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Selling Activity Time Goldilocks Zone

Parents worried about teenager’s screen time tallies could take perhaps some comfort this week.

An Oxford Uni survey of a whopping 120,000 15-yr olds seems to suggest their wellbeing is not damaged even from 4hrs in front of devices.

257 minutes is the apparent digital cut-off before things turn sour. The component for phones alone clocks in around 2hrs, video games about one hour forty.

And far from being harmful, exposure could help with creativity, communication skills and general development.

So there appears a ‘sweet spot’. An optimum range, just like the Goldilocks Zone from the Sun within which we can dwell on planet Earth.

Many salesteams have a rough framework for how a salesperson’s time should be spent. Yet I’ve hardly ever seen it to any depth or rigorously coached.

Phone-based roles are famous for their required hours monitored on out-going calls. Multi-call pavement pounders have even minutes stuck in traffic to record.

And the Miller-Heiman stipulation is renowned for having your day begin with outstanding actions on forecasted deals. Then once cleared visit the coldest reaches of your funnel to re-fill it before moving from mouth towards spout.

Activity alone is not the answer. More activity does not necessarily produce more deals. Yet in any salesroom you’ve sat in, have you ever thought everyone was doing enough raw prospecting? Have you ever spied a slideshow being worked on for what seems like the entire week? Have you ever noticed incoming calls seeming to go on for so long they could have flown to the prospect quicker?

Yes I’ve both worked in and managed environments where we’ve had the classic cold-call Wednesdays. It’s been years since I’ve come across one now. Yet everywhere seems to tell me how wonderful LinkedIn is (spoiler alert; it isn’t).

Piecharts crop-up showing how a seller’s day breaks down. Travelling, waiting in receptions, internal meetings, trying to persuade a colleague to do something (anything), filling in forms. All manner of things, except direct, impactful, measurable selling time. A frighteningly low share of the day.

There’s even the famous Peters & Waterman tale of how a top performer was doing 195% of quota from just 1.2 calls a week, when the rest of the salesforce averaged 4.6. Bosses said, ‘imagine what you could do if you got your call rate up’, ‘imagine what they could do if they got their call rate down’, he rightly shot back.

One sales manager I suffered once said to me, “you can never have too much in your funnel”. Understanding your Goldilocks splits to keep it brimming with winners is key to any over-performance.

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