Effective time management is a must-have priority skill that everyone should learn.
Especially in the case of a sales professional, it’s much more needed as you have to succeed in sales, achieve goals, and give clients and prospects the proper attention.
With this, you can streamline the tasks and have valuable time for focusing better on closing deals. However, the listed tactics and hacks can help in making your time management effective and achieving more goals as a sales professional.
Why Do Sales Professionals Need To Have Time Management?
As a sales professional, you understand the proverb “ Time is money” much more than any other.
Your time is actually the money, so when you are not spending every minute engaging in activities that bring high rewards, it means that you are losing opportunities along with money.
To be successful in this path, you require to juggle with many different tasks.
It includes :
- Research: As a salesperson, you need to learn about the leads and prospects before you offer the deal.
- Prospect & Outreach: you have to reach out to the prospect via different mediums such as phone, email, or social media.
- Build rapport: you are also required to build rapport through the conversation, and in order to build trust, you need to ask the right questions.
- Find Solution: Here you are required to come up with a solution that addresses the need of the prospect.
- Close the Deal: If your prospect is interested then you have to close the deal by encouraging them to purchase the product or service you offer.
Each task requires its set time and effort with undivided attention to achieve the final goal.
And that’s when you need solid time management skills; not just managing time helps you focus on each task much better, but increases the chances of getting success and more closed sales.
Also, it helps you understand that not having enough time is not the problem, but how you are using it requires defining.
Effective time management is a crucial skill that you should have as a sales professional, but it can be the biggest hurdle that you need to overcome.
But once you do it and integrate the skill into your routine, not just the opportunity to close deals increase, but you also have time to get your to-do list complete and still have free time for yourself.
List Of Tactics For Sales Professional To Time Manage
Time management can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it and customize it according to what you want and how you want to do it, the process becomes much easier.
And for helping you in that process, here are some of the tactics to put in use :
Track Where You Are Spending Hours
Before you start the improvement of anything, first, you need to get an understanding of where you are at.
And same goes for time management, so in order to manage your time, first, you need to find where you are spending your hours.
- It helps you in getting awareness of your habits, these habits kill your productivity along with wasting time.
- Also, it’s important when you feel like you have a lot to do but don’t have enough time.
- With the knowledge of your habits and acknowledging them, you can get the situation under better control.
- You can use tools, different ones are suitable for different purposes. like Toggle is for speech for tracking tasks, RescueTime for improving productivity, etc.
- After a week of tracking, you can see the patterns and analyze the log for knowing what needs to be adjusted and what to remove.
Start With End In Your Mind
When you set goals and monitor the process, there are 30% higher chances of performing better as compared to when you don’t.
So having goals can help you in increasing your motivation and achievement. But having any goal won’t do; it’s important to be specific as it will lead to a greater likelihood of success.
And when you don’t have a time frame and number, your goal is just a wish.
When you have goals set, you have done the half equation and here you need feedback.
Monitor the progress, and it will help you in showing the accomplishment and what correction you need.
Focus On Doing The 20%
Well, you might be familiar with the 80/20 rule, where you need to focus on investing 20% of the time and it should result in an 80% result.
Rather than focusing on tasks that have little impact on success, you need to focus on coming up with maxim ROI.
Also, look for the different ways that can help you in either outsourcing or batching the activities with low ROI.
Another way that you can consider the 80/ 20, here your 80% of sales will come from your 20% customer. It’s also good for the business, but for reps, it will have the list in which they never buy, and others will turn to much more high-value and long-term customers.
The sooner you are qualifying, the better it will be for you, also if you are doing the qualifying on, then make sure you do it fast and hard, and then batch it.
Also if it’s unqualified to lead on your phone, it’s not considered as selling. So you have not qualified, or you are just in the talking process.
Batch Your Similar Appointment
When you are going outside of your office for a meeting, think about what else or who else you can meet in that area.
Consider how much time you have wasted from going to different places, and driving out to handle the ineffective scheduling.
So grid the area where you are going to meet the prospect, and see what else you can do or catch up with the current customers that are within the area.
When you are managing time for traveling for appointments, you can use the time for meeting more people so you don’t have to set time for that, and it can help in increasing the sales potential too.
Be Careful With Multitasking
There are many times when you feel like handling more than two tasks, however in such a setting, sometimes you have to do it even if it’s not good for productivity.
So the best you can do is to be careful when you are multitasking. Also the more you do, the slower it will make you.
The brain can’t handle two things, so when you are multitasking, the brain is darting from one to another task at rapid speed.
This leads to losing 40% of productivity because the brain is not naturally made for shifting gears on a constant basis. And when you are doing it more often, this kills your performance and efficiency.
This is harmful, so prioritize the sales activities and focus on your task in order to be more successful and productive.
Batch Your Similar Tasks
For this, you need to have a list of things you need to do in a day, and see which task goes together and has a similarity.
Group those tasks together which leads to much greater productivity as well as efficiency.
Also block off the specific amount for doing the cold calls, and return calls at the same time rather than continually checking voicemail all day.
Designate your hours for the following up to the prospect, once the time is up, make sure you are moving on to other tasks.
