How Sales Reps Spend Their Time, and how to optimize it?

How Sales Reps Spend Their Time, and how to optimize it?

What are the tasks salespeople need to perform?

The best sales people focus on the most important priorities

  • Finding qualified prospects 
  • Determining potential needs
  • Offering solutions
  • Closing Sales
In practice salespeople are unfortunately solicited for tasks taking time away from selling.


Some of the tasks below are not even included in the job description:

  • Providing services
  • Delivering goods
  • Handling complaints 
  • Writing reports
.. and more!


But when interviewed, what are salespeople telling are the most important tasks in order?

  1. Prospecting / generating sales / orders / marketing — 41% 
  2. Build relationships, meet, contact customers –36%
  3. Provide customer service — 20%
  4. Time planning — 10%

Long week hours, short selling hours

Outside sales reps on average work long weeks of 49 hours and Consultants up to 54.6 hours but how is teh time used? 


  • 23% (ONLY) in actual selling
  • 22% in General and Admin
  • 11% in Travel
  • 11% in Client Admin
  • 10% in Service
  • 7% in Breaks
  • 6% in Planning 
  • 5% in internal meetings
  • 5% in misc Some 

However, some salespeople manage to spend over 40% of their time selling by hiring a full-time assistant to handle their administrative and order processing activities. 



Sales engagement Frequency

Typically, sales rep engage in sales activites on 35 different occasions per week. These are direct contacts with customers, through email, phone calls and meetings with current customers and prospects.  

Calls, Emails and Voicemail

Sales calls to current customers are longer than those with prospects. Specifically, sales calls with customers take 11 minutes each, while those with prospects are only 7 minutes long. 

The prospect calls may be shorter because some of them are just voicemail messages.

Web Conferences and meetings

When sales reps engage in face-to-face meetings, they spend an average of 50 minutes per meeting with current customers. Meeting with prospects meetings are shorter, at 39 minutes.

Thus, telefone conversations tend to be short, but once meetings occur, there is a great opportunity in-depth discussions. No surprise there.


Customer Service time

  • Once the product is sold, the sales rep is often responsible for delivering customer service. He or she does this through client meetings, account maintenance requests and related activities. 

Total customer service time is on average 4.9 hours / week. 

This area includes:

  • customer inquiries
  • credit issues
  • contract issues
  • handling complaints
  • account maintenance
  • service meetings
  • and even occasional deliveries.
The time spent is ventilated in the following way:
  • Service and support calls 2.3 hours (average of 13 per call)
For those who do service meetings, the average is 2.7 hours per week, with each meeting taking 25 minutes.
Receiving one complaint is more than any sales rep would like. The average is 2 per sales rep per weke, with each taking 19 minutes for a total of 0.6 hours (38 minutes) per week.
When ask sales reps, “What things outside of your control get in the way of your productivity?”. 
Sales rep would rather spend as little time in this category as possible. 
So now that we know why so much time is gobbled-up in other activities, it becomes so much more crucial to optimize this, and in the next post we explain how augmented web messaging can dramatically improve the situation delivering massive time savings, but also delivering the most engaging format of all other alternatives, including Video. 

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