Wednesday, February 6, 2013

7 Biggest Time Wasters for Sales People


Expecting modular home factory sales reps to be productive from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed is a myth perpetrated by the MBA types that are creeping into the factory management ranks.  

I had a sales manager call me at midnight asking if I could go over my sales for the day. Another showed unannounced up for a sales call in Boston and the factory was in PA. Apparently he was in the area anyway!! These situations are not the norm. Being productive every waking minute will burn out even the best sales person. However, there is a flip side to this. There are sales reps that are so easily distracted from working that they need to leave a breadcrumb trail so they can find their way back to their work.

How some sales reps spend their day
For them, there is little thrill in the actual sales process and they are usually the lowest sales producers. Changing their attitudes is not easy but it is to the benefit of the company to at least try. So what are the biggest time wasters for these sales reps?
  1. Spending time with unqualified prospects. Some salespeople would rather spend time with a poor prospect than no prospect. Why waste time on builders who don’t want or need what you’re selling. Use the time to find better prospects and learn to quickly qualify them.
  2. Too many callbacks. This usually occurs when the sales rep is hesitant to ask for the builder’s business.
  3. Too much time emailing and texting. Even though we are all guilty of this to an extent, the poor performing sales rep will hide their inactivity behind all the important communication they are having with their builders and prospects. Forwarding offensive jokes and cartoons will not make you look good to your builders, it will tell them you have too much time on your hands and aren't working for their benefit. Quit it now.
  4. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.  Sales reps that check their social media every 10 minutes can’t be productive. Builders that are busy don’t have the time to be on them so the sales rep is just communicating with friends and family.
  5. LinkedIn is another black hole that can suck in even the best sales rep. What on the surface might appear a great way to find new builders can easily pull you into one of the discussion areas where you can lose track of time.
  6. Poorly planned sales territory. Most sales reps have builders in large territories because the modular factory management wants to give builders a protected territory. If a rep has a territory 100 miles square, this means they have to cover 10,000 square miles! Too much time spent travelling around the territory. Some salespeople spend more time behind the wheel of their vehicle than in front of their prospects.Some reps have to cover parts of several states.
  7. Get organized. A lot of sales people have poor record keeping skills. Time spent looking for lost or misplaced information is time they don’t have for selling.

Being aware of these 7 time wasters and making an effort to change will begin to show almost immediate improvement in sales and attitudes. Good sales managers will watch for these tell-tale signs and begin working with the sales rep to improve.

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