence. Be sure to solicit feedback from sales reps to find out how they want to be rewarded, and tailor your incentive programs accordingly. And make recognition a frequent occurrence, rather than a once — or twice-a-year event, as it’s unlikely that sales reps will take notice or believe your efforts are genuine otherwise.

Improve your sales team’s productivity and drive more revenue

Consistent and clear sales processes are essential for a productive sales team, better customer interactions, and positive revenue results. Sales teams need a platform that allows them to build, measure, and improve the workflows they rely on every day. That platform is Outreach

From automating repetitive sales tasks to consistently delivering actionable insights to your sales leaders, Outreach empowers your sales team to perform at their highest potential. 

See how Outreach can help your sales team drive more revenue by requesting a free workflow audit.

Sales productivity FAQ

What is sales productivity?

Sales productivity is the measure of how efficiently a sales team achieves its goals and closes deals. There are a wide variety of metrics that reflect sales productivity, from the number of prospects entering your organization’s sales pipeline to how many deals your team closes. High sales productivity helps your organization generate more revenue while minimizing wasted time and resources.

Boosting sales productivity involves identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in your sales pipeline while automating repetitive and administrative tasks, so your sales reps can spend as much time as possible selling. Your organization should also leverage a sales execution platform to monitor key metrics that provide valuable insights into your team's performance. This data helps identify opportunities for improving productivity, enabling more predictable revenue and higher win rates.

What is the difference between sales productivity and sales efficiency?

Sales productivity is all about the end results of your sales efforts — think of it as the total number of deals you close or the revenue you rake in. Sales efficiency is a bit different; it's more about how smartly you use your resources, like time and effort, to get those results. So, if you're highly productive, you're nailing lots of sales. And if you're efficient, you're not just closing deals; you're doing it in a way that makes the best use of what you've got.

What are the main factors that affect sales productivity?

How well your sales team does isn’t just about their know-how and experience. It’s also tied to your teams' skills and experience, the effectiveness of sales strategies, quality of leads, market conditions, technology and tools available, and internal processes. Team morale and motivation also play a significant role, as does the alignment between sales and other departments like marketing.

How do you balance the quality and quantity of sales activities?

Balancing quantity and quality involves setting clear goals, understanding customer needs, prioritizing leads, and using data-driven insights to focus efforts where they are most effective. It also means training sales teams to engage meaningfully with prospects rather than just pushing for higher numbers of interactions.


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