“the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result; success”
“the ability to accomplish or produce something with a minimum amount of time and effort”
Which is more important?
Sales efficiency is about accelerating sales and removing cumbersome, time-consuming steps in the process to help reps work more efficiently. Efficiency is about accelerating a sale or minimizing the amount of time it takes from acquiring a lead to getting a committed handshake.
Sales effectiveness, on the other hand, is focused on making sure the actions team members have a positive impact on the sales cycle – including making sure the team is prospecting effectively, securing enough first conversations and closing enough deals. It’s all about RESULTS.
According to pcmag.com, the average salesperson spends 28 minutes a day manually entering phone numbers. Over a full year, that’s an entire 15 workdays. Business development representatives (BDRs) can use efficiency tools such as an auto-dialer or an auto-voicemail drop when trying to reach out to potential clients. But, if they aren’t calling the right people, saying the right words or following up in a reasonable timeframe, the efficiency tool is not very effective!
Quality (Effectiveness) over Quantity (Efficiency)
Are you familiar with the expression “quality over quantity”? Well, sales effectiveness strives for quality, while sales efficiency strives for quantity. Quality prospecting, conversing, and presenting will greatly help your chances of converting a sale. That’s why you want each of your staff members to give extra attention to those. A higher conversion rate lessens the pressure of moving rapidly through a list of prospects, hoping “this is the one that leads to a sale.” Quality – effectiveness – focuses on executing calls and sales tasks in a manner that drives the best outcomes.
You’ll know the prospecting stage of the cycle is effective when your sales reps are securing a high percentage of first conversations. You’ll know the presentation stage is effective when prospects are consistently converted into opportunities. You know your sales process is effective when your conversion rates rise, and more efficient when sales cycles shrink.
At FRONTLINE, we are all about efficient workflows and automating tasks that take up unnecessarily large amounts of time. But we closely monitor outcomes to determine if the efficiencies we implement are impacting outcomes – and can be tied to ROI. If our team is doing more, faster…but not creating and closing more opportunities as a result, what’s the point? Sometimes faster is better – sometimes it is not.
Find the Efficiency/Effectiveness Balance
The short answer to our question is that both are important. Speed and accelerated workflow are critical to our fast-moving world. It just can’t come at the expense of the outcomes! Choose your sales acceleration tools wisely, measure adoption, ROI and impact on outcomes and determine if those tools are helping – or hindering – your team’s ability to effectively close deals. It’s a delicate balance~
FRONTLINE Selling makes sales teams more effective at creating and advancing qualified sales opportunities that build pipeline and drive revenue growth. Leveraging digital playbooks and a proven process, reps will know not only what to do, but how to do it.