Why Sales Productivity is Low and What to Do About It

How much of their time do your sales reps spend selling each week, on average?

Surprisingly, in most organizations, sales reps spend more, MUCH more, of their time on activities other than selling.

In fact, across all industries sales people only spend  34% of their time selling.

Why exactly is this happening, and what can be done to create more selling time for sales reps in your organization?

 

Why sales productivity is falling and frustration is rising

Sales organizations are challenged as never before with the blessing and curse of sales technology. CRM systems, mobile sales tools and apps, digital marketing materials, sales decks and presentation software, automation tools, increasing tech-enabled role complexity and differentiation – the list of new realities that simultaneously can  offer benefits to sales people but also sap their productivity (if not masterfully managed!) is long. 

Back to that 34% of their time spent on actual selling activities. Shocking, to be sure. But what takes up the other 66% of their time?

  • 20% data entry / CRM
  • 17% meetings
  • 15% research
  • 12% training, etc.

 

Sales people spend a lot of time NOT selling because they are bogged down in activities like IT system management, dealing with company policies, CRM management, death by meeting, and administrative time in general, which collectively take up two-thirds of their time.

Given this unfortunate reality, few investments will have the potential to translate faster into more sales than what gives your reps more time to sell. 

 

How do you create more selling time for reps?

There are many things you can do to incrementally improve efficiency in your sales teams – and some of these will have a big impact, particularly if you are struggling in an area….

 

1. Reduce admin time (TPS reports, anyone?)

It is always good to look at your processes and admin requirements. Is there anything you can take off the plate of your reps? Any unnecessary hurdles you are making them jump over, slowing them down?

 

2. Make it easy for reps to find the things they need (sales enablement software)

Industry research tells us that sales people spend on average 4 hours a week just looking for information – files, marketing collateral, product info, pricing information, the latest specs on that new piece of equipment. Imagine how much more selling time you could create (and how much more your sales reps would love your organization) if all the info they needed to sell was in a mobile app, in their pocket….

 

3. Centralized, mobile-friendly resources (DAM, mobile apps)

Easy to access resources are just part of the solution. In B2B, what sales often needs is a custom calculator (ROI, TCO, finance, gear axle ratio, etc.), or product comparison, or visual product navigator.

 

4. Better, more efficient CRM platform

Countless hours are wasted struggling against CRM’s that are a poor fit. Yes, it’s a big lift, but if your CRM system isn’t producing measurable ROI, maybe you need to take your medicine and roll out a new platform that works better for your organization.

Bottom line: want your people to sell more?  Simple. 

Make it easier for them to sell your products.

 

 

Additional Resources

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