The lifeblood of your business rests on generating predictable and profitable sales. So it is pretty important your sales team is on top of their game.
We have been observing flooring sales teams over the last few years and have built a database of their activities. These results are also available in our free commercial flooring benchmark report (click to download)
The results are eye-opening!
You would think salespeople would spend the majority of their time on, well selling, wouldn’t you?
- On average we have found salespeople spend just 6% of their week prospecting for business!!!
- One-third of their week (38%) is spent on data entry or email activity.
- 11% of their time involves running the jobs in some form.
Our empirical studies give insight into the low prospecting time.
Firstly, the workload associated with managing bids is high. Salespeople are spending significant hours managing these bids through the system. The problem is the win rate is low. (see benchmark report for more insight) Many times, we should not have bid them at all! Having clarity/guidelines on who and why we bid to significantly improves this.
Secondly, prospecting is often an afterthought. Salespeople start calling when their pipeline is weak (when it’s too late!) or they have taken a beating in one of the owners’ sporadic sales meetings.
Prospecting must be a habit. It is a critical trait of successful salespeople. Success means consistently delivering business despite market conditions. Everyone can rise on the tide like a cork bobbing on a wave. Few can muster up work when there is an industry or sector downturn. Those that do, attend to their pipelines and have mastered this secret:
Qualify out. Don’t qualify in.
This means we only bid/chase deals we want, that fit our criteria. They are 5 star fully qualified propsects. We don’t throw junk in. The higher the number of prospects the easier it is to qualify the bad ones out.
Here’s a practical tip. ALL salespeople should reserve the hours of 8AM-9AM and 5PM-6PM four days a week to make prospect calls. (Keep one day for housekeeping and submitting key bids). That’s 8 hours a week which could be as much as 20%. A more-than threefold increase on the average.
Having a discipline first thing focuses the mind and it’s a good time to reach people before their day gets hectic. Similarly catching prospects at the end of the day is an effective practice.
Once you get into the habit it becomes easy. Try it for a couple of weeks and see!!