<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/Nfk5wflCTIIE2iSoYxah" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">

Let Salespeople Sell

by Doug Davidoff | Dec 8, 2006 11:29:42 AM

Salespeople are among the highest paid people in any company. It is not unusual for a salesperson to be the highest paid person in a company, making even more money then the owners or senior executives. And the reality is that what a company pays a salesperson is only a fraction of what their time is worth – after all, a salesperson should be bringing in multiples of their income as revenue for their company.

So it has always amazed me how little value most management teams put on a salesperson’s time. A recent survey provides the evidence to support this. According to this survey salespeople spend only 38 percent of their time selling. The study shows that even the best salespeople only spend 58 percent of their time selling. One-fourth of their time is spent dealing with mistakes, finding information or expediting orders.

Here’s my philosophy: When a salesperson isn’t talking with someone in a position to buy, preparing to talk to someone in a position to buy, or isn’t directly improving their ability to talk to someone in a position to buy, THEY AREN’T WORKING.

The survey cites a cut in customer service staffing and/or outdated processes as the prime culprit for this problem. I understand the need to control costs, but control is the key word; and control is not a synonym for cut.

My experience has proven that a reasonable investment in improving the effectiveness or productivity of a salesperson provides a 4:1 return. I was reporting my year-end numbers to my advisory board yesterday. I told them that I was excited to report that our costs for the year have far exceeded our expectations. They looked at me quizzically. I then told them that the costs were up because they supported our revenues being up and our profits far exceeded plan. Simply put, we invested in our ability to grow.

Invest in your salespeople, maximize the time they are actually selling and fast growth will be yours.