The pressure continues to mount on many B2B sales organisations to justify the cost and RoI of the expensive territory based sales team. Against the changing landscape of the race to the bottom in many mature industries and the rise of e-commerce and the internet savvy buyer. Providing connectivity and all the tools of the trade to keep the Sales Execs out of the office is obvious enough. Eradicating office based tasks that pull the Sales Execs off territory and into the office is also somewhat obvious, but perhaps not so easy to achieve. We often see a horrible entanglement of proactive sales responsibilities, reactive customer service activities not correctly allocated between the Sales Execs and the Customer Service Department… and even the customer themselves. That is a topic in itself for another day. Today I want to shed light on a subtle but important point that often gets missed when reviewing the sales process and sales team productivity.

I have previously exhorted the importance of good visit design for competitive advantage. Both qualitative and quantitative design.  So please allocate enough time for the pre-visit muster.  And the post visit muster too. This is the invaluable time the Sales exec should spend in the car , parked out the front, mentally prepping, CRM logging, sales collateral assembling.  Quite often this should require 5-10 mins either side. So if you are “budgeting” on an average visit duration of 45 min, then you should build an full hour into your sales process and sales team optimisation calculations.

Why? As well as promoting maximum effectiveness of visits, you will also be providing further stimulus for Sales Execs to stay on territory and not have to come back into the office to do the “batched” tasks.