How To Use The 80-20 Rule In Your Sales Strategy

The 80 – 20 Rule and Your Sales Strategy

I found some interesting statistics from about how salespeople spend their time, from getmoredone.com. While I wasn’t surprised by this, I was disappointed to find that we as salespeople actually spend so little time selling because of all the other time-suckers we get caught up in.

How Salespeople Spend Their Time
How Salespeople Spend Their Time

Please allow me summarize for you what they said, and explain how it relates to your sales strategy and sales growth.

As salespeople, we spend 13% of our time on traveling and training. 22% of our time on meetings and admin. 22% on post sales tasks and account management. 10% for planning. And 22% of actual selling time – either face-to-face / over the phone / or virtually on the web.

Where do you fit in with those percentages and that 80-20 rule sales strategy? 

What this means for you is that sales can be predictable.

When you use the 80/20 rule sales strategy, and use the percentages that are accurate for many other salespeople- then you can apply them to your own sales AND accurately predict you sales.

I would even dare to say, if you are not spending at least 22% of your time actually selling, you need to do a little bit of self-evaluation and find out why.

And what are those other things that we are spending 78% of our time on? 

If you are struggling to consistently reach your sales goals, and you are not spending the time on prospecting and selling to be within these percentages and guidelines of the 80-20 rule sales strategy, … you have just identified the main the problem!

Keep reading to learn the solution, and how to be more intentional in with your time and in your selling.

I call it the 80 – 20 rule sales strategy.

In sales, you spend 80% of your time to get 20% of your results.

In other words, you should be spending 80% of your time doing those things that will get you to selling and closing your sales.

Another part of this is the Pareto Principle. I think we have all heard this one before, I just didn’t know it had an “official name”! 

The 80-20 Sales Strategy
The 80 – 20 Sales Strategy

The Pareto Principle

is named after the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto. In the late 1800’s, he discovered that, in Italy, 80% of the wealth was owned by 20% of the people.

The Pareto effect, simply said, according to Wikipedia, is roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes.

This confirms the info I gave you earlier on about how sales people spend their time. 22% of our time is spent on selling.

So what if you could think of a way to decrease some of your other activities? Do you think if you spent 30% of your time on selling, your sales would increase? I bet they would. Show that to your boss! Maybe they will cut back on the sales meetings a bit.

Or, if you’re an entrepreneur, what if you could delegate some tasks and focus more on the selling part? After all, you are the company, and what people are buying. Just some food for thought.

In sales, there are so many examples of the Pareto Principle and the 80-20 Sales Strategy.

 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. Now if this is true for you, be careful. If you  lose a customer, it could be catastrophic!

80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers.

 If you are a sales manager,80% of your business is written by 20% of your sales people.

You can also think about other areas in your life this principle may apply to. Unfortunately, there are things we do not have control of. Like how many sales meetings we have to attend.

What if you became more focused on what you do have control over?

Like the quality of the leads that you actually set up a meeting with, and the things you can do during the day that you know will get you better results? Focusing on what really matters.

While we may not be able to get our work week down to four days a week, or six hours a day, what can you do to be more efficient with your time? Can you batch activities to be more productive and make the most out of that 22% of that time we get, on average, to sell? How can we dedicate more time to find and grow new customers?

Identifying those activities that directly have an impact on your sales.

For example, look carefully at what is on your to-do list today. We all have them, so … What is the one thing on that list that if you did it, it would bring you the greatest results? Is there a proposal you need to get out, an appointment you need to make that you know will lead to a sale?

Let’s say there are 10 things on your list. Take the two you feel would bring you the biggest results for your sales and return of investment on your time. and complete them today – no excuses

 Again, 20%, or two out of 10, of your tasks, will bring you the greatest results. The 80-20 rule sales strategy.

You can even apply it to the interruptions during your day. What or who composes the interruptions that end stop distracting you? Is it one person or situation that keeps happening?

The key here is,

Once you identify the 20% things, your biggest customers, your most profitable tasks, your biggest Interruption causes, then you can take control and use them to your advantage. 

So many of us don’t take the time to evaluate our businesses and what we can do to improve it, but eventually our business runs us, and we wonder why there is not enough time to do all that we need to do and be profitable and grow.

This week, take some time to evaluate the 80/20 and how it applies to your sales strategy. If you need a place to start, focus on the three main things I focus on today.

 1. your top customers

2. your most profitable tasks

3. your biggest interrupters

 and identify what they are. 

Leave a message in the comments below if you have any questions or you’re having trouble identifying the time suckers, and we’ll see what we can do to help you become more productive. 

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