Sales and marketing is a consulting discipline too! Consulting is not just computer networks and political analysts. Road warriors can also be in the consulting biz. And just like other consultants, they track their time and bill clients for their hours.
"Every No is one step closer to a Yes"
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Sales: Tracking client meetings
Every client you meet with is one step closer to a new deal. Even if it's a current client. You never know; you may end up with a referal, a side deal, or a completely new gig for that client. So why track client hours for sales meetings? Because you will never remember how much time you spent with each client until you see the exact time logs. Those time logs in your sales timesheet are the hard evidence of your meetings.
"I had no idea how much time we spent on that client!"
The hard time logs can tell you a lot about your sales efforts. You may think you spend appropriate time with your best clients, but you'll never really know until you log the hours and take a look. Most sales managers are surprised. Changes come from information like this. You either decide this client is worth the extra effort, or you refocus on others. But until you actually log the time, you can't make those choices based on anything other than emotion and hearsay.
"The sales manager is so happy with ST"
Sales: Tracking travel, admin and expenses
Client meetings are one thing... but there can be a huge amount of setup for every sales meeting. Even GoToMeeting's have setup requirements. There is admin time just preparing for meetings. Outside sales takes place at the client office, and that means travel and expenses. How are you recording those? If you're not, then you're winging it. Of course that's fine for small operations that don't need to refine their sales operations for maximum profitability. But if you want to grow, you'll need to factor in the admin and expenses, and learn what percentage of your sales time is spent on non-productive admin.
Sales: Calculating your effective billing rate
Let's say you're pulling down a million bucks a year in sales. Nice work! After your costs, you can post a profit. But are you curious what your effective billing rate is for all the hours you put into the sales process? In other words, how much do you make per hour? And how much per hour do you make for each client? Or for a certain date range?
"Revenue divided by hours equals effective billing rate"
Marketing: Tracking client hours
Sales and marketing are closely related. And the same theory holds true of tracking marketing hours for each client you spend time on. Learning to prioritize your time based on the value of each client can only be done with the hard facts. I.e. the actual time logs from your client work. Log the hours and you'll know if your priorities are in line with the client value.
"Way too much time for that client!"
"Chalk it up to investment; we'll get it back eventually"
Marketing: Tracking the kinds of work you do
Of course it's nice to know how much time you spend on each client. But it's also nice to know how much time you spend on each kind of work. Website maintenance, blogs, SEO, back links, social media, graphic design... it all takes time. But how much time? Do you know? That might be worth collecting for analysis. Compare with last year at this time. Are you ramping up social media? By how much? Do your actual hours reflect your corporate priorities? Those are the answers you get from hard data collected in ST.
"ST gave us a lot of hard data"
"And we shifted priorities because of it"
What happens if you’re a Sales and Marketing management consultant, and not tracking client hours with Standard Time®? You soon forget which clients are paying the bills, and priorities go out the window.
Standard Time lets you set goals and compare them with actual hours spent.
• Don’t burn precious time on secondary clients
• Don’t forget to invoice clients
• Don’t forget your priorities
Happy sales, road warrior! And keep Standard Time open every minute of it!