What does a typical week for a sales rep look like?

What does a typical week for a sales rep look like?

Have you ever wondered how much time a sales rep actually spends selling? Since 1990, Pace Productivity in Toronto, Canada, has been conducting studies on knowledge workers. They have some interesting stats to report about how a typical sales rep spends their day. We’ll outline some of the results below, but if you want to know more, you can see their findings here.

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How sales reps believe they spend their time

First, the study looked at what sales reps believed they spent their time. The subjects broke down their week into the following

Prospecting / generate sales / orders / marketing – 41%
Build relationships, meet, contact customers – 36%
Provide customer service – 20%
Time planning / planning / focus – 10%

What the data ACTUALLY shows

The researchers discovered that sales reps work an average of 49 hours per week. Of those hours, they spend only 22% of their time selling and actively seeking out new business. That equals only 10.8 hours per week.

It’s quite a low number, especially when you consider management would usually expect at least 50% of time to be spent on selling.

So what are sales reps doing with the rest of their time?

Typical Sales Reps Weekly Hours Distribution No Border

There are several activities that fill the sales reps week. Each of these tasks takes away from their selling time, limiting the amount of new business they bring in.

One key activity is customer service/support – helping customers onboard with the service and answering support questions. This takes up around 4.9 hours per week. There’s also order processing (quotes, request orders, etc) at 6.1 hours per week, and travel at 6.6 hours per week.

By far the biggest time suck is administration, clocking in at a whopping 21%, or 10.7 hours per week. That’s right – sales reps spend nearly as much time on admin as they do actively selling. And what’s more, these are activities that don’t actively generate income for the company.


Interesting, when researchers asked the reps which activities outside their control had a negative impact on their productivity, administration was by far the most common answer. This shows that even sales reps recognise the drain their admin processes have on the company!

The reps who’d managed to cut their admin time had worked to delegate admin to others, batch perform their admin tasks, and – most importantly – turned to automation to remove tasks altogether.

That’s where 1Centre comes in. By automating the sales cycle – including the problematic credit process that accounts for a significant portion of a rep’s admin hours – 1centre cuts back on the number of tasks that need to performed and the time it takes to complete them. It eliminates the problems associated with double entry and by being in the cloud it enables a single source of truth for data across your sales team.

Want to find out how automation could make a difference for your sales team? Try 1Centre for free.

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