Are you giving your sales team time to sell? Good question. According to this Hub Spot Infographic, salespeople spend less than one-third of their time selling. If the job description of salespeople is to sell—isn’t that how they should spend most of their time? What are they doing the other two-thirds of the time?

Are You Giving Your Sales Team Time to Sell?

7 Actions Plans for Sales Success 

Administration

According to several studies, salespeople spend more time completing and following up on paperwork than 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 among salespeople’s most important responsibilities, but it shouldn’t take up most 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 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 salesperson’s 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 at the same time.

Production

Every minute a salesperson uses to schedule production, follow up on jobs, or act as a liaison between departments is a minute they aren’t selling.

Action– Limit the responsibility of sales in production by developing production specialists to follow orders. Many CRM systems are automated to track 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. CSR’s job should be to satisfy customer service needs and update salespeople on the progress of services.

Distractions

There are so many ways to be distracted today. One of the biggest distractions is the steady sound of pings.

Action:

  1. Turn the pings off.
  2. Do not check email, texts, and social media every ten minutes.
  3. Set time aside to concentrate on the task at hand without interruptions.
  4. Don’t get confused by urgent tasks (sudden fires) that take salespeople away from the important task of selling.
  5. Don’t buy into the myth of multitasking. How Multitasking is Killing Your Productivity and What to do about it.

Travel Time

There will always be a need for some travel. Nothing may be more important than meeting with key clients face-to-face, but not every meeting needs to be or should be F2F.

Action – Schedule Zoom meetings. Phone calls are becoming old-fashioned and out of style, but they remain an excellent way to stay in touch. It may be best to text or email a phone call appointment request before calling.

Organization

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 cannot make the meeting? In this scenario, scheduling several meetings throughout the day reduces downtime.

Action – Help the sales team get organized by sharing daily and weekly planners.

Is it Time to Act?    

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?

Are You in Sales Management? 

Are you leading people or managing projects? Do you set goals based on activities to continue, eliminate, or improve, or do you strictly look at the results? Do you believe one sales strategy fits all your clients and all your sales team? If so, you’re walking the streets I paved, and those streets lead to disappointment. The good news is that you can change if you recognize these behaviors in yourself. I did. I eventually became a highly effective sales manager, and so can you. This workbook is a good place to start. The New Sales Managers Workbook

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash