How would you feel about paying others for NOT doing their job? Frustrated, right?
Well, if your organization employs sales reps, you’re probably doing exactly that.
A recent survey of 720 reps found that sales reps spend only 35.2% of their time actually selling - that’s 14 hours of a 40-hour week. The activities considered as “selling” in the survey were external customer-facing meetings, following up with clients, and prospecting.
It turns out that the rest of the time is spent on administrative tasks (14.8%), downtime activities (20.4%), technology, and more.
Another study, this time of outside (field) sales reps, found that on average they spend only 22% of their time actively selling (cold calling, following up, visiting, making presentations, etc.). The rest of the time is spent commuting, planning, processing orders, doing paperwork, or eating lunch.
The problem lies not on the reps themselves but on how most organizations have set up the system to work. They’ve filled their sales rep’s time with non-selling activities, making them less efficient at what they should be doing:selling.
Selling is what brings revenue and keeps companies alive. So it makes sense that sales reps spend most of their time selling.
What's the solution? I’m glad you asked.
The solution is to take the non selling activities from their plates and give them to Sales Associates.
The Role of Sales Associates
Sales Associates, also called Business Development Associates (BDAs), provide support to the sales department in a number of ways so the Sales Development Reps and Account Executives can focus on selling.
The BDAs take care of all the back end work that drains the effectiveness of sales teams. Let’s look in more detail what a team of Sales Associates could do for your company.
#1 - Manage your databases
The above survey mentioned that sales reps only spend 17.9% using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, despite the fact that CRMs can help them cut down on administrative tasks and boost their efficiency. A CRM system basically helps manage customer data.
A well managed CRM allows salespeople to better search, sort and qualify leads; follow up on sales opportunities systematically and on time; prioritize and rationalize follow up activities; and increase target reach rates faster.
The good news is that Sales Associates can manage the client database and feed leads to the sales reps.
Sales Associates can improve the quality of your CRM data, updating records, importing and exporting contacts and company records, and conducting regular CRM maintenance. They can manage data for new and prospective clients, while organizing and verifying leads.
#2 - Source leads for the sales team
Lead sourcing is the process of collecting leads. Sales Associates can make a list of leads, based on your ideal customer profile (without marketing to them) from different tools such as Apollo.io, Linkedin Sales Navigator, social media and searching targeted company websites for example.
#3 - Find and verify contact details
Once you have a list of leads, BDAs will find and verify their numbers and emails, and pass them on to the sales team.
They’ll take care of the time-consuming job of obtaining this information through technology and manual verification, so the sales team can focus on connecting with prospects.
#4 - Clean data
People switch companies or positions. Sometimes emails and phone numbers change, or companies are acquired or drop out of business. This means that you may have data in your database that’s no longer accurate.
Trying to contact prospects with inaccurate data is a waste of time and resources. That’s why cleaning data increases the productivity of your sales team and will result in better analytics.
BDAs clean data to ensure that it’s as accurate and current as possible.
#5 - First touch contact
Sales Associates may also go further than maintaining databases and get involved in the sales process. For instance, they can send first touch emails to build awareness of your product or service, or enter prospects into an automated email sequence.
BDAs also connect and engage with prospects on LinkedIn. They can work on different social networks as well and assist with the implementation of social media campaigns.
It’s all about efficiency
Sales Associates can take your business to a whole new level of efficiency and productivity. They do all the legwork so that when leads arrive at your sales team’s desk, they’re clean, they’re targeted and there’s intent.
When you provide day-to-day support to BDRs and SDRs with a team of Sales Associates, you’ll change the stats that say most reps spend little time selling and tip the scales in your favor.
Your team will spend more time selling and generating revenue -- and even when the time comes to measure their results, BDAs come handy, because they can monitor and generate reports of the sales team’s KPIs.
All in all, Sales Associates are a great asset for your company.