Maximizing B2B Sales Productivity: Unlock 4 Extra Hours of Selling Time

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Written by Novakovic Spasimir

Oct 20, 2023

“Salespeople and sales teams underperform because they spend very little time selling. Yes, I just wrote that, and it wasn’t intended to be funny. It’s not funny at all”, Mike Weinberg, #1 salesperson in three organizations and the author of three #1 Amazon bestsellers.

In the world of sales, every moment counts. So there’s always a desire to increase your sales reps’ productivity and selling capacity

That’s why we’re going to show you how to create an additional 4 hours of valuable selling time, backed by expert research.

Let’s discover what’s devouring your sales team’s time and then unveil a strategy that can revolutionize your selling process approach.

Where Sales Reps Waste Precious Time? 

B2B sales reps often find themselves bogged down by activities that don’t directly contribute to closing deals.

Here are some common time-wasting culprits:

  1. Unqualified Leads – Pursuing leads that aren’t a good fit.
  2. Inefficient Prospecting – Spending too long finding potential clients.
  3. Manual Data Entry – Wasting time on data management tasks.
  4. Poor Time Management – Failing to prioritize critical tasks.
  5. Endless Sales Meetings – Meetings that lack direction.
  6. Underutilizing Sales Technology – Missing out on automation tools.
  7. Scheduling Meetings – Managing the process of scheduling meetings, invites, rescheduling and reminders.
  8. Inadequate Follow-Up – Failing to nurture leads effectively.
  9. Chasing Dead-End Leads – Pursuing opportunities that won’t convert.
  10. Communication Gaps – Poor internal and external communication.
  11. Administrative Tasks – Spending too much time on admin.
  12. Lack of Playbooks – No clear sales strategy.
  13. Polluted CRM – Incomplete, duplicate, and incorrect data, leads to lost opportunities and a big time waster.

But there’s more to this equation.

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Is it possible to increase sales time and productivity? Yes it is!


Sales Productivity Black Hole: Out-of-Office Messages

What also wastes a lot of time and is often overlooked by companies is responding to out-of-office messages (OOO), which can be a significant time and productivity drain. 

While it’s important to reply to those messages, it’s crucial for salespeople to prioritize their day-to-day activities and avoid getting sidetracked. 

Our data science team analyzed responses to email drip campaigns spanning an average of 8 weeks, sent to over 11,000 prospects, with an average of 7.1 emails per campaign, and here’s the insight we can offer you: 

Over an 8-week period, there is a reasonably high chance of people being out of the office for at least a few days. For the campaigns above, just over 50% of the recipients responded with at least one automatic out-of-office email.

On average, every day, sales reps reach out to 25 new prospects through a carefully planned email sequence. This sequence consists of 7 different emails that are spread out over a period of 8 weeks. 

As you can imagine, this daily effort quickly adds up, and within a month, each sales rep connects with a minimum of 500 potential clients. 

Now, think about the impact of this over a span of 6 months or even a year – the number of out-of-office responses on a daily basis is truly staggering.

Sales reps can waste their time in various ways, which can ultimately hinder their productivity and success. 

Effective Strategy to Boost SDRs Productivity

Did you know that following up with leads who are out of the office can increase your chances of lead qualification by 50%? Our research shows that timing is key.

Here’s the best practice: wait until the lead has been back in the office for two days, then send a short, cheerful email to re-engage them. 

Let them know you’re glad they’re back and resend any important information they may have missed while they were away. This simple gesture can keep your drip campaign on track.

Timing is critical. Our analysis shows that reaching out two days after the lead returns increases your odds of getting a reply by 20%, compared to reaching out on the same day or waiting several days.

But it takes effort. On average, SDRs spend about 5 minutes per email, crafting the perfect message and scheduling it for the right date. 

With out-of-office responses, this adds up to over an hour each day.

Automate with AI and Increase Sales Reps Productivity

As a Sales Manager, you need to maximize the time your reps spend on tasks that require real human insight – the insight only they are qualified to give, ultimately representing the value they bring to the company. 

Those human insights include researching prospects and evaluating each leads’ needs, interests, and objections, answering their asked and unstated questions… all the things that Sales Reps and SDRs are supposed to do.

Since you hired the sales team to manage the tasks that require critical thinking and evaluation, all tasks that can be handled by automation should be automated. 

Automating everything possible makes the SDR’s work both more efficient and more fulfilling (because let’s face it – manual grunt work is boring).

None of us can afford to be wasteful, and especially not with the most valuable asset you’ve got: time. 

Out-of-office responses shouldn’t eat 10% of your sales team’s week. Let automation manage it – and get your human sales power doing what it does best. 

So, how to increase selling reps’ time?

The answer is very simple – with AI-powered automation.

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Conclusion: Make Every Second Count

In sales, time is money, and every moment matters. If you’re an SDR aiming to increase productivity, we’ve got a research-backed strategy for you: reclaim 4 extra selling hours.

Our research shows that responding to out-of-office messages is a major time sink for SDRs. But the key is in the timing – waiting two days after a lead returns to the office increases lead qualification chances by 50%.

The solution? AI-powered virtual sales assistants that automate lead and customer interactions at scale. 

By automating conversations and lead interactions like OOO responses, ‘contact me later’, ‘I’m no longer working…’ and many other prospect conversations, you free up your reps’ time for strategic, human-centric sales activities.

Exceed AI is here to help you make the most of your sales team’s time. Reach out to us to supercharge your sales efforts with AI-powered conversation automation. 

Time is your most valuable asset, let’s make it count.

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