Schedule your tasks in such a way that you can improve the workflow much better, when you’re concentrating the activity on time, it helps in becoming much faster, better, and more accurate.
A Hard No Is A Good Thing
Well in sales, saying no seems like a big no-no situation. But in actuality, it makes much more sense as you save time, effort, and resources and get more benefits from close sales.
So chasing the wrong prospect is not what you should be doing, it will cost you the valuable time that you would have spent on nurturing leads that are much more viable.
Most likely, you have a system for disqualifying the leads, but this can be hard to let go of the sales which have potential or even have one little chance.
But this is something you should avoid, disqualify the leads as quickly as you see there is not much return. Move one to get another one, it will grab the opportunities that can lead to success.
So consider a hard no as a good thing, and help you in save time too.
Plan Around The Customer
You have blocked out the time on your calendar, completely dedicated to calling a prospect but does the time suit their calendar or yours?
If you do not call the lead when they feel convenient, this makes your day much less effective. Also, there are high chances the lead will not be interested.
For the result, make sure you have done the research which can help you in telling which day or time is best for reaching the prospect.
It comes down to when you know about your target buyers and their behavior or routine.
For example, if you are calling at noon to a restaurant this is when they have packed at lunchtime. This will not be successful.
So track their schedule and choose the time which goes best for you both.
With this, you will have much more control over when you will call them and manage your day around it.
Use 2 Minute Rule
The next tactic that you can consider is using the 2-minute rule. This means if the task takes less than 2 minutes, then simply do it.
However, before you do it , it’s important to consider the downside. It says that you all are subject to completion bias where you get the feeling when you tick stuff from the list.
So you make the whole day about ticking things off of your list , due to which you add the easy ones in order to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Even if you tick off a lot from the list, it still doesn’t make it productive. It’s because the task doesn’t deserve your energy and tiny tasks have no importance.
However, if there is something that suddenly pops up in your day, instead of scheduling, it’s better to do it. But make sure, it takes less than a 2-minute rule.
Avoid Things That Cause Distraction
Distractions are bound to happen, it diverts your attention and you end up investing energy on useless things.
While you believe that losing one or two hours of lost productivity is not huge, if you add up all those minutes, you can indeed see the difference.
The one way of combating the distraction is to plan your day before you start it, so whatever you do the last thing in the morning or first in the morning, advance prioritizes the day, list work, and focus.
Of course, some of the distractions can be foreseen, it sneaks quietly. It can be social media even though it’s an important complement in the sales process, but spending 15 minutes can turn into an hour if you don’t pay attention.
Consider using apps that can block distractions including social media and surfing the web.
Take Your Small Breaks
The simple act of break can have a huge impact on your schedule, productivity, and energy.
So take breaks, divide into small ones as it can be for 10 minutes for clearing up your mind and improving the consecration.
Talking to prospects, finding solutions for them, and doing follow-up cause stress, taking a break, going for a short walk, or things that help get your energy back.
Create Your Process
If you are creating the habit, you need to create the process of doing the work. For example, if you want to do the research work on the prospect on your own, then it’s better to create a standardized process, it will help in speeding up the whole process and also make your things more consistent.
Just create your routine, it can be five minutes for following up before you make any call to a prospect. Try this and you can consider getting your work done much better and faster.
With this, you can use time management software, you can process and be able to gain convenient productivity in using time for each day.
Improve How You Organize
Do you often find yourself searching to find files and contact, which wastes a lot of your time?
Then you need to use a cloud-based file management system, this can help you in keeping more critical sales files as well as documents in one place.
Make sure you are sharing proof and download files with your team if you have any.
Also, try to consider more time leading and making sales instead of searching as well as organizing the files.
Streamline Tasks That Repeats
However, even if you are not a big fan of sales scripts, you need to accept the fact that you are targeting a specific type of customer, so you can find something similar to each other. Instead of investing the same amount of time with tasks that are the same, it’s better that you develop a framework.
You need to be smart and make better choices. This won’t take your time; just take a quick look at the past, so you can consider the wins and note down all of the details which can come in handy for the future.
This can help in streamlining all the recurring or repeatable tasks as well as saving time.
Eliminate Not Important Tasks
Administrative tasks which might not be needed but they can quickly turn into something much more than what it takes a large portion of your time.
If you want to maximize your reps, which helps in high gain selling time, you can look for administrative tasks so you can eliminate them from your list. Not just that, you need to automate or outsource.
Well, it can take some time and might save a few minutes from here and there, but if you put all that time in then it will add up.
Things Happen, Make Yourself Ready
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you approach the prospect of closing the sales. How much you have prepared yourself to deal with those situations.
The faster you recover when your client ends up missing the appointment, a failed deal, or product line change, the more time you get to find the solution.
Make sure you are wired naturally to agility and ability, this will help in stopping you from slowing the process.
Smartly Schedule The Email
Emil can be extremely tricky, especially when you are a sales professional. No doubt that it’s a very easy as well as an effective sales tool, but this can be a tremendous drain when it comes to time and energy.
