If we could get them to spend 80% of their time on these key activities, then we would say that each sales engineer is really being most effective. If they’re spending too much time on other things, they’re not doing what they’re uniquely skilled to do.
Are there some of these other activities that we can offload so that we can increase the amount of time they spend on these key activities?
Remember that strategy is about tradeoffs.
What would you say No to so that you can increase the time your SEs spend on the best activities?
Obviously, we can’t just say “No, we’re not going to do that.” Instead of saying No entirely, we can ask, “What other way can this be handled?”
The Theory of Constraints
The Theory of Constraints is a methodology for identifying the most important limiting factor that stands in the way of achieving a goal and then systematically improving that constraint until it’s no longer the limiting factor. The limiting factor is often referred to as a bottleneck.
What is the bottleneck in presales?
It may vary from company to company. Maybe the biggest bottleneck is proof of concepts and getting those set up and managed. Maybe it is discovery. As reported by many of the companies we talk to, we’ll examine the bottleneck of doing repetitive and often unqualified demos.
Spreadsheet Sample for Calculating Activity Gap Analysis
Once you know what your SEs are spending their time on, you’re ready to look for opportunities. Let’s take a look at how using a spreadsheet can help.