As the new year gets started, you’re set to lead your team to an ever higher sales goal. Either last fall or during the past couple of weeks, you agreed to the targets set by the execs in the C-suite. But how exactly are you going to achieve those lofty numbers? Check out Jeff Day’s suggestions on how to improve sales effectiveness.

As vice president of marketing at Highspot, Day has a vested interest in encouraging sales leaders to purchase the services they need to improve the performance of their teams. But, the points he makes in his recent LinkedIn post are worth reading for anyone who needs to improve their team’s focus.

There’s an old saying in business that if you’re not making product or selling product, you’re not essential to the bottom line. Sales teams can feel secure knowing their performing a necessary task but they can be much more effective when they’re not wasting time. When it comes to sales, Day cites the SiriusDecisions definition of ‘wasted time’ as ‘anything that is not helping the deal move forward nor helping with global sales management.’ He notes that many sales reps spend unproductive time customizing content, researching prospects and filling out expense reports.  All of these tasks can be streamlined by investing in automation. If your firm’s tools are out-of-date, it’s time to upgrade.

Speaking of out-of-date, sales organizations often fail to consider whether changes have taken place in the buyers’ purchase processes. Over time, buyers may shift the way they review vendors and make purchases. On a regular basis, you should be reviewing the planned purchase cycle in key industries. Have they been adjusting their fiscal years? Have they decided to make major purchases during their slow season when they have more time to review their options or are they expanding their cycle to 2+ years? Make it a point to find out what’s happening with vendor calendars and share it with your reps on a regular basis so they can revise their prospecting schedules.

Put these small steps in process improvement in place before the end of the month. Then, watch your team’s sales effectiveness soar.