Are you busy or are you productive? The question is innocent enough. But can you handle truth?
Recently I was doing some consulting with a client who carefully examined how his sales representatives spent their time. He concluded that they actually spent less than 5 percent of each day engaged in act of selling! Imagine, 95 percent of each sales day spent on nonselling activities. Writing letters, putting together information packets, filling out paperwork, telephone prospecting, and traveling consumed their days.
As you can imagine, my client wanted to grow sales revenues. Some sales trainers attempt to convince prospects that training is answer for everything. While I encourage acquisition of knowledge and new skills, I disagree with blind assumption that training is always a cure for poor sales performance.
Letís pretend that he sent his entire staff to a sales training seminar, and they learned skills that made it possible for them to double their closing percentages. The improvement would only be useful during that 5 percent of each day they spent selling.
Adding salespeople isnít always answer either! If each rep is spending 5 percent of their day selling, it would take another 19 reps to achieve 8 hours of selling time. Common sense will tell you that costs of recruiting, training, and managing such a force would be an awful waste of potential profit.