In sales, your income relates directly to how well you use your time — if you’re not producing, you’re not making money.
Adding hours to your day may get you more sales, but it also wears you down and makes you less effective. Better time management, on the other hand, can help you get more out of a typical day.
Use these five tips to plan your day effectively and make more progress with your prospects.
There’s a common misconception that doing more with your time means switching between tasks as quickly as possible.
Multitasking feels like productivity, but research shows it slows you down by up to 40%. Your brain can’t actually do more than one thing at a time. Instead, it switches from the framework of one task to that of another.
That switch only costs you about a tenth of a second each time, but it quickly adds up, stressing out your mind and diminishing your ability to perform at your best. You use your time less effectively when you multitask.
At Accelo, we recommend our own sales representatives block off specific times on their calendars to focus their attention on a specific task. Calendar blocks are useful in accomplishing more in less time. The length of effective time blocks can vary — some prefer 15, 30 or even 90 minutes.
Here’s another habit to break — pushing for the yes when the prospect is giving you a hard no. Sales reps are conditioned to overcome objections and keep going for the sale, but that can mean wasted hours chasing someone who won’t convert.
Your company probably has a lead-qualifying framework as part of the sales management process. But what about leads who progress through the pipeline and then stop answering your calls or returning your emails? In this case, it’s best practice to protect your time and divert your energy to more interested parties.
Develop a running list of “red flags” — signs that a prospect isn’t going to bite. Let the ones who fit these criteria go, and turn your attention to warmer leads.
Most people aren’t fully aware of how they use their time, but in your case, unawareness can translate into leaving money on the table. When you spend hours chasing ice-cold leads, waiting for no-show appointments or even doing administrative tasks you could automate, you lose time you could otherwise dedicate to closing a sale.
To recover that wasted time, track your work hours for a week with an automated time tracker. At the end of the week, analyze your log. Figure out where you can be more efficient and cut back on activities that aren’t productive.
Even better, continue logging your hours and regularly adjusting the majority of your time to be spent on activities that nurture your most promising relationships.
Benefits of Time Tracking for Sales Teams
Keeping track of time is helpful for all departments, but it brings specific advantages to a sales team, including:
Once you have a handle on where your time goes in a day, you can get even more granular using the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, which holds that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
In sales speak, this means you should care most about your high-potential, high-dollar leads. They’re likely to be your 80%.
Every sales rep has some high-potential prospects who close quickly, some who take their time and some who never buy. The more you’re able to focus on bringing in quick buyers — ideally, those who are also big spenders — the more productive your time will be overall.
Sales success is so personal that it’s easy to forget what a difference the right tools can make. Even the best rep needs good sales management software, ideally in the form of a customer relationship management tool.
Sales CRM software puts all of your lead data in one centralized place, but it should be more than a simple database and a place to record follow-ups, appointments and deals.
The best CRM for a service business is one that’s integrated with other client work functions, including project management, ticketing and billing. Because it streamlines your sales cycle and saves other departments from having to reach out to you for details about a sale, a great CRM is a major timesaver.
These tips aim to help you eliminate wasted time, stay organized and focus on your best leads. Accelo can be your partner in achieving all three of those goals. Made for sales teams, the platform even includes built-in quoting.