According to this Hub Spot Infographic sales people spend less than one-third of their time selling. If the job description of sales people is to sell—isn’t that how they should spend their time? What are they doing the other two-thirds of the time?
7 Actions Plans for Sales Success
Administration – According to several studies salespeople spend more time completing and following up on paperwork than they do selling.
Action– Take away as many administrative duties as possible from sales and delegate them to office personnel. Every administrative task lifted from salespeople is an opportunity to grow the business.
Lead Generation – Lead gen is one of most salespeople’s responsibilities, but it shouldn’t take up the majority of their time. Salespeople should spend time generating leads through add-on sales to existing customers as well as referrals.
Action – The marketing department’s key metric should be lead generation. Whether it’s through email marketing, social media, or traditional forms of advertising, marketing’s first responsibility is to fill the top of the funnel with leads. A salespersons job isn’t to provide all the leads—it’s to turn leads into satisfied customers. It’s difficult to throw the ball and swing the bat.
Production – Every minute a salesperson uses to schedule production, follow up on jobs, or act as liaison between departments is a minute he or she isn’t selling.
Action– Limit the responsibility of sales in production by developing production specialist to follow orders. Many CRM systems are automated to follow production and inform customers of progress.
Service – There isn’t anything more important than offering timely and efficient service when customers need help. It may be vital that salespeople stay in the loop with customer service, but it doesn’t mean they should be the primary service contact person.
Action– Delegate customer service to customer service representatives. Part of CSR’s job should be to satisfy customer service needs and update salespeople as to the progress of services.
Distractions – There are so many ways to be distracted in today’s world. One of the biggest distractions is the steady sound of pings.
Action Turn the pings off. Do not check email, texts, and social media every ten minutes. Set time aside to concentrate on the task at hand without interruptions. Don’t buy into The Multitasking Myth. Don’t get confused by urgent tasks that take salespeople away from the important task of selling. Urgent vs. Important Tasks
Travel Time – There will always be a need for some travel. There may be nothing more important than meeting with key clients face-to-face, but not every meeting needs to be or should be F2F.
Action – Schedule face-time meetings on Skype or Go to Meeting. Phone calls are becoming old-fashioned and out of style, but it remains an excellent way to stay in touch. It may be best to text or email a phone call appointment request before calling.
Downtime – The number one reason for downtime is poor planning. For example, when a sales visit is set with a client, and no other appointments are scheduled, what happens if that client is unable to make the meeting? In this scenario, scheduling several meetings throughout the day reduces down time.
Action – Help the sales team get organized by sharing daily and weekly planners. The Importance of Planning.
Is it Time to Take Action?
Implementing these seven actions, even in a small way, will positively impact sales. Eliminating distractions, reducing downtime, and helping salespeople concentrate on selling will pay off with increased sales, new customers, and more work for the company. How would any business be impacted by reducing non-sales time from 66% to 33%? Seems reasonable, doesn’t it.