Salespeople on average spend just one third of their day actually selling, according to research by HubSpot.
The remainder of their day is spent - again, on average - writing emails (21%) entering data (17%) prospecting and researching leads (17%) in internal meetings (12%) and scheduling calls (12%).
That means that during an eight hour working day, your sales team is on average spending just 2.5 hours of their day selling.
That works out at what? A day and a half a week?
We’ve written before about the importance of frictionless selling in today’s market.
Customers have more choice on where to spend their money or where to get their information from than ever before and often it’s the businesses that sell the best that succeed the most.
Even if they’re selling an inferior product to the competition.
Part of doing frictionless selling successfully is actually giving your sales team the time to be there for leads and customers. To answer questions when they have them, and keep providing value at every stage of the buyer journey.
As soon as they stop adding value, even for a short time, you get friction in the sales process and the chance for a prospect to go somewhere else. As the name suggests, frictionless selling is about removing points of friction.
Enabling your sales team to do frictionless selling
One of the first things to figure out is why your sales team is spending so much time doing things other than selling.
I would dare say that for the most part it’s because you’re not giving them the tools they need to be more efficient with their time.
For instance, if you go back to HubSpot’s stats on what most salespeople spend their time doing you’ll notice that more than a few of those tasks (writing emails, data entry, scheduling meetings and researching leads) can be automated.
The fact that your sales team are spending so much of their day doing them manually suggests they’re not getting the level of investment they need.
Remember, everything your sales team does should add value to a lead or customer. Anything that takes away from that is hindering your business’ chance of closing deals and making money.
If they’re spending loads of time in meetings, what meetings are they going to? And do they really need to go to them?
Why aren’t you helping them by automating tasks like appointment booking, data entry or sending emails?
Couldn’t you invest in a CRM that could do that for them and let them get on with value adding tasks?
If not, why not?
How are they doing frictionless selling?
If you describe frictionless selling to a sales manager I’ll bet you they’ll come back and say it’s something they do.
Of course they work to add value to prospects and use content to be helpful.
It’s almost an insult that you’ve suggested they don’t.
But take a closer look at what they do and you’ll probably find it’s not really frictionless.
Frictionless selling isn’t just about giving customers information. It’s also about giving them that information how and when they want it.
Getting back to someone in a few days with an email explanation isn’t exactly frictionless is it.
Using conversational marketing is an effective way of automating much of the initial lead qualification by using chatbots to ask questions in real time to point people towards what they’re looking for.
You can also use these bots to check the intent of a lead. If they’re just looking for general information then they’re probably not ready to speak to sales yet so let your team keep talking to better leads.
If they indicate a higher intent to buy from you, then you can get sales involved.
You’re not only being helpful to the lead, but not wasting your sales reps’ time putting them on the phone when a lead would find a piece of content you’ve already done more useful.
Where are you losing deals?
Another way of figuring out where you could remove friction from the sales process is by looking at previous lost deals and seeing if there are any patterns emerging about why you lost them.
If you see emerging things like sales took too long to respond or the lead couldn’t find what they were looking for so went somewhere else, that will give you points to improve in your sales process.
Once you’ve done all this and took some time to figure out how your sales team is spending their time you’ll be in a much better position to use frictionless sales in your process and grow your business.
You might it useful to create some Sales Playbooks so you have a process for dealing with prospects that your whole team can follow.
If you take anything away from this article, let it be these key metrics to see if your sales team is using their time as effectively as possible:
- The number of tasks required to complete a sale - the fewer the better.
- The time it takes to complete each task - look to drive this number down wherever possible.
- Increasing the time your sales team spend connecting with customers and making sales - you want this to be the majority of your sales team’s day.
- Quota attainment - are steps 1-3 having a positive impact on sales produced? If not, then you haven't found the real sources of friction in your sales process. Time to keep digging. What have you missed?
Frictionless selling is just one part of your overall marketing and sales strategy. To find out more about where it fits and how to use it download our free guide to inbound marketing strategy.