How much time should you spend on sales and marketing?

In a recent study by TD Bank, small business owners cited spending more time on sales and marketing as their top 2012 New Year’s resolution.

But how much time?  Here are a few simple pointers that may help:

  • Block out 2 hours per day for growth activities. A study by SunTrust Bank a few years ago found that owners of growing businesses (20% or greater revenue growth per year) spend at least 20% of their time on sales and marketing activities.  Each day schedule in time for reviewing your prospect list, reaching out via social media, or working on that marketing campaign.  Make marketing and sales the first thing on your calendar; otherwise you’ll find yours sales (and revenue) pipeline dry.
  • Do the tough stuff first. It is difficult to call a new prospect, hire a new sales person, focus on that new email outreach program.  Resolve to do the most difficult, most uncomfortable tasks first.  Business owners who adopt this practice claim to feel energized the rest of the day, knowing they did first things first.
  • Hot leads are always at the top of the list. With the increasing frenetic pace of business, the most responsive vendor often wins.  If you are frequently away from your desk or not so digitally wired, hire an assistant who will scan for hot inquiries and get your attention for immediate follow-up.

How much time do YOU dedicate to sales and marketing activities and how do you keep your discipline?  Share in the Comments section below.

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