Ask any Human Resources Manger how many work hours are in a year and you will likely hear stats like 8 hours per workday, five workdays per week, and 52 weeks in a year, or 2080 hours per year of available work time. This should be plenty of time for a sales person to make their annual quota, right? The reality is that actual available selling time is much less than 2080 hours because of a variety of factors. Here are a few of the factors that significantly reduce available selling time.
- Vacations 80-120 hours annually
- Training 8-40 hours annually
- Sick time 0-40 hours annually
- Compulsory meetings 100-200 hours annually
- Prospect meeting travel time 96-192 hours annually.
If you are like the average sales person the productivity loss from the above-required activities can reduce your available selling hours by 28-35% annually. Couple these events with with some of the daily interruptions and minor client emergencies we all have and all of a sudden your ability to stay focused on selling during prime business hour seems impossible!
On way to keep non-selling activities from significantly eroding your available selling time is to set aside 30-90 minutes each day to mange non-selling issues. I like to break the non-selling time into two time slots, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. As non-emergency issues arise during the day make a note of them and deal with them during your non-selling time.
Also, consider starting your day earlier than you normally would. I find that starting my work day around 7:30 gives me a full hour to address busy work related items and I can do it without interruption as most of my associates have not yet arrived to work. Starting a little early also adds back valuable selling time, and since time helps no sale, having a little extra time can be a good thing!
Take the time today to block administrative time slots on your daily calendar, you will be amazed on how much more available selling time you can generate by managing the small details en masse instead one at a time.