Sales leaders spend piles of money to recruit, hire, and train their sales professionals – and then burden them with countless non-revenue-producing activities that sap their time and decrease their productivity.
In a survey of 30 Fortune 500 companies, Carla Zilka, author of Business Restructuring: An Action Template for Reducing Cost and Growing Profit, found that salespeople in these large, global sales forces spend about 40 percent of their time not selling. Their biggest time-wasters: administrative work, such as updating a CRM system after a call or creating reports for managers, and “people” issues, such as conflict resolution and managing customer complaints.
Organizations that eliminate these nonselling burdens, says Zilka, typically gain a 20 percent to 25 percent improvement in productivity – the equivalent of an entire extra day of selling per week. So how do you get there? Follow these three steps:
When these steps are done right, you should quickly begin to see an increase in sales and productivity, as well as a decrease in wasted administrative time. Reps who don’t exhibit these improvements – who are still spending a lot of time on administrative tasks – may not have the right personality and skills to stay in your sales organization. And that’s all right, says Zilka. Because you can either hire the right talent to replace them or make up the difference through the rest of your team’s improved productivity.