By Michael Lopez, sales manager, PGi

There are two pressure systems facing sales leaders today: pressure from the C-Suite and pressure from customers. When talking to CEOs every day, the top complaints I receive from executive leadership is that sales teams aren’t hitting their numbers and the cost-per-sale is too high. In markets that are becoming highly commoditized, executives have realized that their sales and marketing teams are struggling to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Inside our organization here at PGi, we understand commoditization. We began as an audio-only conferencing provider, a product offering that has become a pure cost decision for buyers. To succeed, we needed to make some serious changes.

We reduced the pressure and improved our sales results by creating online sales presentations that win.

Four easy steps to relieve sales pressure

Step 1: Stop wasting sales resources.

More than 65% of your sales reps’ time is wasted in non-selling activities. A very simple way to improve this number is to get rid of technology that results in sales meetings starting late, as do 50 percent of online meetings.

The Cost of Late Sales Meetings

  Meetings Starting Late
X 10 Meetings / Week
X 10 Sales Reps
X $10,000 Per Deal Closed
$500,000 In Revenue at Risk / Week

The top culprits for meeting tardiness are:

  • Technical difficulties (firewalls, system incompatibility)
  • Requiring software downloads
  • Users unable to figure out how to join or missing credentials to join (web links, phone numbers, passcodes)

Task your IT department to find online meeting systems that don’t present such hurdles. Focus on cloud-based software platforms.

Step 2: Cut costs without cutting results.

The primary way to reduce costs without sacrificing results is to focus on inside sales positions – a sales environment that is growing 15 times faster than field sales. Here’s the breakdown, according to

Inside vs. Field Sales Growth Rates

Inside Vs Sales
To get the most out of inside sales teams, you need the right technology. See more on that below.

Step 3: Connect anytime, anywhere.

Today’s buyers research purchases independently and on the go – on the bus or train, in the car, in the gym, in the office and at home. When they finally want to connect with a sales representative in person, your team needs to be available and prepared on any channel.

Prepare your sales people to meet your customers where they are today: browsing white papers and eBooks on their mobile devices, reaching out on social media, asking chat queue questions, searching online communities, watching videos, etc. Don’t stay stuck on old ways by waiting for the 3 percent of execs who will open your email or answer their phones.

Step 4: Go face-to-face

A recent survey from Forrester really hit home. When describing the purchasing decision, 53 percent of B2B buyers said that field conversations with salespeople made all the difference. Price influenced only 9 percent of the buyers. So how do you leverage the value of face-to-face with your inside sales teams?

By using real-time video technology, my inside sales team improved its conversion rate by 40 percent! Here’s the science

  • 800: Number of nonverbal messages in the average 30-minute sales call
  • 53: Percentage of communication that is nonverbal
  • 93: Percentage of communication effectiveness when voice, facial expressions and body language are engaged

It’s easy to hang up on someone or say no when you can’t see their face. Don’t give your prospects and customers the chance. Give your inside sales teams technology that is easy to use, simple to enter and mobile- and video-enabled.

Take all four of these steps, and you will substantially reduce the sales pressure cooker and get profitable – faster.

Another way to improve sales productivity is to make sure you’re connecting with the right people. ZoomInfo Pro’s detailed profiles on 65 million businesspeople and6 million businesses can help. Learn more.

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