We’re all busy. We run from meeting to meeting, we’re busy doing research, reports, working on social media…. The list can go on. No one suffers from a lack of activity—the key to sales productivity, though, is are we focusing on the right activities? Ideally, as sales people, we want to spend as much of our time in customer/sales related activities as possible. Recently, I heard a piece of data, roughly 40% of sales people’s time is spent working with customers in sales related activities. Frankly I believe that probably high, I think the time is significantly less than that.
Think of it, on an annualized basis, once we eliminate weekends and holidays, at 40%, we have roughly 80 days to make our annual quota!
Are we focusing on activities that help us produce results–or are we wasting our time? Are we as impactful as we possibly can be?
Sometime, it’s tough to tell. We may be busy meeting with people at the customer, are we meeting with the right people? Are we meeting with our friends and allies, or are we meeting with the people deeply involved in the decision? Sometimes we fall into bad habits, or rely on too few people in the organization when we should be expanding our relationships.
When we meet with people, are we talking about the right issues–the issues important to them? We spend a lot of time meeting with people, but if all we are doing is regurgitating a list of features and functions, we are wasting our time, more importantly, we’re wasting their time-we’re wasting our time.
Are we accomplishing as much as we can in each call? Research we did several years ago showed sales people making 50% more calls than needed. The reasons, poor call planning/preparation then poor execution. Sales people spend a lot of their customer facing time going back, to cover things they forgot to do in the original meeting. A small improvement in planning and executing calls has a dramatic impact in our productivity!
Little things rob us or our time to sell—-bad preparation for sales calls, bad organization, too much time in internal meetings, not leveraging tools that help our productivity, not planning the day/week and sticking to the plan, too much time on emails, constant attention to blackberries. Sometimes an “avoidance” mentality impacts us, we find anything we can to distract us so that we can put off those calls to customers and prospects.
- Are you using your time as effectively as possible?
- Do you make every moment with a customer count? Do you maximize your impact with every call?
- Do you rigorously plan and schedule your time?
- Do you look at thing that rob your time, that distract you?