Recently I attended a business function where one of my clients introduced me to a business consultant. Upon hearing I was a sales trainer the consultant related how he had watched a couple of dvds on sales training over the Christmas break and decided that perhaps he could add sales training to his portfolio after all as he said “its not rocket science”!
I was most disappointed to hear this as I have been waiting for the call from NASA for some time!!!
But in fairness I have to agree that selling isn’t rocket science, it is very basic.
I always say – “selling is simple – but not easy”
Sales in a nutshell comes down to –
Identifying your Prospect
Gaining an Introduction
Uncovering a Need
(If they have one)
Showing the Return on Investment
Asking for the Business
Delivering the Service
Follow Up and Support
So if you want to launch your sales to new heights in 2011 you will need to jettison some of your unproductive practices that do not directly contribute to one of these areas.
We know that most salespeople on average only spend 90 minutes per day in face to face meetings – the rest of the time is spent gliding through the myriad of other jobs that they are tasked with.
A breakdown of where a typical sales rep spends their time would be –
Sales administration: 16%. This includes any administrative work directly related to a sale such as entering information, writing reports, filling out order forms, pricing up jobs, quoting and writing proposals.
One way to lessen sales administrative time is to put an expert network in place. Sales reps spend a lot of time tracking down answers to customer questions – finding the right person to answer the question,
sending emails, exchanging voice mails and so on. Consider delegating the most time consuming tasks such as pricing and proposal writing.
Sales preparation: 16%. This includes all the time spent preparing for a call, including research, preparing a meeting agenda, putting together a presentation and so on.
Waiting: 11%. This includes time spent waiting for a customer, whether in the customer’s reception, on the phone, or in the customer’s office while he or she attends to another matter.
Travel and travel-related waiting: 21% This category is just what it sounds like – the time reps spend in a car, on a plane, sitting in traffic or sitting at the airport. To decrease the amount of time reps spend travelling or waiting to travel, look at how you might use telemarketers to interact with customers. Face–to-face contact is great, but save it for when it adds the most value. Territory planning can have a huge effect on reducing travel time.
Other administrative tasks: 10% – This is a catchall bucket for time-spent doing everything not included in the other categories. It includes everything from filing expense reports and time sheets to getting a cup of coffee.
Selling: 25%. If you can decrease the time your reps spend doing other things, they theoretically should have more time to spend selling. So put systems to work for you and watch this percentage grow.
How do these figures compare to our sales week?
If we are to propel our sales into lunar orbit then we need to delegate any task that is not related to business growth.
The beauty about selling is the sky is the limit when it comes to business growth.
So to help your sales to soar this year, spend more time face to face with great referred prospects – after all, it’s not “Rocket Science”!!!
1. Identify all tasks that take up more than 30 minutes per week
2. Plan to either eliminate, delegate or outsource within a month
3. Block times for face to face meetings in your weekly planner
Sales isn’t rocket science
Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.