If you work in sales, your income relates directly to how well you use your time. Most sales professionals earn based on their results, so if you’re not producing, you’re not making money.
It’s not about working harder — it’s about working smarter. Adding hours to your day may get you more sales, but it also wears you out faster so you’re not as effective. Better time management will help you get more out of the hours you have.
With these time management tips for sales reps, you can plan your day more effectively and make more progress with your prospects. That means more closed sales and a smoother sales management process.
There’s a common misconception that doing more with your time means doing multiple things at once — or switching back and forth between tasks as quickly as possible.
Multitasking feels like productivity, but research shows that it slows you down by up to 40%. Your brain can’t actually do more than one thing at a time, so 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 that our own Sales representatives block off specific times on their calendars to focus their attention on a specific task. Calendar blocks are useful as it encourages our representatives to accomplish more in less time. The time block varies — it can be for 30 or 90 minutes — as long as time is set aside for high priority items.
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’s not interested.
Your company probably has a lead qualifying framework as part of the sales management process. But what about those leads who progress through the pipeline and then decide that your solution isn’t the best fit?
They stop answering your calls or returning your emails, and when you do reach them, they pass you off to assistants or shut you out with one-word answers. They’re not engaged, so why waste your time chasing them?
Develop a running list of “red flags” — signs that a prospect is a hard no. Let these prospects go and turn your attention to warmer leads.
In general, the more time you spend building relationships with high-potential leads, the more sales you’ll make per working hour. You can turn this logical conclusion into results by applying the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, which holds that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
Another way of thinking about the 80/20 rule is on the individual prospect level. 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 more of those quick buyers — ideally, those who are also big spenders — the more productive your time will be overall.
Most people aren’t fully aware of how they use their time. For sales reps, that means leaving money on the table. Whenever you spend hours chasing ice-cold leads, waiting for no-show appointments, or even doing administrative tasks that you could just as easily automate, you lose time that you could otherwise use to complete a sale.
To find that wasted time, track your work hours for a week. This is easy to do with an automated time tracker.
Once the week is over, analyze your log and look at where your time is going. Figure out where you can be more efficient and cut down on activities that aren’t productive, then channel that time into nurturing your more promising relationships.
Sales success is so personal, it’s easy to forget how much 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 so you can access it when you need it. No more chasing down information about the last interaction with a prospect or trying to find your notes on a particular lead’s needs and objections. With a CRM, all of that information is in the client’s file.
CRMs also make scheduling easier, doing things like automating follow-up meetings and syncing appointments with client records. By streamlining all of that administrative work, a good CRM lets you focus on building relationships and closing sales.
In the end, all time management tips for sales reps come down to “trimming the fat” — eliminate wasted time, stay organized, and focus on your best leads.
Accelo's Sales CRM and opportunity management platform can help you achieve all three of those goals. Made for sales teams, it even includes built-in quoting so you can close deals as soon as an opportunity comes along.
Don’t lose any more sales to poor time management. Sign up for a free Accelo trial today and find out how easy it can be to streamline your day, reach more prospects, and make more sales.