đź‘” Sales

20 Winning, Time-Saving Tips for Sales Teams in 2020

Raise your hand if you enjoy cold calling and cold emailing.

Let’s be honest: prospecting is rarely fun. It’s at the beginning of the sales cycle, before you even get close to closing a sale. Only when you get to demos and follow up conversations do things get exciting.

That’s where these time-saving tips for your sales team come in.

You can put a few things in place to make sure you’re as efficient as possible in the sales prospecting stage. By putting just a handful of these tips in practice, you can warm up leads faster and move into more exciting conversations. 

These aren’t “easy tricks” or “quick wins”. They’re habits and techniques that take a good amount of dedication. So get ready.  

First things first: Plug in the right tools 

Few of these tips will have a high impact without first having the right tools in place.

“Every day, sales reps have to go through the same circle of tasks: search data, organize data,  validate data,” Dmitry Chervony at Belkins told us. “When they have to do it on their own, without a little help from digital tools, burnout is almost inevitable.”

This isn’t a post on sales enablement tools (at least not explicitly). But some of the advice here is entirely dependent on prospecting, automation, emailing and productivity tools.  

“The biggest problem sales teams are facing right now is time. Nurturing their leads, contacting potentials and finding new ones. How can you optimise so that your sales team won’t get consumed by the sales process? The best solution is using sales enablement tools.”

Igor Dimovski | Digital Marketing Specialist | Sales.Rocks

To use the right sales tools (in the right way) will save you and your sales team time. It’s the easiest fix, but not the only fix. So here are the rest of our tidbits of sales wisdom. 

Time-Saving Tips for Sales

1. Start with your hardest task

Like with many things in life, productive sales work is about momentum. If you start your day sorting through emails instead of digging for new leads, who’s to say you’ll have time to do that digging later in the day? 

2. Set aside ‘prospecting’ time blocks

Sales (especially within the context of a sales team) is a juggling act. You’ll have calls lined up, reports to update and team huddles to attend — all before 2pm on Monday. By setting aside an hour (two hours?) each day just for prospecting, you’ll ensure you are always building the foundation for new sales opportunities. 

3. Turn off notifications

Yes, apps like Slack and email on your phone are incredibly helpful. But they are also immensely distracting. You can get twice as much prospecting done in an hour if you just turn off your notifications, we promise. 

4. Save your leads & searches on Sales Navigator

Sales Nav is an incredible tool for lead generation, but it can take time to get the most out of it. Save yourself precious minutes by saving promising leads to Lead Lists (you can save up to 1,500) and saving your searches to come back to later. Next time around you can just tweak a few filters and have a new set of leads on your hands. 

5. Export lead emails all at once 

Sales teams prospecting through LinkedIn often run into a roadblock: translating the info on the platform to their CRM or email outreach tool. Instead of manually finding each email (or resorting to InMail), export your leads from LinkedIn all at once either from the search page or saved Lead Lists. 

6. Choose a cold email tool

Manually crafting emails to each lead is no longer realistic when you’re to send cold emails at scale. B2B sales teams have plenty of options for an effective cold email tool — check out Wiza Connect to start. 

7. Make smart use of {variables}

Sending hundreds of cold emails each week doesn’t mean you have to give up on personality. To save time and give your cold emails a personalized touch, use the variables in your cold email tool wisely. Use the first name in the subject line, the company name in the first line, and even a link to relevant content further on. 

Sending hundreds of cold emails each week doesn’t mean you have to give up on personality.

8. Automate follow up

Automation isn’t limited to the marketing department. If your sales team is sending manual follow up emails, it’s time to upgrade. Again, take a close look at your cold email tool options.

9. Use (great) scripts

This is less about saving time and more about using your time wisely. If you’re sending out hundreds of emails and making hundreds of calls without double checking your script, you’re most likely wasting time. Check out Good Sales Emails or some of our cold email tips for some inspiration. 

10. Use a calendar tool

You don’t have to waste time going back and forth with a lead to set up a call. Make things easier on them, yourself and your team by using a calendar tool like Calendly. You can even set up custom time blocks to make sure the calls don’t interrupt you’re prospecting time. 

11. Include scheduling in your initial emails (no more back and forth)

Even better, include a link to that calendar tool in your initial email. This won’t work in every case, but if you have a list of qualified leads it may save some time on the front end. Test out your response rate on this to see how effective it is for your team. 

12. Use LinkedIn’s Lead Recommendations

They’re like those “People You Might Know” cards on Facebook — but they’re for sales team. You can view lead recommendations on a profile based on sales preferences and past saved leads, or you can see recommended leads on an account page. 

13. Use InMail sparingly

LinkedIn InMail can be a good tool for sales — but if you don’t use it carefully you may waste time trying to craft the perfect InMail message. Save InMail messages for extremely high profile accounts, and as a second or third touchpoint. Since you’re limited to 20-30 InMail messages, burning through your lead list will just be a waste of time. 

14. Get better at targeting

InMail isn’t the best part of LinkedIn Sales Navigator: advanced search filters are. In Sales Nav, you can narrow your lead lists down to a few hundred targeted leads. Check out our tips on using Advanced Search on LinkedIn Sales Navigator in 2020

Bonus: See our guide to getting the most out of LinkedIn Sales Navigator

15. Spend time learning about your audience

If you have to spend money to make money, sometimes you have to spend time now to save time down the road. Make your initial pitch much more effective by using information you find on your leads through advanced search. This can include interests, recent company changes, and developments in their industry. 

16. Take a second look at your writing 

I love using the Hemingway App to make my writing better. It takes me a few extra minutes now, but ultimately makes me a more polished and fast writer later. Why not go through a similar exercise as a sales leader? 

17. Rethink your meetings

This isn’t exactly a newsflash: meetings can be a waste of time. The 2 hour sales team meeting on Friday is time your best sales reps could be finding prospects, responding to prospects or closing sales. If you have 5 meetings in a week, try cutting it down to 2. Communicate the rest by email or Slack.   

Meetings can be a waste of time.

18. Qualify your leads first 

Not every lead can be marketing-qualified, but you can at least be sure you’re targeting the right people. Use Sales Nav to verify company information. Are they decision makers? Are they already interested in something like your solution? Again, advanced search is invaluable here. 

19. Validate emails 

Nobody has time for bounced emails or general accounts. To get real results, you want to reach a real person. You don’t even have to take an extra step here: just choose a tool that validates emails for you. 

20. Make it a habit 

Start by setting aside x number of hours for prospecting each week (remember the time blocks from above). Commit to the process for a month. After a few weeks of enforcing this, you’ll find that prospecting is a habit. And it’s a habit that will only support your sales cycle. 

What are your favorite ways to make smart use of your time? Drop us a line on Intercom!

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About author

Hey, I'm Brooklin, Head of Content for Wiza. I used to create content for tons of B2B SaaS clients. Then I saw the beauty of Wiza and had to jump on board. Use Wiza to quickly create email lists from LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Use GIFs to win my heart.

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