Sales Productivity: Where Does the Time Go?



In sales, the idea is people connect with potential customers and get them to buy our products and services. Their whole role is to sell, right? But the reality is, sales people – in any type of sales role — typically spend a significant portion of their time on non-selling roles and activities.  These activities can include internal meetings, training, preparation time for meetings, business planning, customer service, travel, administrative tasks – you get the picture, and can probably easily add to the list.

These other activities can be very frustrating for the sales people and the sale leaders who are trying to squeeze more quota out of an already business workforce.

But it’s not a lost cause. The truth is non-selling activities are so common in many sales organizations these activities are considered part of the job. But a closer look at how much time is spent not selling can be eye-opening, and can provide a major opportunity to increase the sales capacity of the organization.

Often, when we sit down with sales leadership, they have no idea how much time their front line sales people are spending on these non-selling activities. And when they realize it, either from stories and examples, complaints, or a sales time tracking tool, they’re usually fairly alarmed. The need to remove many of the non-selling activities – we call it decontaminating the sales role – becomes a priority.

Decontaminating sales roles can have a significant impact. For example, for an organization with $2B of revenue and 500 quota bearing reps that spends only 50% of its time selling (the average across organizations), adding 5% more selling time at only 20% of the current revenue per hour yields an additional $40M in sales capacity (see chart above). That’s $40 million more from the sale sales people.

When planning for 2015, considering gathering the insight you need to make your sales team more efficient. Find out how they are spending their time, how much time is spent on non-selling activities, and decontaminate their role.


To learn more about the Sales Time Optimizer Tool for sales organizations, or to request a free trial, email Mark Donnolo at

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