Are you wasting valuable selling time?

July 20, 2012 in Sales Culture, Sales Leadership, Sales Management, Sales Results, Uncategorized, Wellbeing

When we employ salespeople we expect somehow that they will be selling nearly 100% of the time, however the truth is most salespeople are lucky if they get to sell 40% of the time. What we mean by this is that many salespeople spend more time in administrative non selling duties and travel than actually selling.

So when it comes to sales productivity and performance, many companies could dramatically improve their sales results by removing the obstacles that keep their salespeople from selling.


too many things to do

Too many businesses pay their salespeople for the business development function only to lumber them with too many non-revenue generating activities such as administration, meetings and account problems and wonder why they are ‘stuck in the office’ and not out selling.

A recent study done in Europe and South Africa found that many companies where asking their salespeople to do jobs that could have been better performed by the sales support function, marketing or other administration areas. Whether it is here or overseas, business leaders face the dilemma of doing more with less however removing sales support functions from the sales teams who should be out selling is defeating the purpose of having a sales team.

Salespeople are ultimately measured on how much they sell so if your sales team is spending more than 15% of their time on non sales functions then you may want to rethink where you want your salespeople to operate. Ask yourself and/or your sales manager what you expect of your salespeople: Sales or Deliveries or Service? If it is more in the delivery and service area such as account management then set their sales budgets accordingly. If on the other hand you want them to be operating in pure business development roles then remove as many obstacles that are in their way and let them sell.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Author: Sue Barrett,

Are you wasting valuable selling time?

One Comment

    1. peterhau says:

      The problem is that in order to deliver customer satisfaction levels that retain clients, salespeople become more than just about sales. We become the point of contact between the company and the client.

      Any salesperson who tells you that they hand over all admin to a sales support representative is either very naive or a big, fat, liar. No salesperson relinquishes control of the client to another person, the perception is that if it all goes pear shaped and the salesperson doesn’t know about it, well, they aren’t about the client.

      I check every quotation that I can before it goes out. I have to. Any mistake could cost me the deal, the client or (probably more importantly) my margins. My sales support person is top notch, 1st rate, but a sanity check is better than none.

      There have been changes in the sales environment. Gone are the sales representatives, who left no doubt as to what they were there to do. The new titles can mean one thing or many things. The way that this is reinforced is by the title for salespersons these days. BDMs can also be account managers, account managers manage the account, surprisingly. Account executives are expected to live and breathe the client’s world, strategic account directors don’t sell, they provide the strategy that allows the BDMs, Account Managers and the Service delivery managers to meet the client requirements.

      It is all a load of rubbish. I call myself a sales guy. regardless of my title, I am here to sell. no bones about it. I will support the clients I have, but at the end of the day, if they don’t buy anything from me, I won’t make my target. That is not why I am doing what I do. I am here to make money, if I sell something, I get paid. simple.

      Why don’t companies get that if you give a salesperson a glorified title, they get complacent? a good salesperson is passionate and hungry. passionate about the products and services and hungry about the next sale.

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Are you wasting valuable selling time?

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