According to a study cited by Forbes, sale reps on average spend less than 36% of their time on revenue generating activities.
Part of your job as a sales leader is to stay connected to your sales team’s daily habits. That doesn’t mean micromanaging, but it does mean checking in to see if they’re wasting their time—or making the most of it.
If you believe time is money, you’ll want to be sure your salespeople aren’t falling into these 5 common time-wasting traps.
1. They spend too much time chasing unqualified prospects
When your salespeople have already invested time on a lead, it’s hard for them to throw that fish back to sea. As a sales leader, you must coach your sellers to quickly and objectively evaluate whether a prospect is truly qualified, so no time is wasted chasing a deal that will never happen.
Clearly define your ideal buyer profile, and have your salespeople look for these 6 qualifying characteristics:
- Awareness of need
- Sense of urgency
- Willingness to listen
- Ability and authority to buy
- Trust in your organization
- Strategically Aligned with Your Organization
2. They go back and forth instead of asking for the business
The length of your sales cycle will vary, and so will the number of touchpoints necessary to close a deal. But sometimes the process is dragged out longer than necessary because your salesperson has failed to execute the correct activities in the beginning of the sales process.
Rather than racing to the close, which comes off as self-focused and typically turns buyers away, salespeople should follow a consultative, buyer-focused sales process.
They should use a stategic questioning approach, and adapt their communication to fit the buyer’s behavior style. If they do, they’ll be able to build trust and momentum in the beginning stages of the sales process. That front-loaded approach means that asking for the sale is as simple as that—asking the buyer to confirm what the relationship has been leading up to.
3. They don’t have a plan in place to meet their target
Too often, we see sales leaders set a target for their salespeople and hope they find a way to reach it.
Sellers are usually great with action and execution—it’s the planning they can use a hand with. Spending some time upfront creating a detailed territory plan helps salespeople stay on track with the activities they need to be doing (today, tomorrow, and next week) to meet their target.
4. They overlook organization and data input
We could all stand to be more organized, but organization is critical for salespeople who need to quickly access information related to opportunities. Searching for information is a huge waste of time—not to mention a frustrating distraction.
Make sure your salespeople are regularly updating your CRM, and check in to see that they have a solid system for organizing emails. Keep in mind, that sort of thing doesn’t always come easy for everyone, so offer coaching on inbox organization if needed.
5. They follow an ineffective sales process (or they don’t use one at all!)
Do your salespeople know at any given time exactly which stage of the sales process they’re in with a prospect? If they’re not applying a repeatable process to every opportunity, your salespeople are wasting time.
A solid sales process acts as a map for salespeople, walking them through every interaction they have with opportunities. If your whole team is following the same process, conversations and coaching are much more efficient and on target—which means shorter sales cycles and higher win rates.
Make sure your salespeople aren’t wasting time by giving them the tools they need to get organized, build a plan, and stay focused.
The Sales Territory Planning Workshop will teach your salespeople to build detailed action plans that they can execute, track, and measure for success
The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Quota-Smashing Sales Reps
Are you fed up with lost productivity, time, and sales? Stop investing in lackluster salespeople, and start building a team of A-players today with this actionable guide.