Earlier this year, we announced something pretty cool: our 2018 Sales Productivity Survey.

With help from FunnelCake and LevelJump, our goal was simple: learning more about where sales reps’ time goes. But that’s been done before, so we’re giving it a new twist by diving deeper into the specific activities of sales reps, and comparing those to factors like company success, specific technologies/processes (current and planned), as well as various firmographics.

Well, the results are coming out soon – really soon -- and ahead of that official release, we wanted to share a few of the top time wasters people with the job “sales rep” and “account executive” told us about.

Survey says…

52% waste time looking for information

When information is scattered across multiple places, buried in documents, out-of-date, inconsistent, or just not captured correctly, you bet sales teams spend more time than necessary searching for it.

More than half of companies report using multiple document repositories or relying on email as a primary method of sharing content and information with sales teams, according to a study from CSO Insights. We can do better.

60% waste time pursuing poor leads

Every hour your reps spend chasing leads that don’t convert into a sale is an hour of time and resources they could have spent chasing a lead that would. There’s been some effort to quantify how much this costs in the long run. Some estimates say it’s somewhere around $218,000 a year per rep; others say it’s as high as $460/hour per rep. Either way, it’s a lot.

That’s a problem for forecasting, too. Badly qualified leads in the funnel can skew your metrics and bias your sales cycle data.

47% waste time on data entry

Logging calls, entering opportunity values, updating contact details, setting reminders, tasks and open questions, making appointments and scheduling calls… there’s a lot of little things reps do on the daily that require time and attention, even if they’re pretty straightforward.

Research has shown that an average Salesforce user spends four hours a week on CRM data entry alone. It’s not just a productivity issue but one of morale (it’s repetitive work) and quality. Reps are so busy, they inevitably make calls about whether a certain piece of information provides value and should be documented, leading to inconsistencies in your data capture.

35% waste time attending meetings

When it comes to non-productive meetings, there are two leading culprits: those that are important but poorly organized, and those that are not necessary at all. Either way, sales teams spend a lot of time in meetings that they don’t feel provide value when they could be on the sales floor closing deals.

And what do people do during these meetings? A poll from Atlassian shows 91% of us daydream, 73% do other work, and 39% have fallen asleep. Yes, they’re that bad.

30% waste time on peer-to-peer interruptions

There’s little more frustrating than being in the zone on a project or a deal, only to get pulled out of your flow by a colleague with a question they could answer themselves. Sales reps, in particular, are interrupted every 16 minutes, according to a study from Pace Productivity.

There’s been a ton of research on just how much time these small interruptions cost. While most of us are able to refocus after a distraction, it can take up to half an hour to get back into our work. And while we do reset, we tend to rush the work because we know we’ve just lost that time, says research from UC Irvine.

Our full results will be out soon — subscribe below to be notified!

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