In a highly competitive selling environment, losing precious time is a multifaceted and common problem. Timewasters can snowball into lost sales, frustrated employees, and ineffective day-to-day processes. The result? The company’s bottom line takes a hit. From CRO to SDR, everyone who is connected to the sales process needs to focus on improving time management.

Sales teams face a variety of time-wasting tasks every day. In fact, sales reps spend 66% of their time focusing on everything BUT selling.  

When it comes to sales, time isn’t just money. It’s your company’s reputation, competitiveness, and ability to stay afloat. Let’s take a closer look at hidden timewasters that could affect your company’s profitability.

 

1. Manual Administrative Tasks

To drive a B2B sales process to the initial close, you may need to work with hundreds of leads. Without manual process automation, it’s virtually impossible to get the job done. You’re bound to miss important information or get backed with up tasks, which in turn can result in precious prospect loss.

Creating reports, entering data into different systems, lead discovery, manually writing emails to each prospect… the list goes on. Sales teams spend hours on manual administrative work, gaining little valuable insight in return.

The tricky part is that such work often seems endless but necessary, causing sales reps to devote so many resources to it. As a result, they lose valuable minutes during and after the workday, deteriorating work/life balance.

What can be done?

If your team is spending too much time on manual tasks, you need to first analyze what makes sense to automate, and then determine and implement the proper technology. Could your CRM system be outdated? Do you have a good understanding of the latest available tools? Review your technology solutions to keep your sales team focused on selling.

 

2. Note Taking

After a call with a prospect, it can take a sales rep up to 8 minutes to write down all the necessary information.  With B2B sales, a call can take as long as an hour or more. To review the entire conversation, your sales rep could be stuck taking notes for another 30 minutes. As if a cold call wasn’t intense enough!

While sales notes are highly important for gaining insight into prospects’ behavior and building customer relationships, they shouldn’t turn into timewasters.

What can be done?

To minimize the time spent on notes, your team can:

  • Implement a note-taking system with templates like Gong, which integrates directly with Zoom.
  • Train your team to take quick, efficient notes during (not after) the conversation.

The key step toward note-taking optimization is realizing that your current system doesn’t work for you. Evaluate the time your sales team spends on notes. You’ll most likely uncover several, simple-to-fix inefficiencies.

 

3. Demo Building

Demo building is an integral part of a sales-driving process for any team. However, with the wrong approach, it can turn into a serious timewaster.

If your team doesn’t have the right tools to collect information about the prospect, it could take hours of research for proper customization. Meanwhile, without the right technology, creating the demo itself can be time-consuming and tedious.

What can be done?

An extensive understanding of the product isn’t enough to create a high-quality demo. Your sales team must have all the necessary tools to collect information for the demo and to create it. Gaining access to the right tools and information could become the much-needed productivity booster.

Pro tip: Not all prospects need a demo to convert. Creating one for each potential client could be a huge timewaster.

 

4. Updating Sales Pipelines

Sales pipeline management directly affects the company’s short- and long-term profitability. That’s why sales teams invest a lot of effort into updating the information. Since each action taken by the sales team can affect the prospect’s position in the pipeline, constant updates eat up the rep’s time tremendously.

Without timely updates, the pipeline can become chaotic. However, each update is a time-consuming process.

What can be done?

Consider using technologies that help your sales team eliminate manual updating. The sales pipeline updates can be reduced to a couple of clicks instead of the time-consuming data entering, saving, and file exporting process.

With the right tools, each pipeline update should become available to the entire team simultaneously solving time management issues for the entire company. This being said, updating a forecast or pipeline will always take some time — ensure your team has the proper block on their calendar each week to complete the task on time.

5. Creating Sales Forecasts

With sales forecasts being a roadmap for your business, creating one is highly important for any company. Making a sales forecast requires an in-depth analysis of the sales cycle, historical data, reports, and much more.

When creating a sales forecast, you don’t just need the information collected by the sales team. You require buy-ins from other departments. Trying to create a sales forecast without sufficient information is a timewaster.

What can be done?

The entire sales team, product leaders, and marketing department should contribute information to help with a sales forecast, but the sales forecast affects departments across the board. From HR making recruiting decisions, to finance making investment decisions, and product planning, the impact of a sales forecast touches all areas of the business. While each sales rep forecasts their own number, it’s important to understand that ultimately, the Head of Sales, not sales reps, is responsible for determining the most accurate, unbiased forecast.

 

6. Falling for Objection Baits

If they don’t end the call on the spot, sales objections have the potential of turning into serious timewasters. Trying to get back on track could take precious minutes, while interfering with the entire call’s structure. This leads to a confused and disgruntled prospect, and a jittery sales rep.

What can be done?

To move past the objections, the sales rep should have a clear understanding of what can be done to acknowledge them, respond, and pivot back on track. You may even consider creating a template for common sales objection types in your industry to save reps precious minutes and drive the conversation forward. Remember, the thought that every objection MUST be overcome is a time waster and time management killer. All objections must be heard and responded to appropriately. That may mean pivoting in a different direction for your call, or staying on your current talk track. Be willing to be flexible, versus derailed.

 

Working on Your Time Management Issues

The worst part about time management issues is that some of them are hard to spot. If your sales team is working at full capacity but not achieving the desired goals, take a closer look at the little things.

Seemingly unimportant problems can turn into serious issues that affect the company’s profitability. Many leaders are too busy to notice these hidden culprits, thus minimizing the efficiency of the sales team.

Consider checking for the above-mentioned issues within your company. All of them can be solved by using the right technology and streamlining your planning process. For more support in guiding your sales team and process, Sales Assembly can help. Contact us for more information.