In today’s competitive business climate, growing top line revenue is a constant struggle. But simply asking sales reps to close more deals is not enough, particularly when sales teams are faced with more work and decreasing headcounts. To successfully help sales “do more with less,” organizations must focus on helping teams increase productivity – a goal that can only be achieved through smart investments in technology and mobile tools to enhance field sales efforts.

However, for many sales organizations, increasing productivity is easier said than done. To really move the needle, sales operations must focus on creating and deploying new processes and practices throughout the business. Not sure where to start? Here are ten tips for achieving and sustaining a more productive sales team:

10. Go mobile

It’s 2017 – so it’s no secret that organizations and business leaders who have empowered mobile-first sales teams are winning more business. This is because the impact of mobility on business is real. According to the Sales Management Association, 70 percent of sales executives achieve ROI after equipping sales teams with tablets, and 90 percent plan to increase their investment in this space.

9. Implement successful training in the way salespeople want to work

Asking the sales team to come to corporeal twice a year, sit down and review the latest learning materials and product presentations isn’t working. According to the Corporate Executive Board, 87 percent of training content is forgotten within 30 days. Reps should no longer be forced to turn to legacy LMS training materials on a PC in the back room, or every time they visit corporate. To change this, it’s time organizations deliver the right sales and product training materials to the sales person in the context of their work. Organizations should implement solutions that deliver the right training content to the mobile device of the sales executive at the time when it’s going to be most powerful – such as before an important prospecting call, when new important product updates are introduced, prior to a customer meeting, and more.

8. Use a mobile device to do presentations

Many sales teams still use laptops for customer facing presentations – and that can be messy. It often requires Wi-Fi access inside the customer’s office, booting up a PC before the presentation, connecting to the conference room projector or TV…the list goes on. In today’s advanced mobile landscape, it’s time organizations empower sales teams to use their phone or tablet to conduct presentations with customers. And with modern software, there is no excuse for content rendering issues or display controls on the mobile device. Successfully presenting from a mobile device is critical for sales productivity and results.

7. Integrate mobile to CRM

Utilizing a CRM mobile app is nothing new, but sales reps often struggle to input correct and detailed information about their meetings and customer engagements into the CRM without stumbling through said apps or web screens. Today’s next-generation mobility platforms can automatically add details about customer meetings into CRM, and even send and report on follow-up emails after the meeting. By having the details of a particular meeting added to the CRM – in the blink of an eye – and without the hassle of logging in from a home office later or messing up the data added to the system, means sales teams can keep a full and accurate account of customer interactions while minimizing time spent on admin tasks.

6. Provide a feedback loop to marketing from the field

Sales people need a way to quickly and easily send feedback to corporate marketing and sales ops teams about the material they are supposed to use with their customers. Too often this critical feedback has only been collected via marketing surveys sent around at quarterly sales meetings. But sales and marketing collateral needs to be as dynamic as the customers that reps are selling to. By using smart content apps to instantly send real-time feedback about content and materials as the sales reps use them, and by providing an automatic feedback loop to content creators and publishers without the salesperson needing to do anything, sales and marketing teams can better work together and be more effective.

5. Bring experts to the sales team – right on their mobile device

One of the biggest productivity challenges for field and inside sales teams has been how to get the right experts to help them in tight sales situations. No sales rep wants to tell a customer that they have to schedule a new meeting simply so an expert can answer specific questions – and that is certainly no way to drive productivity. With today’s new mobility solutions, however, sales people can instantly call in experts via video, audio and text chat in a way that improves efficiency for sales teams – all integrated into a single content app that ensures the right materials and experts are available and ready to help close the deal.

4. Help sales teams more effectively find and use content

Asking sales people to search and surf through files and folders to find the content they need is one of the greatest productivity killers. According to Kapost, 65 percent of sales reps say they can’t find content they need to send to prospects, and the EMI Industry Intelligence Report says sales reps spend 13 hours each week spent looking for and creating marketing collateral. Organizations need new ways to help sales folks understand what information exists before they are forced to open hundreds of files that all look the same. Businesses must move past the antiquated file/folder system to smart content bundles that describe and detail the content for the salesperson in a way they can actually use.

3. Mix interactive content with your PDFs, presentations and videos

Based on internal customer polling done by Bigtincan, using interactive content on mobile devices has real benefits for sales teams with results including 36 percent increase in call/meeting duration, 33 percent increase in communication effectiveness and 2X increase in customer propensity to order. But interactive content can no longer live in a separate silo from existing corporate content. By utilizing interactive content, organizations can enable sales teams to improve win rates and productivity, and improve customer impact.

2. Use the power of machine learning and AI to help empower the sales team

Sales people have already adjusted to the power of their smart phones to help them with even the most basic tasks – such as asking Siri to get directions to a customer meeting or using Google Assistant to check when they need to leave for the meeting based on traffic. But machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) software is delivering a new level of productivity to sales teams. Today’s platforms can provide sales people with specific recommendations, such as what materials and content a sales person should use to help progress a sales situation or who they should be following up with based on different stages of the sales process. AI can also help each rep learn from behavior of the best performing peers in their team and guide them to success when they are in front of their customer. AI is powering sales teams to perform better with a personal assistant to help them in their everyday world.

1. It’s not just about what they do on their mobile device…every device counts

Sales people are fickle – and understanding that they don’t stick to one device or even one screen in critical in reaping the benefits of business mobility, regardless of task or location. By adopting solutions that help reps work wherever, whenever, organizations can improve win rates and increase customer satisfaction. And leading businesses agree, with 70 percent of sales executives seeing ROI after equipping sales teams with tablets, and 90 percent planning to increase their investment in this space. It’s time for every sales organization to embrace this new way of working or risk falling behind.

Read more: