Did you know that your sales people are spending less than a quarter of their time actually performing sales activities? Based on a comprehensive study of sales people, most spent approximately 23% of their time actually performing sales activities. The rest of the time was spent doing other things, whether it was administrative work, operations, or just goofing off.
This is a huge waste of money and lost opportunity for organizations. That means that only about 10 hours per week are actually spent selling! This is unacceptable and completely avoidable. Here are two ways to minimize the waste of sales people’s time:
- Focus on the behaviors: Many organizations focus most of their time on making sure that the sales people are hitting their sales quota, with little emphasis on how to actually get there. Instead, focus on what your sales people are doing day-to-day to actually fill their sales pipeline. How many calls do they make each day? How many introductions do they ask for? How many sales meetings should they be conducting? Etc… Once we begin managing sales people based on output, they begin doing what they have to do to ultimately hit numbers and spend less time on none money-making activities.
- Minimize other responsibilities: Good sales people should spend most of their time selling. To have a great sales person dealing with operations is like using a Porsche to tow your trailer. Can it be done? Sure, but Porsches are best used driving really fast. Let the pickup truck tow the trailer. Same with sales people. Let the operations folks handle the operations and let the sales folks handle the sales. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that sales people shouldn’t be involved with managing clients—that is a sales activity—but rather that all non-sales-related activity should be delegated to others. This way your sales people can maximize their precious time.
Remember, if your average sales person is spending 10 hours per day actually selling, that means that an additional 5 hours per week dedicated to selling would increase sales output by 50%!
Marc Wayshak is author of the book Game Plan Selling and a sales management speaker.