What is Your Time Worth?

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Time is Money We all understand that time is money, right? Well, just how much money is it worth to you and your organization? I have been amazed with the number of recent surveys and reports that have come out with how much time is wasted in the area of people searching for things they need to do their job. Now I’m not talking about the amount of time they spend on the internet, no, I’m talking about the amount of time they waste trying to find what they need in their own organization!

You see, most organizations don’t have a logical, structured approach to capturing and storing the information, content or resources that their sales people need to use to do their job. One recent report from Qvidian® stated that “sales people waste as much as 50% of their time every day, trying to find the resources and content needed to do their job.” I’ve seen other reports say that it’s in the range of 7 to 8 hours per week, which is one whole work day per week wasted looking for what they need! Okay, let’s take the last number and multiply it times a small sales force of 20 people, 1 day a week times 20 people is 20 days of lost time each and every week, or 80 days, or 640 hours of lost time each month! Zowie, that’s a lot of time and money lost simply because people can’t find what they want! Just think of what impact that would have on a larger sales force?

These are real numbers, but I’ll guarantee you that a lot of people who are reading this will scoff at these numbers and simply say that those numbers and that problem doesn’t exist in their organization. I get that, people simply don’t want to admit that it could be going on within their organization. So, where do you have your content stored so people can find it quickly and easily? Typical answers: Our Server, We use SharePoint, We use Google Docs, We use Drop Box, etc.

Let’s say that those solutions work for you, although I have had many people tell me they use a combination of all of the above in which to store their content and resources, can we say chaos? How many of those options provide a logical, structured format that even a new user can use to find what they need, quickly and easily? I guess quickly and easily are the operative words here. There still is a problem with time wasted when there isn’t a good way to search for and find what you need, quickly.

Let’s take the time wasted issue one step further and explore how much time your sales people waste rewriting the content that has been provided to them by your Marketing department. Again, relying on research reports that cover things like this such as IDC, Forester Group, etc. the average amount of content that is provided by Marketing that either goes unused, or is rewritten, is somewhere in the neighborhood of 75%. So, how much time do your sales people spend/waste rewriting the content that your Marketing department provided? Not only is this very costly in time, but it totally destroys any continuity or consistency of that content. It’s pretty clear that if those people who are responsible for creating your content and resources aren’t producing the type of collateral that is effective, then there is a big cost factor associated with that as well. When people spend time searching for what they need and then when they find it, if they have to rewrite it to be useful, then that clearly is a waste of time.

Don’t even get me started on the amount of time sales people waste following up on leads that are thrown over to them or the cost of not following up on them at all because of poor past performance. It’s clear that there are other areas where sales people are robbed of their time or simply waste it, so how do today’s managers deal with the time wasted and the cost associated with it?

How much time do your sales people waste on the two issues brought out here? Do you think it’s a problem? Do you have a way of measuring the amount of time? Have you ever considered doing a survey of your sales people to see if they have trouble finding what they need quickly and easily? Do you know what percentage of the content and resources are of any value? If you don’t think this is an issue, then perhaps you have no idea of how much it is costing your organization in time and money.

At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?

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