Woman resourcesLinkedIn’s Koka Sexton shares four no-sweat solutions for increasing sales productivity.

You’ve got your head down, drafting a proposal or implementing a complex solution with a client. You’re firing on all cylinders, while still trying to make time for sleep and maybe even a little exercise. Business is booming, and the adrenaline is coursing through your veins. It’s a good thing that once your proposal writing is finished and your client engagement has successfully concluded, you can step back and relax a little. Right?

Wrong! You’ve still got to prospect. This is especially true if you’ve been so busy closing deals that you lost focus on the business development part of your career, and your sales pipeline has dried up.

We’ve all been in this situation at some point, and it’s devastating. While we were so very busy, we didn’t make time to prospect. There’s nothing in the pipeline, and we’re still miles away from reaching our sales goals. Yikes!

So how do you make time to serve customers, close deals, and prospect at the same time—while also having a life outside of work? By putting better systems in place.

Streamline Your Sales Process

Koka Sexton offers fresh insights for increasing sales productivity in his LinkedIn Sales Solutions article, “Social Selling Tips: The No Sweat Solution for Higher Sales Productivity.” He writes:

Are you working up a sweat just trying to decide where to focus your social selling energy?

You’re not alone. In fact, many sales people find themselves between a treadmill and the free weights, trying to guess which is most effective at producing the biggest, best social selling muscles.

Sound exhausting? It turns out, it is. Decision-making has been proven to deplete mental energy.  In a series of studies, researchers found that after students were asked to make a series of decisions, they procrastinated more, struggled with complicated thinking and were less persistent.

As a sales professional, you make dozens of decisions daily. Should you uncover more prospects or reach out to current leads? Should you call a lead, or focus on creating content that will show off your knowledge as an expert?

Combat the energy-zapping effect of deciding which sales activities to spend your time on and pass your next social selling health-check with flying colors. How? Take the daily decisions out of your social sales process. (Read more.)

Koka goes on to list four tips for streamlining your sales process, including:

  1. Prioritize What Works
  2. Lock Prospect Engagement Into Your Schedule
  3. Anticipate the Unexpected
  4. Narrow Down Your “Do it Now” List

For details on each tip, read the rest of his article.

Fill Your Pipeline with Hot Leads

My best productivity tips: I do what’s “closest to cash” first every day, and I follow my #1 referral rule—ABA: Always be asking for referral introductions.

When you prospect through referrals, you don’t waste time with cold leads that will never pan out. Instead, your sales pipeline is always brimming with hot leads—people who expect to hear from you and want to take your call. You also decrease your cost of sales and the time it takes to close, and referred prospects convert into clients more than 50 percent of the time.

But remember, when it comes to referral selling, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Connect with No More Cold Calling

Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.