How to refocus your sales team and double or triple their output

Plus: a cool new voice tool for Drift that will help them do just that
Nina Hoedlmayr

Nina Hoedlmayr

5 min read

There is a huge challenge in sales as it’s getting more and more out of control. Sales reps and teams should always be spending their time on the highest and best use tasks that lead to revenue generation, yet data is telling us that they are only spending a small portion of their time on these tasks.

If successful sales teams were to consider the 80/20 rule and figure out, what 20% of activities are generating 80% of their success, that 20% would invariably include “booking meetings with prospects”, “speaking to prospects”, and “performing demos.”

Yet according to the Forbes article “Why sales reps spend less than 36% of time selling, nearly two-thirds of reps’ time, on average is spent in non-revenue-generating activities.” This means over 67% of the time sales reps are not talking to interested prospects, performing demos, or moving sales forward.

That’s right, most sales reps are not actually spending their time selling and most of the time, it’s not their fault. The challenge is that the system they were put into is not conducive to selling and is full of constant distraction.

They bounce around from spreadsheets to a CRM that may not work well in their flow, chatbots, video meetings, messaging platforms, email, and the telephone not to mention learning new tools and other administrative tasks, all taking them away from what they were hired to do…SELL.

So how do you fix this? How do you get sales reps to spend more time selling and less time bouncing around?

The first step is to identify the highest and best use of time for sales reps on your team. The activity list will be short and will include prospecting, booking meetings, talking to prospects, and performing demos.

A small percentage of time will be spent on technology like CRM but that process should be streamlined as much as possible. It will differ a bit from team to team but the idea is to make sure they spend most of their time on these critical activities.

Secondly, you want to make sure the sales reps are constantly reminded to work on critical tasks that are revenue-generating and to not get distracted. A little trick I learned from Tim Ferriss in the “Four Hour Work Week” is to have a calendar event pop up three times a day that says “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?” This question helps sales reps constantly refocus on the highest and best use task. I have been using it for years to constantly refocus myself throughout the day.

The third step in the solution is to eliminate friction in the system and unify as many tools and processes as possible. How do we do this? We take critical tools in the sales process and we combine them. Enter Drift.

Drift is a well known conversational marketing platform. It has revolutionized how websites can become more effective as marketing tools and how chatbots can lead prospects down prequalification funnels, ultimately providing better data and warmer leads to the sales team.

The main goal of Drift is to elicit trust towards the prospect, qualify the prospect, and book them to speak to a rep because we know that live connection is a critical step in the sales process and we know it brings us closer to the close.

The process works great but scheduling a meeting creates yet another friction point for both the sales rep and the prospect. In fact, the further they book out the less likely they are to show up for the meeting.

Statistic after statistic tells us that the sooner we engage a prospect, the more likely we are to close them. According to a study by Lead Connect, “78% of customers buy from the company that responds first.” Also in that same study, “sales conversions are 391% higher in the first minute.”

What this should tell you is, the sooner you engage with them the more likely you are to close a deal. So instead of booking a meeting a day or two out, why not attempt to engage them right then and there?

Why not give them the ability to instantly connect with that prospect, by voice, directly through Drift? On top of that, to elicit even more trust, how about you connect them by voice without having to ask for their phone number or without either party needing to pick up the physical phone?

Introducing Yodel, the voice integration for Drift that allows you to start voice calls directly in the Drift chat without needing a phone number. This integration eliminates friction on both sides by allowing the sales rep to integrate voice into Drift, unifying chat and voice in one place as well as allowing the prospect to connect via voice through their computer or smartphone without giving their number away. The integration will be rolled out in the next few weeks.

Here is how it works:

To get early access to the integration, sign up to Yodel and connect to your Drift account.

Once you sign up to, you can connect to your Drift account and start making voice calls in your live chats.
Once you sign up to Yodel, you can connect to your Drift account and start making voice calls in your live chats.

Drift was already great, now the Yodel integration gives sales reps and prospects even more options for connecting with one another, increasing the likeliness of a sale.

To conclude, a fragmented process and technology will complicate the sales process. In order to get sales reps to spend most of their time selling we must:

  1. Identify the highest and best use tasks that lead to revenue generation and make sure the reps spend 70–80% of their time on them
  2. Have the sales reps constantly reminded to refrain from non-critical non-revenue generating activities by putting reminders in their calendars three times a day that says “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?”
  3. Minimize the number of tools needed in the process and unify them wherever possible such as combing voice with chat, with the Yodel integration for Drift.
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