The Biggest Sales Pitfalls and How to Dodge Them


Share on LinkedIn

Despite having the word “sales” in their title, salespeople spend much of their time doing things other than selling. Even though this is a widely-known fact, the reality is still shocking: 64 percent of a salesperson’s time – more than five hours out of an eight-hour work day – is spent not selling.

It might shock you to learn what sales reps really are doing with their time: not all time lost is lost to ping pong and coffee breaks.

Sales teams aren’t selling

According to 2016 Salesforce Research, the greatest chunk of time sales people spend on non-selling activities involves administrative tasks (25 percent). The research also states that 45 percent of sales teams say that excessive administrative tasks are the cause of the ineffective internal processes that are their primary sales challenge.

So how can you help your sales teams cut down on time-sucking admin tasks and get back to selling? It’s all about optimizing the administrative process. In turn, you’ll see huge improvement on sales productivity and find a happier, more efficient sales team. Below are some of the administrative tasks that are biggest pitfalls for salespeople:

Manual document generation

Whether it’s a proposal, quote, contract, or scope of work (SOW), sales teams lose valuable time and risk errors with the manual copying and pasting, inconsistent formatting and branding, and the limited visibility that comes with manual document generation.

How can sales teams course correct when it comes to manual document generation? Automation. By automating document generation, salespeople can get instant document production with CRM info populated automatically. They also can access formatted, templated documents that are saved in their Salesforce library.

By doing this, sales teams instantly save time and increase productivity with clean, consistently branded documents every time. Even more, everyone across the entire organization has visibility into the document generation process and status on various documents and where cases stand.

Murky data

This type of data is not hard to spot and can usually be characterized by missing and inaccurate data and inconsistent information. Due to these issues, the data lacks the necessary pipeline of insight that salespeople need. Unfortunately, salespeople waste a crazy amount of time on fixing and trying to correct this type of dirty data.

How can sales teams work better with this type of Salesforce data? Data optimization. By optimizing their data, salespeople can track effective, accurate data updates and easily view, act and report on sales. What does this mean for the average salesperson? Improved efficiency with data tasks and clean, up-to-date, actionable data for visibility across your entire business. This vastly improves the sales pipeline and improves the productivity of each and every rep.

Back to Basics

It’s simple. Your sales team needs more hours back in their day to do what they do best – sell. Identify time sinks (like time consuming document generation and dirty data) and get your team back on track and focused on core selling opportunities. If not, they may become just another sad sales statistic.

Doug Rybacki
Doug leads product strategy, product management, and product education for Conga's products and services. He has over 25 years experience in building businesses, products, and teams.Prior to Conga, Doug led teams at Medversant Technologies, DocuSign, LexisNexis, and the Texas Office of Court Administration. In addition to Product Management, he has experience in leading product development, business development, and accounting functions.Doug has an MBA from the University of Washington and a BBA from The University of Texas.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here