Noise and Distraction

Now that on-the-road B2B sales teams are back on the road, we are starting to hear about a return of the old noise and distraction that blighted productivity pre-Covid. The problem is often confounded by hearsay re what and which noise drivers consume most time and the what and how surrounding the root causes. It seems logical for Management to ask the sales execs directly. The problem here is that the loudest voices are heard above the quieter ones and the feedback will be skewed by personal bias and axe grinding.

At the same time, with properly apportioned costs, the cost of a visit across the B2B landscape these days often runs into several hundreds of dollars. So, the associated loss of productivity is very real in terms of the RoI impact on mobilising the sales team.

The solution, thankfully, is not too hard or inaccessible. It involves co-opting a set of independent and investigative eyes. Hire a “gun” to execute these steps ………….

• “ride along” for a day on the road with 1, 2, or 3 of your sales execs who need to be undertaking a normal day’s worth of visiting activities
• receive the sales exec position description from you
• leverage both these inputs to craft an activity base survey
• charge each sales exec to privately invest an hour or so to complete the survey as a solo exercise. The survey must be hierarchical and corral the surveyee to successively break down lumps of time to an appropriate level of detail. Usually 3-6 levels will suit most, starting with the high level of breaking down total work time (exclude annual leave and any other time away from territory eg training courses, conferences, etc) into territory vs office time
• collate all data, de-identify, and analyse the results
• present the results back to you in clear, action-oriented, findings -> interpretations -> recommendations

That’s the easy bit. Then, as always, the hard bit is to execute.