This year to date SBI has surveyed over 8,000 sales reps and 1,500 Sales Managers asking a series of questions. One of the most important questions on the survey is how everyone spends their time. The answers are extremely revealing.
Sales Managers are only averaging 14% of their time with Sales Reps and Customers. World Class Companies Sales Managers spend over 75% of their time with their reps.
Sales Reps are only averaging 42% of their time on Selling Activities. World Class Companies Sales Reps spend over 72% of their time on Selling Activities. (See Below for a Definition of Selling Time vs. Non-Selling Time and results of one of our Sales Management Time Studies.)
Wasted time is the easiest corrective action you can take. It’s not hard to reprioritize everyone’s time. The question is why are you then not focusing your team on the correct actions to drive revenue? What is more important?
One word: Complacency
If you grab 2 more sales calls per week from your reps, the productivity results are staggering. Think about it: That’s 50 more calls in a year (assuming a two week vacation). And if you had a win rate of 40% (which is low), an average sales cycle of 6 months (which is on average 8 calls with a customer) and an average sales price of $50,000; you could sell another $125K in deals per rep. 8 reps on your team and you just brought in another $1 million. All just by prioritizing what is important for your reps.
How can you improve Selling Time and decrease Non-Selling Time?
3 Ways to Increase the Sales Reps Selling Time:
Baseline the Sales Rep and Sales Manager Selling Time. You need to know what is currently happening on your sales team. The amount of hours your sales reps spend and where they spend them. For example, you need to know the amount of time internal stuff takes to complete. And the amount of time your peers spend and how they spend it. Get real proof. Not what you ‘feel’. Download both a standard sales rep and sales manager survey here. Have your Sales Reps and the Sales Managers complete the survey. The answers are the baseline.
Prioritize their actions. You set the culture for your sales team. If you prioritize seeing customers, your reps will see customers. If you make sure they don’t waste endless time forecasting, they will spend more time with their customers. If you eliminate dealing with supply chain issues, they will spend more time with their customers. Get it?
Get commitment from your boss, owner, CEO. When we roll out a new process, the first person we get their full commitment from is the boss. Without it, any reprioritization of time and responsibilities will be wasted energy. She/he needs to commit the urgency for sales people to spend more time in front of customers (that’s why you show them the survey for proof). She/he must allow the unnecessary reporting and time sinks to be eliminated. And the full support and backing to you allowing this to happen long term. Your income depends on it.
Reverse the trend of non-selling time from you and your reps. It is rapidly decreasing individual rep productivity which is creating demand on your talented reps to sell more each month, quarter and year.
One of my favorite managers who spend time focusing his reps on selling time and eliminating non selling activities is Gianni Rugginenti. I had the pleasure of working with him recently and noticed how he spent time ensuring his sales reps didn’t waste time on useless internal activities. Every day he prioritized seeing customers vs. spending time in the office doing ‘reports and forecasting’. He risked getting in trouble from his supervisor and his supervisor’s boss. The result: Exceeding Quota in a troubled Italian economy.
Download the surveys, have your teams fill them out and either email me here or leave a comment on the results. I can help you analyze the findings and prioritize the actions for your team. Hopefully I will be speaking with you soon.
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