The average salesperson only spends 42 percent of his or her time on revenue-generating activities, according to Industrial Performance Group's Robert Nadeau in Peak Sales Performance. To reduce the time reps spend dealing with problems and looking for information, managers need to identify the information reps need most and make sure it is easily accessible.
"Almost all problems in the sales/distribution channel can be traced to inadequate or inaccurate information," Nadeau says.
Software and communication systems, such as integrated ERP systems and mobile devices, can help reps in many ways. But if salespeople have difficulty finding basic information such as demand forecasting data, product availability, pricing, delivery dates or order tracking information, technology can become more of a hindrance than a useful tool.
Nadeau advises distributors to walk a fine line between too much and too little information, making sure the information reps truly need is accurate and easily accessible. This saves reps time when searching for the information and helps them avoid the time-consuming mistakes that can result from data that are inaccurate or unavailable.