Taking Control of Your Time #2...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Aug 06, 2013

Sales Homework

 Speaking of time, did you notice, it's getting colder and darker 
 every morning.  Can't stop the seasons.  Can't lengthen 24 hours.
 Can't change the length of the month or the quarter.  All we can
 do is use our time more efficiently, effectively and comfortably.
   "I must govern the clock, not be governed by it"  -Golda Meir

 So, did you do the homework I asked you to do in last Thursday's
 blog?  Although I do put the fear of God into my Tufts students
 (my MIT students, not so much), but probably not into my 8,900 blog readers to do homework...especially in the summa'. 

(BTW, before we start, if you're looking for a top notch head of sales, just email me)

 Ok, so let's do the math now in real time:

  • Take the total hours spent selling in an average week
  • Subtract 25% you can't control (vacations, sick, holidays, non-utilizable)
  • Subtract time for servicing (not selling to) existing accounts
  • Subtract time for company administrative issues and meetings
  • subtract time for travel
  • Subtract time for training
  • The result is your ATS (Available Time to Sell)

ATS=Total Available Time to Sell, which includes...

  • Prospecting (cold calls, generate your own leads, work with Marketing)
  • Researching and qualifying those leads
  • Actual selling time. Time in the actual sales funnel-(From Qualify to Close)

Sales Results resized 600Now two questions:  You can answer these for yourselves and/or for your team in terms of the sales results that you want to achieve.

  1. How efficient are you?  Efficiency in Sales is created by your sales Process & Tools.  That's it.

    -How quickly can you access and use your custom designed (for your company) sales process?  If you ask, "What Sales Process?", we have work to do.

    -How quickly can you access and use your custom designed sales tools that are specifically designed for your sales process?  If you ask, "What Tools?", we have work to do.
  2. How effective are you?  Effectiveness in Sales is Hiring & Training.  That's it

    -How well do you Recruit, Hire, Onboard & Retain your salespeople? And what's the math in terms of time to recruit, onboard, and ramp up to full effectiveness?  What's your MTBL? (Mean Time Between Leaves). If after you've hired and trained, you're turning over more than 25% of your salespeople per year for whatever reason, we have work to do.

    -How well do you train?  Initial product training is easy.  How often to you repeat it?  What about industry, market and sales skills training?  What about certifying your salespeople?  The most successful sales teams spend 4-6 hours per month in training.
    BTW, the Patriots spend 150.

ATS Example: (industry averages here for B2B)

  • My salespeople work on average 60 hours a week
  • Multiply by 4.3 weeks/month=258 hours a month
  • -25% (vacations, sick, non-util, holidays) = 64 hours
  • -14% (account service calls)= 36 hours
  • -11% (travel and training) = 28 hours
  • ATS = 130 hours of Available Time To Sell

As a sales manager, I then have one very simple objective which is incredibly difficult to do unless I am totally focused on my own time management, my own skills development and my own leadership capabilities.  

Job #1: Make my salespeople both Efficient & Effective in using those 130 hours per month

As a sales manager, in addition to my own time working with my boss, working on my own personal accounts, attending way too many administrative and budget meetings, my job then becomes to ENABLE my sales team, both as individuals and as a team of happy, driven and motivated warriors.

What's Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement structure


-It's my company's sales and marketing framework within which I provide for the efficiency and effectiveness of all of my salespeople. 

-It is the foundation on which I will build out the entire platform from which I expect to work and have my team work.

-It is the structural architecture where I and all of my marketing and salespeople go for all of our tools.  


  • Efficiency tools such as our sales formal process, the steps by which we market and we sell, the tools that we use along those and the metrics that we agree to by which we will be measured.
  • Effectiveness tools by which we recruit, hire, onboard and consistently train our salespeople.  It is the training library for product and skills training through which we certify our salespeople as experts in what they do.

Creating a Sales Enablement framework for yourself or for your entire sales and marketing organization is no more difficult (nor any easier) than mapping out the architecture for that house you and your spouse want to buy or build.  What's the overall structure going to become?  How are you going to use that internal space within which you will spend your time?  How is the framework going to be designed and used so that it will be both efficient and effective for you and your family? 

You're going to be using that same thought process, the same level of detailed design, the same level of formality and involvement in the design of your sales and marketing enablement process such that the end result will become a comfortable, efficient and effective place within which you and your sales and marketing team will work. 

Why bother?  More money in your pocket.  More profitability for your company.  Faster results in a environment that provides more value for your customers.

Sales Enablement The business of managing Sales always comes back to the management of your own time and that of the rest of your sales team.  It becomes your own personal Sales Enablement Circle within which you manage your time and everything else since the opportunity to create efficiency and effectiveness, to work and to ultimately become very successful in this rapidly changing environment of Buyer and Seller all begins and ends with how you manage your own time within your Circle.




Good Selling! 

 Jack Derby 


Head Coach
Linked In and Sales

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