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Sales Strategy
What should the Scope of a Sales Professional’s Role Be?
Jan 25, 2013 | Michael Nick lock

I get approached often regarding what the role of sales should be in many other areas of the organization. My quick answer is simple: it depends on the size of your organization. So for the sake of this story, I would assume you are an organization that has enough other personnel to handle things like marketing, software testing, or cleaning the office areas. Here is a list of the most common tasks a sales professional could be involved in. Put an "X" next to the ones that you believe a sales professional should be doing.

__ Lead generation
__ Proposals
__ Direct sales
__ Discovery
__ Qualification
__ Presentations
__ Demonstrations
__ Post sale follow up
__ Contracts
__ Coordination of additional personnel for presentations

     Next to the right of the items that you checked, enter the percentage of time you feel a sales professional should be spending their time on this task.

     Once you have labeled each item above, perform the following exercise. Multiply 2,080 by the percentage you have entered for "direct sales". For example if you believe your sales people should spend 60% of their time on direct sales, multiply 2080 by .60 = 1,248 hours should be spent each year selling. Next, divide the total sales they achieved for the year by the answer above. For example, if the sales person closed $100,000 in sales for the year, then divide 100,000 by 1248 = $80.13. This represents the amount of sales your rep is selling per hour. This is not a perfect equation for calculating every sales professional’s productivity, but it is a decent guide to use.

Next, you need to ask yourself, "Would more time increase their sales and sales effort?" If the answer is yes, you now have the figures and equation to use to monitor your decision. In most B2C sales environments, more time will likely improve their productivity and sales; in B2B, it will likely help some. The key to B2B sales audits is to understand where a sales professional is spending their time. If you determine that 25% of their time is spent creating proposals, then you have a real issue. I like to see 90% of a sales person’s time dedicated to selling. The other 10% is spent updating the database for me to forecast their efforts and sales projections.

About the Author:
Michael Nick is author of the book, ROI Selling, which became the standard for developing sales tools and using them throughout the sales process. He is also author of Why Johnny Can’t Sell and The Key to the C-Suite. Michael can be reached at 262.338.1824 or

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.


Recommended Reading:
- Self-Sabotage — the Cause and the Cure
- Simplifying the Sales Process for the Rep
- Is Working As an Independent Sales Representative For You?

View more sales articles from CPSA’s Knowledge Centre.

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