You can save time on how much attention you are giving to email. Scheduling the time and blocking it from your calendar can help you in checking all the important emails, doing follow up, and approaching emails to clients. Also, you need to separate time for responding and helping via email.
Set up the different folders in your inbox, and divide information so you can easily access what is needed.
Use The Momentum
When you win a deal, get an important task done, etching a milestone you set for yourself, the first instinct might be to reward yourself with a break.
However, this can be counterproductive even though it seems harmless practice. So what to do if not take a break?
This is the best time that you use for dividing right into your next call. After getting success, this creates momentum, this is powerful and difficult that you can create.
So use the positive flow of energy and confidence for dividing into the next opportunity.
Replicate And Reconsider
There is no sense that you are investing in creating something from scratch with your new opportunity every time.
So instead of you start with zero, get the previous strategy, plan, and cases you used for reaching success.
Replicate to those actions and see how it works for you. Also don’t copy everything, with every new client, things will change, so naturally, you have to eliminate things and add new ideas.
The focus is to replace what worked and reconsider what didn’t. This is good for saving time but also for increasing the chances of getting positive results.
Use Night For Creating To-Do List
The mornings are productive so don’t use it for creating the to-do list for organizing your day. instead of that, use your night for it. Before you sleep, set a time for creating a to-do list for your next day.
Add the clients you need to follow up, or approach and what deals are about to close or have issues to deal with, include whatever your next-day needs in your to-do list.
This will save you time, also, you will have a planned mind and set actions.
Create Template For Email
It’s not just a complete-time waste but doesn’t make sense, so you don’t have to start with a brand new email every time you are contacting the prospect.
While you can tailor your message as it depends on whom and for what sending, individuals have their own problems and situations.
But having a set of templates can save huge time instead of starting with a blank slate. Also, you can have a constant format which makes you more professional.
You can add the templates of different situations for example following up, recapping calls, scheduling meetings, etc.
Create a template and tailor it depending on the client. It also reduces the stress and anxiety that blank space creates as you have something to start your work on.
Use Structured Procrastination
According to the famous author Charles Dickens, procrastination is a thief that stole your time from you.
A Lot of you feel guilty about procrastinating now and then. Well, it pushes you to let the tasks be carried out until the last minute.
But in business, sales professionals can be guilty of procrastinating. There are a lot of people who start or complete their work at the very last moment.
Although there are different consequences that can be negative, you can take help for managing your time in a much more structured manner.
According to the experts, it says having structured procrastination can actually help and work in favor of the procrastinator.
It helps in making you much more productive. With structured procrastination, you can tackle less arduous work instead of deprioritizing the important and difficult ones.
Get a Healthy Amount Of Sleep And Diet
Staying healthy is vital regardless of which profession you are in, however in a sales professional, you require to be in your best version as you need to have conversations with clients. It’s important you are radiating positive energy, however, if you are not healthy, it will affect your way of handling things and clients.
That’s why you need to improve them as it suits your profession, add food which can help you in staying on your toes and keep your mind fresh.
You need to get enough sleep, don’t skip hoping to have more time to be productive.
Your body needs seven to eight hours of sleep for optimal function. Sales works are really stressful, you require to be under a lot of stress for generating leads, meet targets, and convert prospects.
So it needs you to get alert mentally for dealing with the stress, also our clients have a time frame limit.
This also leads to burnout and fatigue.
Focus On One Thing You Have At Time
Multitasking is indeed a myth, as a salesperson, you need to juggle different tasks, deal with people, and handle different situations. However, this might feel productive, but the truth is it’s not, even affecting you in a bad way.
So you need to focus on what you have in hand, this helps you in staying focused and the practice boosts your productivity.
List Of Hacks You Can Use For Managing Time Well As Sales Professional
Sales professional is always required to do much; however, still, you don’t get enough time. However, understanding the right way of managing time can help stay at the top of the profession.
Here are some of the hacks that you can consider if you are one of the busy sales professional.
The pointer includes :
- Keep your paperwork to do by the end of your day.
- Block of the specific time of the week for the activities like proposals, appointments, and prospecting.
- Try to at least attend two appointments in your schedule when you leave the office.
- When you need to get work done, focus on and also turn off email and phone.
- Choose a designated time for checking the phone and email messages.
- Get to your office 15 minutes early, use it for checking email, and get coffee.
- Learn to say no right now and no to save your time.
- Keep the organizer in the trunk including the supplies you might need when you are out.
- Set reminders for your appointments and meetings.
- Build your routines for the day
- Use templates for your proposals and emails.
- Find the workaround when you struggle or it takes you forever, so find people who can help.
- Get an assistant, use the support to be more organized.
- Make sure your prospect has strong dollar potential.
- Use the project management app for yourself.
- Schedule your calls when you have a long drive in the car.
- Prioritize the work in a way that it generates the revenue first,
- Set aside your morning’s 10 minutes for planning.
- Record your notes after the client meetings.
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“Vision, strategy, and inspiration – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of “TheLeaderboy” dedicated to leadership and personal development. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been studying the principles of effective leadership for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing my insights with others. My mission is to empower individuals to become better leader