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The life of a modern sales professional is as complicated as ever. There are meetings with staff, vendors and (of course) potential and existing customers, as well as phone calls, reports and the daunting task of coordinating it all. Moving product is as essential a process as there is in the world of commerce, yet in many organizations it’s among the most unrefined, and salespeople (not to mention the company sales numbers) often pay the price.

They report that while selling isn’t necessarily as solitary a proposition as it was in the past, there are basic parts of the job that need modernizing in order to improve organizational efficiency and avoid personal burnout.

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  • A recent survey found that salespeople typically spend just one-third of their workweek actually selling. A huge part of the rest is spent on administrative tasks, as well as tabulating reports and nurturing existing customer relationships.

In this post we discuss some of the most common problems facing sales professionals and some emerging technologies you can use to address them.

Challenge No. 1: Spend more time selling
A recent survey found that salespeople typically spend just one-third of their workweek actually selling. A huge part of the rest is spent on administrative tasks, as well as tabulating reports and nurturing existing customer relationships. It’s an alarming statistic. What if doctors spent two-thirds of their day pushing paperwork rather than researching or meeting with patients? In the sales world, this also raises relevant questions: How many potential customers are lost to other firms offering similar products simply because they’re reaching them more consistently?
How to spend more time selling:

While there’s no one sure-fire way to free up time from internal responsibilities, there are ways you can make the time that is committed to sales more efficient and more productive:

Prioritize your day. Treat emerging leads as opportunities that could disappear if not handled appropriately. Getting snared deep in paperwork can wait.
Reach out for help among your peers. Don’t embrace the 12-hour workday just because you don’t want to burden others with administrative duties.
Use workflow automation tools available to help you stay on top of your work – not vice versa.