Never a great math student in junior high school, I was shipped off by my parents to a math tutor every Saturday morning for my time spent in the 8th grade. No wonder I was never one of "the cool kids"...plus I played clarinet in the band. I do wish now that I could thank them profusely for that decision to enlist Mr. Sampson for those fundamental lessons in the basics of math. Today, in my love of "The Science of Sales" (the title of one of my Tufts courses at The Derby Entrepreneurship Center,) much of what I do in the world of improving sales productivity comes down to the math of understanding:
- The time that "A"-level salespeople work: avg. 57/hrs./wk.= 3,120 hrs./yr.
- 3,120 - hours we can't change: vacations, sick, holiday & 15% non-utilization = 2,350
- Of that number, the % of actual prep and sales time equals only 61%
Just a quick summary: I start with 3,120 hours available, and I quickly come down to 1,300 hours of actual sales time...assuming I and my salespeople are 90% productive using that time. The reality of that productivity percentage is far less averaging around 60%.
What this tells me as a manager is that my real job is to work with my team to maximize their productivity (the utilization of their available time) providing them with the best efficiency in both formal sales process and AI-enabled productivity tools (CRM) while at the same time providing the most effectiveness in terms of the messaging of the value that they are providing to their new prospects and existing customers.
At this time of year with only 30-36 selling days left in the year in our consulting business, and with only four more weeks in the semester at Tufts, I'm hyper focused on the issue of available time, so I was excited to see my new edition of HBR arrive in on Monday with a great article on the impact of AI on sales productivity. The article started with an ugly stat, which was no surprise to me since we've been tracking this type of thing for 20 years, and for 20 years, the numbers have stayed relatively the same: The percentage of salespeople actually meeting quota between 2012-19, fell from 63% to 57%!
All about "Process-Tools-Technology-Math & People"
It's been our experience, (and the article points out the same results) that sales performance dramatically improves with the impact of...
- Formal step-by-step uniform sales processes that are fully adopted by the sales team
- AI-enabled CRM platforms providing as much as 10x improvements in productivity
- Increases in management coaching time from 10% to 30%
At Tufts, where I teach two courses-one in Marketing and one in The Science of Sales-I use a "Content in Context" approach in which I, my TAs and my guest instructors (all alums from these courses and now sales and marketing managers in their own companies) provide the content in creating customized full sales or marketing plans. The context in which that content is applied is within the creation of creating plans for real companies. Typically, these are 6 or 12-month tactical plans complete with research, personas and value propositions, focused on specific recommendations, expense budgets and revenue forecast.
Right now, I'm looking for projects for my spring Science of Sales course, so if you're interested, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send you the instructions today. I'm also very available to follow up a call to answer any questions.
Have a great weekend & connect anytime!
Just some thoughts for a beautiful Friday to think about as you gear up for a new month of executing on your sales process and, most importantly, closing deals!
At any time, if you want to discuss your own sales or marketing planning for 2023 or even for the rest of this year, just connect with me for some quick ideas and feedback. There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about this new rapidly changing world of marketing, which is nothing like the old days of 2020! In the meantime, take a look at our 2022 edition of our Writing the Winning 2022 Marketing Plan
We also have a related book in our Writing the Winning 2022 Sales Plan. Both of these plus our Writing the Wining Business Plan Book (more than 8,000 downloads this year) will be updated during the December break.