Updated 09/26/2017 with new insights
What would you do with 200 more hours per year? Seriously, what could you accomplish?
As a Marketer, there are two ways to increase your available time.
Way #1 – Work more hours.
Way #2 – Work normal hours and stop wasting time on unimportant tasks.
#1 is the norm and a sort of cultural badge of honor for anyone in a leadership roll. It requires us to do more of what we’ve already done: more emails, more meetings, more phone calls, more plane flights, and all of the stuff we are comfortable with these days.
#2 is super uncomfortable. It requires us to pause and take a hard look at what is taking up so much dang time and then stop doing those things or find a more effective, less time-consuming process to do them.
What if I told you there is a very easy way to get 200 hrs back every year of your life?
Would you act on it? I hope so!
I did it recently and it’s awesome. You can too.
Let’s dive in…
In B2B Marketing, the standard method for delivering collateral and product information to the sales team or a dealer network is email.
No matter whether your company has an intranet, an extranet, or just “uses your website”. It always comes back to email.
A rep needs the latest presentation. She emails you.
A rep needs specs and details for a new client. He emails you.
A rep can’t find the video. They EMAIL you.
And we oblige them.
Spending on average 10 minutes per piece of requested collateral to find the file and send it to the rep, because we have to support sales when they need it most!
Several marketing friends of mine say they average as many as 25 email requests per week for product information and collateral.
This has to be the biggest time waster of all time for marketers and product managers… and it’s expensive for you personally.
If you get 25 emails per week for collateral and, you spend 10 minutes answering each email.
That’s costing you a little over 4 hrs per week (250min/60 min).
Another way to look at is 200 hours per year. 10% of your year.
4 hrs doesn’t seem all that significant when you work 40+ hrs, but it’s almost an extra hour per day you could be spending with your kids or on the golf course.
What? That’s nuts.
Yet all of us continue emailing reps back quite simply because that’s how we’ve always done it and no matter the cost to the company or me personally.
Speaking of your company…
… if you have a salary of $80,000.00, every hour of your time is worth $40 ($80,000/2000 work hours). Those 4 hrs per week come with a price tag of $8000.00 per year ($40 X 200 hrs) or 1/10 of your annual salary.
Let’s take a deeper dive into what emailing individual reps one-off is costing you.
Technology is Changing People’s Expectations
Sales reps now walk around with supercomputers in their back pocket and their expectations are dramatically different than even a few years back.
Information today is simply always at our finger tips.
Further, app designers are getting better and better at capturing our attention. Why do you think so many people are staring at their phones all day long?
Unfortunately for most B2B Marketers technology is enabling the emailing behavior pattern.
If your intranet, or sales portal where you store information is not as easy to access as Facebook, your reps are going to email you.
If they have to log in and fight through Single-Sign On, they are going to email you.
If they can’t search like they do on Google, they are going to email you.
Water flows down hill!
Your tech must be on par with how people act everyday.
Inaccurate Information is a Deep Issue for Sales Reps
Sales information today must be very accurate, very responsive, and very engaging.
B2B Marketers have been putting their deep product information on their websites for the better part of 25 years now, and they are good at it.
In fact, websites have become so good that it has created a huge knowledge gap for sales people.
Consider walking into a meeting with a customer that just spent the last 10 minutes looking up exact product details on your website.
The sales person now needs to not only understand those details and pricing, but they have to sell beyond it to create movement with their prospect.
For most companies, the rep is left to rely on a printed catalog or brochure, or the company website to find answers that the prospect already knows.
The problem here is about half the B2B Marketers we talk with say the information in their printed information is inaccurate the minute the piece left the printer (the ones their reps use in the field).
Furthermore, reps “hate” their websites because the information is not always updated correctly.
For example, how many broken image links are on your website right now?
Ours has 18. I just ran a scan this morning. Sigh.
The cost of inaccurate information for a sales person is extended sales cycles, lost deals due to unprepared sales people, and wasted time emailing product managers for details. And that adds up fast!
So guess what?
Your reps email you for accurate information more often and use your sales portal even less.
Sales Guys Ignore Marketing Emails
Do you send a monthly product update to your sales team? Or just “blast” the team when you release a product update?
What’s the open rate?
Allow me to be the first to tell you that your reps don’t read these things. Sure, there’s a few go-getters that respond and hover over every detail. But the rest ignore it.
The same ones that ignore it, are the ones that will email you for collateral in a heart beat.
It’s SUPER frustrating when you spend all this time crafting an awesome email that no one reads and, they email you two weeks later for the brochure that you described in perfect detail with the link in your update email.
I have a reasonably sized sales team to support and this happened to me continually albeit via HipChat instead of email until I finally decided to put a stop to it.
How you can get 200 hrs a year back?
The answer is pretty simple. Stop responding to email requests from reps.
But Rusty, I can’t do that you say?
Wrong you absolutely can. Because I did it and countless other Marketers have done it too.
Here’s what I did here at Fatstax…
- Created an engaging sales app that works on the phone, iPad and desktop so reps have no excuses about access
- Added all my marketing materials and religiously update the app when new stuff gets created
- Ensured every sales person had installed the app using Analytics from the tool and knew the basics of use
- Created an email that simply says: “It’s in our app. Are you having trouble using it or finding the file you are requesting? Happy to give you a quick tutorial. If the item you are requesting missing from our app please let me know. I’ll get it uploaded immediately. Thanks, Rusty”
- Religiously responded to any collateral request with this template email or by Chat
It took about 2 months for everyone to get the idea and, I rarely send these emails or chat responses these days. In one case, I had to solve a login issue for a rep.
You don’t need FatStax to do this, but you do need a solid sales tool that you trust and your team likes to use.
In conclusion, the question comes down to…is it worth a few bucks per year for licenses for a sales app to get 10% of your year back?
What would you do with 200 more hours per year?
What you should do now
1. If you’d like us to work on your sales process — to dramatically improve your sales and profits, then claim your FREE mobile selling strategy session. On this free phone consultation, one of our experts will discuss your goals and suggest strategies to double your sales.
2. If you’d like to learn more about FatStax and our processes, go to our “About Us” page, where you can get a small glimpse of how we work. Or, if you’d like us to build your company’s mobile sales app (not for free), then contact us and we’ll discuss your requirements.
3. If you’d like to see how we are transforming trade show selling then see our “Trade Shows” page.