One of the common complaints of businesspeople today is that they have no time and when it comes to salespeople most are working much more than the 9-5. We all have 24 hours a day, and whether you are Warren Buffett running a $100 billion dollar business or a business on eBay operated from your home there is no more time for either person. To get more out of your day people need to focus on High Pay-Off Activities (HPA).
When it comes to how a salesperson spends their time everything that they do that is not growing the revenue of the business is by default stunting the growth. While the impact of non-selling tasks won't affect the business immediately over time it will have a huge impact.
Outbound Salespeople will tend not to schedule meetings with clients or prospects either on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. It has been the long-held belief that the customer or prospect will be busy preparing for their week or winding down and will not want to see a salesperson. If that’s 3 hours on Monday and 4 hrs on a Friday = 7 hours per week on 46 weeks a year that’s 322 hours or 9 weeks and 16 hours or two months. If you have five salespeople all subscribing to the same theory, it’s a complete year lost in growing your revenue. I completely get it having worked across the world and have spent more Friday nights in Newark airport waiting for a flight back to Ireland. But the fact remains your salesperson is not making those Friday afternoon sales meetings your competitor is.
While there are several Apps to record your expenses, many salespeople spend hours organising their expense receipts by date and entering it into an expense Excel form. If they are earning £35k that’s almost £20 per hour on an administrative task that could easily be outsourced to someone else.
Scheduling a meeting with a prospect and talking for one hour and knowing that there is no opportunity or repour after the first 10 to 15 minutes. Salespeople are wasting their time and the prospects time. It is much better to wrap up the meeting early and focus on phoning other potential prospects.
Spending time trying to qualify a lead without asking four simple questions, is this offering exactly what the customer needs, when do they need to buy, do they have a budget, are they the decision-maker. If your tracking the potential client online as they move across your website there should be enough built-in trigger points such as downloading a brochure, customising a product, webchat, signing up for more information etc.
Salespeople attending internal meetings listening to technical, procurement or distribution issues that they have no influence over or can have a meaningful contribution.
Sending emails to people that are in the same office with detailed explanations in a covering the back exercise.
It is easy to become distracted or being busy without stopping to think, do I really need to spend my time doing this. It’s not about complete delegation either but it is about stripping non-essential sales activities out and focusing on the High Pay-Off Activities.