How do most salespeople invest their time? This review of the 2011 Sales Optimization Survey from CSO Insights, indicates that much of their time isn't spent selling. The survey collecting data from over 2000 companies on more than 100 sales effectiveness metrics. Here are some highlights:
41% of salesperson time is spent selling by phone or face-to-face - Compare that to 46% of selling time from the 2006 CSO Insight survey. That's especially remarkable, given claims from technology vendors that their solutions will allow salespeople to spend more time with customers. This likely reflects the fact that customers would rather spend more time researching online than with a salesperson. Often, customers have completed more than 70 percent of the buying cycle before they talk to a salesperson. The survey also indicates that more face-to-face time correlated to higher quota achievement.
24% of salesperson time is spent generating leads and researching accounts - Up from 19% in 2006. The survey also indicated that more research time lead to higher conversions.
19% of salesperson time is spent on meetings and administrative tasks - Many sales meetings are called without an agenda. Cut down on meeting time by requiring attendees to stand throughout.
16% of salesperson time is spent on other tasks like service calls and training
The reviewer concludes that better sales processes will lead to greater sales.
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