Is your sales team spending too much time on email?

As any sales rep knows, managing an email inbox isn’t easy.  It’s time consuming, but the fact is, that’s where the leads are.

Sales is highly dependent on email. Regardless of industry, it’s one of the most valuable weapons in the sales arsenal, used at nearly every point in the sales cycle, from cold outbound to sending a proposal. 

Given that 60% of a sales rep’s working week is spent emailing, and each email takes an average of 2 minutes to write, this adds up to a great deal of time spent not closing deals. Given the current situation with COVID-19, every closed deal matters. 

So, how much time do sales teams spend on email? 

In a recent study, Growthonics analysed the work of a sales rep responding to 2,000 emails sent during a cold outreach campaign. Over a period of 1 month, we wanted to find out how much time was spent sending follow-up emails and managing the campaign, rather than bringing in the money.

With this, we focused on positive and negative email responses and everything in between, and how the sales rep reacted toward it. What remained evident in the end was that every minute which a sales rep spent behind the computer replying to emails and searching for leads, resulted in a loss of income.


Responding to positive leads was pretty straightforward and took up the least amount of time. 

On average, based on a 3% positive engagement rate, the sales rep received 40 straight positives during the month, or 10 emails per week. After that, it took an average of 2 additional emails to confirm a date and time for a meeting.  

Booking a meeting from straight positives added up to 80 emails sent per month, or 20 emails per week. 

Total hours spent: 2 hours per month 

Contact forwards 

As you know, contact forwards are a great way into companies. However, while they can get valuable meetings and deals, they need a lot of following up.  

With contact forwards landing in your inbox every day, things can easily get messy when it comes to keeping track of who to follow up with, and when to send the follow up.

On average, the sales rep received 60 contact forwards, and it took between 2 and 4 follow-up emails to book in a meeting. This added up to 192 emails over the month, or 48 emails per week.  

Total hours spent: 4.8 hours per month 


Over the month, 40 nurtures were received by the sales rep, who followed best practice by sending a swift response trying to get a meeting booked in. If no meeting date could be arranged from that email, reminders were set to follow up with the prospect at the agreed time.  

Total hours spent: 1 hour per month 


Most sales reps don’t respond to negatives so we’ve omitted them from the time calculations.  However, our SDR team does reply to negatives. We have a conversion rate of 2-4%.  

Unsubscribes/Do not contact 

Most of the time, sales reps wouldn’t respond to unsubscribes. Nonetheless, they involve a fair amount of inbox management as you have to make sure each person is removed from the campaign and all future outreach.  

Total hours spent: 4 hours per month  


While GDPR responses are normally unreasonable, they continue to filter in and replying to them is still important so we included them in our study.  

Total hours spent: 2 hours per month 

Removing people from campaigns 

During the study, the sales rep removed 100 people from the campaign, spending 1 minute on each.  

Total hours spent: 16 hours per month 


From the results of our study, we have concluded that during 1 month, most sales reps spend approximately 31 hours responding to emails and managing their inbox.  

Bearing in mind that we didn’t include the time spent reading emails, you’re looking at more than 4 full working days spent getting in front of new prospects.  

Are your sales reps wasting their time and skills?  

Sales reps are a valuable resource. Their time and skills are more profitably used when they are actually selling, not prospecting.  

The only constant in the sales environment is change, and companies need to adapt to this dynamic environment. Email conversations and replies need to be dynamic, resilient and timely. This is exactly what Growthonics can do for you. 

Don’t improvise on your sales process. Digitalize, modernize and customize with Growthonics.

At Growthonics we allow you to spend more time engaging with your prospects. Our services and expert teams help grow your sales faster. From prospecting to booking qualified appointments with key decision makers straight into your sales team’s diaries, their valuable time can now be used more productively. 

Alongside the time and cost savings, Growthonics can increase your conversion rate by running an analysis of the best times to respond, and the most effective responses for faster ROI.  

Get in touch with Growthonics and book a call to find out more. 

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