Increasing Sales Without Increasing The Size of Your Sales Force

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On average, your sales people spend less than two hours a day selling. This is according to Mark Ellwood, President of Pace Productivity Inc. (Mark’s report is here.) Paul Vinogradov agrees with Mark in his post. In fact, a simple goole search on how sales people spend their time will tell you that your sales people most likely spend the majority of their time on non-sales activities.

To further highlight this, according BaylorBusiness, sales people spend 31% of their time on administrative items (see their study here), while only spending 11% of their time on active selling. Administrative functions is almost three to one over active selling.

If a company wants to increase sales without increasing the size of their sales force, they can either have their sales team spend less time per sales call and appointment, or come up with a way to allow sales people to devote more of their time to sales. This was the reason Pat Sulivan originally created Act! In 1987 (Pat Sulivan is one of the ten most influential people in the CRM industry, he is the creator of Act!, SalesLogix, and soon to be released Contatta CRM, see a timeline on the Pat’s evolution with of CRM here.) However, since that fateful day in the 80s CRM has morphed from a sales enablement tool to a sales management tool.

CRM, rather than becoming the savior of the sales person, frequently becomes the bane of the sales person. In their haste to implement CRM, companies put the total responsibility for the CRM system in the hands of their sales people, and tie their sales people’s hands by asking them to become data entry clerks and data cleansing experts. This action both increases the administrative time spent by sales people, and decreases their active selling time.

I’m not advocating abolishing CRM, as I believe CRM is here to stay. I’m advocating simplifying your CRM, and ensuring it is a tool for your sales team, rather than a tool for your management team.

Your sales people were born to sell, help them do that.

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