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Giving Salespeople More Time to Sell Is BS

I swear…if I hear one more pundit talking about how the primary mission of Sales Ops’ should be to “give salespeople more time to sell” I’m going to rip out what little hair I have left…even though it will likely require tweezers at this point.

Of course, these pundits will inevitably try to support their argument with some research stat about how salespeople only spend 10-30% of their time face-to-face with prospects. They will then go on to explain how relieving salespeople of all the various administrative burdens that are consuming the majority of their time can’t help but improve sales performance.

On the surface, the argument seems to make sense. It’s logical. It’s intuitive.

It’s also complete and utter Bravo Sierra!

First of all, the argument assumes that salespeople are prioritizing these so-called “administrative burdens” over engaging with prospects. Bravo Sierra.

Show me a salesperson who would let some administrative task like filing an expense report or updating their CRM records get in the way of meeting with a prospect who might buy something and generate a commission. If such salespeople do actually exist in your organization, you have much bigger problems with the effectiveness of your recruiting processes than the efficiency of your sales processes.

Secondly, the argument assumes that prospects would actually want to meet with salespeople, if only those salespeople had the time. Bravo Sierra.

The correct way to interpret the research is that salespeople only spend 10-30% of their time face-to-face with prospects because prospects want it that way! It’s the prospect that doesn’t have the time or inclination to meet, not the salesperson. In today’s environment, prospects simply prefer to engage in other ways and are far less likely to take time out of their busy day for an in-person sales meeting.

So…why does this argument drive me crazy?

Our research here at SellingBrew has really opened my eyes to the much greater role that Sales Ops can play in driving sales performance. And once you’ve seen the possibilities and witnessed what leading teams have been able to accomplish, it’s impossible to say that “giving salespeople more time to sell” should be Sales Ops’ highest ambition.

Frankly, it’s not even close.

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