PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Making More Time for Sales

By at 10 February, 2018, 7:58 am

Ouch! Only 1/3 of sales time is spent selling! How to fix the problem

by Susan Solovic-

What if you owned an auto repair garage and your mechanics only spent about 1/3 of their working hours actually fixing cars for your customers?

It would be an intolerable situation, wouldn’t it?

That’s essentially what a Hubspot survey discovered when it inquired about the ways sales professionals spend their time. On average, they devote only 34 percent of the time to actually selling.

When presented with this information, one of the first things a leader needs to do is ask the question, “Which tasks that take time away from selling can be systemized, farmed out, or automated?”

Consider the impact to your bottom line if you could increase the percentage of time sales professionals spend selling by 25 to 50 percent? Let me give you one quick example.

Our average sales pro spends 12 percent of the work day scheduling meetings. However, with apps – many free, such as Calendly – scheduling meetings with customers and prospects can be automated. I don’t think it’s too outrageous to suggest that adopting an app to handle some of the meeting scheduling could cut that 12 percent by as much as one half.

Prospecting is often ripe for systemization, which can then be turned over to a virtual assistant. For example, I know someone who is targeting sales to health clubs. He has developed a system to search Facebook to identify his best prospects and it usually reveals their contact information as well. An overseas virtual assistant is able to “work” his system, pull together lists of prospects, and make the initial contact with them.

Thanks to the good work that Hubspot did with sales professionals, we have this snapshot of how sales professionals spend their time and many of you can use it as a basis to examine your own salesforce. However, a similar survey could be conducted for virtually any job within your organization.

Make this year a time to rethink or eliminate the ancillary tasks that suck the productivity out of your organization. If early indications are good, this should be a profitable year for many businesses, therefore it should be a good year to invest on automation and experiment with virtual assistants and other freelancers.

Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert and Advocate for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.  Her forthcoming book, THE Once Percent Edge, will be published in January 2018.  For updates and sneak peeks of the book’s content, please click here. Susan is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com Top 100 and USA Today best-selling author, media personality, and attorney.  To learn more about Susan and the small business resources she provides, please click here.

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