I got talking to a senior salesperson recently and was gob smacked when he told me about the amount of admin work that he is expected to produce on top of his sales target. He was literally spending half his working week doing paperwork.
It got me to thinking that when you consider other unavoidable tasks such as travelling to and from sales meetings , the amount of time that he could possibly be spending in front of prospective clients actually selling must be tiny.
Wanting to see if there was any available information on the web I came across an international productivity study from Proudfoot Consulting, which made for quite astonsishing reading. This 2002 study revealed that sales people on average spend just seven percent of their time actively selling.
Unfortunately it seems almost commonplace for companies to burden their salespeople with vast amounts of administration workload. While most sales directors would accept some inefficiency in the sales environment, a salesperson spending less than 10% actively selling is crazy.
The costs to any business that decides to laden its sales team with admin work are high. While the most obvious cost is felt in terms of limiting the amount of time actively selling which in turn effects sales and profits, psychological profiling also tells us that salespeople neither enjoy nor prove effective as administrators.
When you consider that hiring trained administration staff is both an easy and a much cheaper option it appears ridicules that any right thinking company would continue to expect their sales staff to carry this work load.
Sales directors could easily make their sales teams considerably more effective by minimising the amount of non-productive tasks by reviewing internal processes and taking action to ensure that sales people are doing what they were hired to do: SELL