Getting B2B sales to sell: Reduce dead sales time with digital processes

| min Lesedauer
B2B sales

Our benchmarks show that B2B sales teams only spend around 36 percent of their time on active sales tasks. Reducing dead sales time by creating lean and automatable sales processes offers great potential to improve sales efficiency and drive growth. In five steps, you can achieve these goals by creating a digitally-enabled B2B sales process that works for you.  

Typically, only 36 percent of a B2B sales team's resources are directed towards active sales activities. This includes interactions with clients, nurturing relationships, and executing sales. Meanwhile, an overwhelming 46 percent of the resources are devoted to non-selling tasks, such as processing requests and managing existing orders. An additional 18 percent is absorbed by administrative duties (yes, that includes deciphering travel expense forms).  

Essentially, sales teams allocate 64 percent of their time to activities that do not directly foster growth — in other words, dead sales time.

Most companies are already aware of inefficiencies and are exploring strategies to make their sales processes more digital. Yet, only half of these companies are successful. 


distribution of B"B sales resources by activity


Why do companies fail in automating sales?

The journey towards transforming sales processes into efficient, digitally-enabled operations is fraught with challenges. Most B2B sales processes have evolved organically over the years. However, the teams lack efficiency and clarity regarding roles and responsibilities.  

Attempts to make these processes more efficient simply by automating and replicating them in systems and tools will fail. Automating an inefficient process simply replicates inefficiencies. To succeed in the digital sphere, a clear and lean target process (including roles and responsibilities) needs to be defined first.

Digital-ready sales processes: Five steps to success

To navigate digital transformation of your B2B sales process successfully, it is imperative to understand the specific business requirements first. The future sales process must then be redesigned to fulfill these requirements. 


The following five steps lead to a digital-ready B2B sales process:

1. Analyze current processes and identify pain points.

Thoroughly review existing sales processes to identify value-adding tasks as well as those that do not directly add value but are necessary for the overall functionality of the process.

2. Define lean target process and clear responsibilities.

Redesign your sales process to eliminate inefficiencies. Clearly assign roles, responsibilities, and task allocation to reduce overlap and redundancies.

3. Validate target process with the ones doing it: your sales team.

Simulate the process with the sales team to gather feedback on its practicality and effectiveness. If and where necessary, fine-tune the process and make sure it works seamlessly in a real-world setting.

4. Formulate a digitalization strategy for the target process.

Identify steps of the process that can automated through digitalization and define the required tools and infrastructure. Develop a strategic plan for implementing digital tools and technologies that will support and enhance the new sales process.

5. Implement target process to optimally utilize sales time.

Pilot and then gradually roll out the redesigned sales process across the organization. Closely monitor the implementation to ensure a smooth adoption. Make any necessary adjustments to maximize sales time and process efficiency. 

Find out how you can create lean sales processes and increase active sales time with Simon-Kucher

Your sales force should sell, not drown in paperwork or non-value creating tasks. By defining a clear target process and successfully incorporating digital tools, you can foster sustainable sales growth.  

Our experience shows that 15-20 percent of dead sales time can be freed up just by defining a lean digital-ready target process (this does not include additional savings from sales automation.) At Simon-Kucher, we know how to equip sales teams with processes and digital tools to generate profitable growth. Our team at Simon-Kucher Elevate has experience from over 100 B2B digitalization projects and can help you identify the opportunities within your company. 

Would you like to find out how your sales team can reduce dead sales time and generate more revenue? Reach out to our experts for an informal discussion and let's get your sales to sell.

Source: Simon-Kucher benchmarks 


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