Sales Admin & Parkinson's Law

I met a paper-selling pal of mine for a cheeky pint or two the other night, and we got to talking about the devils of sales admin.  One particular gripe was that he’d been given an extra remit (frighteningly close to a marketing role) to work out how to best promote a new (eco-friendly, recycled) product.  To gather enough intel, he needed to mine the call data his colleagues input into their (in-house, bespoke) crm.

And whaddya know.  Of course, no-one was filling in the requisite info.

Knowing that my friend was a popular and authoritative member of the team, I was surprised to hear he’d given up chasing for it.  His reasoning was that the other reps did absolutely anything else that could be done, rather than fill in client/call details into their software.  Well, we all know that, don’t we?  Yet he went a stage further.  He reckoned Parkinson’s Law was alive and well.

A rep would always adapt the amount of time available to the task in hand.  This was really the wrong way of thinking.  Each task should be completed as quick as possible, yet two similar proposals, both taking the same amount of time in the absence of any distraction, let’s say three hours, could be complete in anywhere between two and four, dependent upon what task was due to follow it.

He reckoned that when the next task was related to visit reports, the preceeding task would always stretch in time, meaning the visit reports were, at best, subject to the bare minimum to scrape by.

If this is true for the majority of sales teams, then the challenge is, should they believe that field intel must be recorded, how to ensure sales admin is the first task undertaken when a choice exists…

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