Sales is, in a lot of ways, a numbers game.

The more qualified prospective leads you’re able to reach out to, the more conversions you’re likely to make. That’s an extremely simplified way of looking at it, but still, it’s fundamentally true. It’s numbers and speed. How many can you reach, and how quickly can you reach them?

Your business’s success can hinge on the efficiency of your team. If your sales team is wasting time on efforts that don’t turn prospects into clients, or spending misguided time on efforts that don’t make the numbers game turn in your favor, you could be missing a lot of opportunities.

Here are some of the biggest time wasters among sales teams, and how you can avoid them.

Lengthy, unnecessary meetings, whether with the team or with clients

Yes, meetings are necessary. But are the amount of meetings your sales team is holding necessary? Chances are, there’s an opportunity to be more efficient.

Encourage your team members to pick up the phone or walk down the hall to get their questions answered, rather than hosting a meeting on the topic. Or, ask that sales leaders bring a firm agenda to their meetings, complete with time estimates for each topic, and ask that they do their best to keep to the schedule. Sprint-style, fast stand-up meetings can often resolve issues quickly, or you may find that a weekly meeting on Monday resolves issues before they turn into meetings later in the week.

Unqualified leads

There’s no bigger time waster – or bigger demoralizer – than spending an hour on the phone with a prospective client only to find out they simply are not a good fit. A better funnel process, that narrows down your prospective leads in a more focused way, can help eliminate time wasted on unqualified leads. Make sure they have a need for your product or service, that the time is right for them to purchase it, and that you are talking to the person with the decision-making power.

Cumbersome paperwork and/or data entry

Nowadays, automating the paperwork, sales, and data process is a big part of efficient sales practice. There’s no need to waste your best salesperson’s time on data entry when that sort of thing can be automated using software! Likewise, having your team members fill out extensive packets of paperwork is not only boring, it prevents them from doing what they do best. Embrace customer relationship systems (CRMs), optimize them so you get the most for your investment, and utilize acceleration tools.

Whether it’s lengthy or flat-out unnecessary meetings, time-consuming paperwork and data entry, or energy wasted on an unqualified lead, all of these activities prevent your sales team from doing what they do best. Streamline your meeting process, embrace technology and CRM software, and improve your lead-identifying process to stop wasting your team’s time!