Time Is Money: Why You Need to Measure Hours and Outcomes

Most salespeople and managers tend to measure their performance and success based on a single metric: sales. And for the most part, this is a solid strategy; by focusing on the bottom-line results, you can eliminate secondary variables that may or may not influence your bottom line. For example, it might not matter that your top salesman is chronically late if he’s still finalizing the largest dollar amount of sales for your organization.

But if you’re interested in maximizing the ROI of your sales team—in other words, improving your bottom-line numbers for each dollar you spend in salary and benefits—you’ll need to delve a little deeper, and start measuring the hours you and your team are spending.

All Time Is Not Created Equal

The underlying philosophy for this approach is that all time is not created equal—yet there’s a finite number of hours in a workweek, and you’ll likely pay your team members the same amount (excluding commissions) regardless of how they spend those hours.

An hour spent wooing and finalizing a lucrative client, for example, is more valuable than an hour spent in a meeting about a topic unrelated to sales. Learning how to monitor, understand, and maximize the allocation of these hours is one of your best tools for success.

Ideal Time

So how can you tell which hours spent are most valuable for your team? Generally, it will fall into one of three categories:

Common Areas of Time Waste

So where is time usually wasted? By this, we aren’t talking about obvious forms of time waste, like playing around on social media or napping during work hours. Instead, these are areas where “legitimate” working hours are spent on less valuable tasks:

Motivation for Time Waste

Understanding the main areas of time waste is only half the battle. You’ll also need to understand the main potential motivations for that time waste if you want to succeed in eliminating the problem. These are the common underlying causes:

Adam Honig, the co-founder and CEO of Spiro, an AI-driven sales CRM, says that wasting sales reps’ time can result in distractions and dampened morale. “If a sales rep has a possible lead from a business card they got at a networking party, chances are they’ll just shoot off a quick email before entering the contact’s information into your CRM,” he says. “They probably do this for two reasons: they’re not sure if this is a worthy prospect to be part of your database and they’re lazy. Entering new contacts takes valuable, valuable time.”

Once you start monitoring your team’s hours, and understanding how they affect your bottom line, you’ll be able to optimize your roles, workflow, and underlying philosophy to increase your overall sales.

It won’t happen all at once, but opening the door to this realm of employee analytics is the first step toward a more efficient, productive path.

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