All companies' commercial activity involves high costs, but the logical question should be only one: is it worth it, and does the entire sales force generate enough value?

The problem is that this question is often unanswered by management when faced with the reality of the work of sales teams. Many company managers think they know what agents or pre-sales, telesales or telesales teams spend their time on. Their decisions, then, are often wrong and generate serious damage to the business.

Extensive research by Pablo Foncillas Díaz-Plaja, published in the Harvard Deusto Business & Technology magazine, focused on the responsibility of managers. "In such a competitive market context and with increasingly narrow margins in most categories, we must be fully aware of the reality we are facing. There are no shortcuts," Foncillas concludes. Even if you think there are, there are not.

Sales forces must be battalions that are directed with absolute precision from company management, with total clarity of objectives, says the researcher. A director's effort to go to the field, to accompany the distribution team or to talk in depth with salespeople can never be too much . In this way, the picture will be more complete and can be integrated into the operational plan in logistics, operations or marketing.

And so, above all, these 5 major sales myths could be debunked sooner rather than later:

Myth 1. Extracting averages is enough to make good decisions

Truth: It is very risky to draw averages for management action. For example, it is not true that salespeople in the same industry obtain similar results in terms of the volume of contacts made in a day's work. And it is not because the degree of dispersion within the same industry is enormous. The vital thing is to look at the sales histogram and not at averages.

Myth 2. Different business roles behave similarly to each other.

Truth: It is not true that a sales agent acts in the same way as a preventive salesperson, or that a telesalesperson acts in the same way as a telesalesperson. If the data are very similar, it is likely that something in the sales strategy is poorly designed. Each role must have well-differentiated and previously set activity objectives.

Myth 3. All emerging and mature markets are, after all, the same.

Truth: Neither the emerging markets nor the developed markets have any similarities between them, and even less so with respect to the number of contacts made or hours worked. It is surprising to see how, in Latin American countries, working hours are longer and, therefore, a greater number of contacts are made per day.
contacts per day.

Myth 4. The same industry operates in the same way, regardless of country

Truth: It is not true, since the same industry, in different geography, has nothing to do with another one. Why is the success rate of commercial visits in Asia much lower than in the rest of the markets? It is key to know the reasons. Do they rest more? Only if we delve into the causes will we be in a better position to solve any problem, since, depending on whether it is one situation or the other, the decisions to be taken will be radically different.

Myth 5. Salespeople spend most of their time selling.

In reality, most salespeople spend only 20% to 45% of their time at the point of sale, and, of that, time spent with a customer accounts for 9% to 25%, so strictly speaking, salespeople do not spend their time selling.