Back to Posts

Where Does All the Selling Time Go?

4 min read
Updated Aug. 4, 2021
Published Aug. 15, 2016

Kshhhh… Mission Control, Mission Control… This is your sales manager, come in. We have a sales problem. My reps are wasting too much selling time performing non-revenue performing tasks. How can I help them spend more time actually selling? Over.

Does this mayday call sound familiar?

Unfortunately, too many managers deal with this sales problem on a regular basis. While technology (in theory) improves speed and accuracy of certain daily tasks, the more tools reps have to monitor, manage, maintain, and update, can actually slow their productivity significantly.

Even the captains at Accenture say that 64.3% of most sales reps’ time is eclipsed by non-selling activities, and that only 33% is spent actively selling.

This wouldn’t be such a glaring problem if it wasn’t for the fact that, according to a Salesforce study last year, sales productivity is a top driver for hitting new revenue targets.

But where does all of that selling time go?

McKinsey Global Institute reports that 28% of a rep’s day is spent reading or responding to emails, while 19% of the day is simply spent gathering information. And while these are important tasks to cover, they’re common problems for office workers in just about every role.

The real culprit stealing salespeoples’ selling time may actually be the aspect of their job that is meant to give them the most benefit: their CRM.

Implisit found that the average sales rep spends almost 4 hours every week updating their CRM system.

That’s more wasted selling time than the average employee spends on the usual productivity-sucking suspects — coffee breaks, Facebook, Twitter, etc. — combined.

How exactly does time spent in a CRM spiral so far out of control?

The main malefactor here is Tasks. Nearly half of the time Salesforce users spend on updates is spent on Tasks. And Tasks related to leads take up 18% of sales professionals weekly updates, while Contacts take up around 17%.

How many of these updates are being made each week? According to the same Implisit study, the average sales rep updates over 60 records per day, or over 300 updates per week, in order to keep their Salesforce CRM fully up-to-date. And a whopping 21% of sales reps make over 500 updates per week to Salesforce.

So, what’s the solution?

Sales professionals know that CRM isn’t going anywhere. (Remember: CRM or It Didn’t Happen…So how do you fix these productivity problems? It’s actually easier than you may think. That’s why we created our newest eBook “Houston, We Have a Sales Problem.”

sales problems eBook


Find out two of the steps to take when trying to find out where all of the selling time goes, and how to get it back to earth:

Step 1: Get The Right Information at the Right Time

Communication is a constant challenge for growing businesses and established enterprises, alike.

The issue here is that sales enablement programs are often broken or, in some cases, don’t exist at all, making it difficult for sales reps to find the right information at the right time.

Thankfully, sales tools like Salesloft compile all the relevant messaging and content for each stage of the sales cycle, allowing sales reps to send information to prospects with a single click. Just imagine this: no more searching through emails or content repositories — all of the right information is right at the sales team’s fingertips, ready to launch. (Read: more selling time for all!)

Step 2: Make Automatic CRM Updates

The amount of manual work that goes into updating a CRM system is no secret.

Many CRMs like Salesforce are even taking steps and making acquisitions to help automate some of the most common selling time stealing tasks. However, that automation is years from being implemented, and sales teams need help now.

That’s why the best sales tools in the universe sync automatically with CRM. When a rep completes a task in one of the platforms, the appropriate record is then automatically updated, with no additional effort on the part of the rep. It saves time, resources, and allows your sales team to focus on the activity that truly matters: selling time.

Download your copy of the eBook today to launch into greater detail on each of these issues, how deeply they impact a sales organization, and what using the right sales tools can do to solve them.