Sales managers – how does your sales team spend its time? If you’re like most, it’s likely that your salespeople are attending too many unnecessary meetings and responding to too many unnecessary requests for information. And on a bad day maybe even being dragged into saying, “yes” to participating in projects that have nothing to do with selling. You can’t sell if you are not selling and most sales reps spend too much time not selling.
Sound familiar? Simply put, there are roadblocks that every sales rep faces that are time-sinks. They happen throughout the year – but we’re raising the concern now because it seems these roadblocks are particularly challenging at the start of the year when companies begin new initiatives in Marketing, Sales Support, IT, HR, etc.
In assessing whether this is a problem worth addressing it is informative to look at some success statistics. Recently the TAS group in partnership with SalesforceWork.com published a study on how well things are going out there. One of the telling statistics was – 67% of professional salespeople do not obtain their individual quotas. That is understandable when one considers that 50% of sales reps close less than 40% of their qualified opportunities.
There are numerous reasons for such depressing statistics. Some are tougher to address than others. One, as a sales manager, you can directly impact is the amount of time spent doing something other than selling – start playing the role of a roadblock remover.
One way sales managers can help their sales teams capture more time to focus on sales is to help them handle requests from others – most notably other divisions and corporate staff. When requests come in, sales managers can serve the role of a filter – not simply funneling everything directly to the sales team.
After all, some of the requests are frankly irrelevant and can be skillfully ignored, some can be handled by someone other than a salesperson and some can be quickly put to bed by the sales manager themselves. Is this one of those things worth attention? This is best answered by speculating what would be the different in terms of revenue if your sales team spent 10% more time selling.
Sales success in major accounts hinges on salespeople spending time crafting and modifying their account sales strategies and executing sales calls. To increase 2014 sales, one resolution every sales manager might consider is: remove roadblocks to free up more time for salespeople to sell.
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