As the old proverb says, “time is money.” No one knows how true this is more than sales professionals. Every minute your salespeople spend not engaging in high-gain selling activities represents lost opportunities—and lost revenue.
Success in sales involves juggling many different tasks—some are tedious and time consuming, but simply cannot be avoided. That’s where solid time management comes into play. It’s a discipline that the most successful salespeople have mastered and incorporated into their daily routines.
Share with your team these 7 time management tips for salespeople and they’ll be getting more done, in less time, before you know it!
1. Eliminate Non Essential Tasks
Administrative tasks may be necessary, but they can quickly grow to take a large portion of a seller’s time. If you want to maximize your sales reps’ high-gain selling time, have them look for administrative tasks they can eliminate, automate, or outsource. It may just be a few minutes saved here and there, but those saved moments can quickly add up.
2. Things Happen; Be Prepared
How do your salespeople react when things go wrong? The faster they can recover when a client misses an appointment, a deal falls through, or your product line changes, the more time they can spend working on core tasks. This agility and ability to think fast on their feet is an attribute you should look for when hiring salespeople. People who are naturally wired this way don’t let hiccups slow them down.
3. Be Smart with Email
Email can be a very easy and effective sales tool, but it can also become a tremendous drain on time and energy. Your salespeople can save themselves a lot of hassle by having email templates ready for the conversations they have on a repeated basis and organizing their inbox.
Coach your salespeople to set up folders in their inbox so they can quickly reference information when it’s needed. And while you’re at it, review best practices for creating the perfect email meeting invite.
4. Multitasking is a Myth
Your salespeople are undoubtedly juggling multiple tasks on any given day. While this might make them feel really productive, the truth is that quality of work and attention to detail is likely to suffer. It takes time for our brains to switch from doing one task to another, and the loss of focus during this time can really hurt productivity.
For best results and keeping the proper client focus, your reps should address one task at a time.
5. Take the Bitter Pill
We all have those few tasks that we dread doing—and your sales reps are no exception. Whether it’s prospecting, writing follow-up emails, or completing their activity log, the temptation is great to put off these tasks. Encourage your reps to dive in and get them done, rather than postponing the inevitable. Remind them that the sooner they deal with them, the sooner they can move on.
6. Use Momentum
After winning a deal, completing an important task, or reaching a milestone, your sales reps’ first instinct may be to reward themselves with a break. But this seemingly harmless practice is actually counterproductive. Instead of taking a break, it’s best to build on our success and dive right into another call. Momentum is powerful, and difficult to come by. Your salespeople should use the positive flow of energy and confidence to get going right away with another opportunity.
7. Replicate Past Success
There’s no sense in starting from scratch with every new opportunity. Have your salespeople review their won and lost opportunities to see what has proven to be successful. They should be able to develop some sort of a template for where to go for new prospects, what questions need to be asked, which case studies are most relevant to a specific persona, etc.