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Time Management Produces Results

March 24 2008 - Time management is an ongoing favorite in the corporate trainer's armory of courses while training in delegation skills appears to be neglected.

A survey of 330 companies by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) last year found that while 53% of respondents had a 'somewhat high' or 'high' degree of concern about their employees' time-management skills and 46% were similarly concerned about delegation skills, only 28% of businesses offered delegation training compared to 49% that provided time management courses.

Jay Jamrog, senior VP of research for i4cp said:

"When I've had casual conversations with executives over the last few years, it appears to this outsider that the amount of stress related to the work schedule is getting out of control. If their comments are accurate, they are heading for a collective nervous breakdown."

52% of businesses that provide time-management training do so in-house, with 71% using a classroom setting. 59% of companies offering delegation courses do so in-house - 65% opting for classroom work.

Time Management and the Sales Force

A survey in 2006 by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a leading global consulting firm, has found that when it comes to delivering revenue growth, it is not how many hours a sales force works, it is how they allocate their time. Rewarding salespeople with more incentive- and stock-based pay can also make a big difference.

The survey was based on 841 sales professionals at 500 companies with large sales forces. It found that those at financially high-performing companies spend 40 per cent more time each year with their best potential customers and an additional three to four hours each week in high-value sales activities than salespeople at low-performing companies. Furthermore, they spend 30 per cent less time on administrative duties. High-performing companies experienced faster sales growth and superior financial performance.

John Bremen, director of Watson Wyatt's sales force effectiveness consulting practice, said:

"It may seem fundamental, but the way sales professionals allocate their time is critical. Even a couple more hours per week on these key activities can make a real difference. Who they spend their time with is also important. Not only do sales reps at successful companies spend more of their time identifying customer needs and demonstrating products, they also spend more time with qualified leads and prospects they know."

High-performing companies also provide their sales forces with greater earnings potential through variable pay based on their sales performance. Salespeople at high-performing companies receive approximately 40 per cent more of their total cash compensation in the form of variable pay than their counterparts at low-performing companies (38 per cent versus 27 per cent). Additionally, twice as many receive stock, stock options and other equity pay (36 per cent versus 18 per cent).

Ted Briggs, senior consultant at Watson Wyatt and co-author of Sales Compensation Essentials commented:

"High-performing companies offer more performance-oriented rewards to help attract and motivate their sales forces. And by getting more of their salespeople to become overachievers, leading companies can help ensure higher overall company performance."

The survey also found that salespeople at high-performing companies tend to believe in their organizations, and have more favourable views of their companies' products and internal support. For example, 83 per cent believe their products and services are among the best offered in their market and 70 per cent consider them to be innovative (versus 57 per cent and just 39 per cent at low-performing companies).

John Bremen added:

"The most well-respected and successful organizations grow by finding ways to engage and get the most out of their salespeople. Managing a sales force is about creating a win-win situation. A company that helps its salespeople become successful will ultimately reap the benefits of their achievements."

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