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Time Management Strategies For Sales People


Recently I’ve been thinking about how to make our sales teams more effective. I have come to the conclusion that one of the key success factors for any sales person is good time management, and that is what I would like to discuss in this post.

Being a sales person isn’t easy – long working hours, travel, difficult customers, unpredictable routines.  To make matters worse, studies have shown that sales people spend only 10% of their time actually selling, against 31% of their time on administration.

Even if you are a talented and hardworking salesperson, if you are doing any of the following:

You are wasting your time!

Here are some time management strategies that should help you organize your time better and become more efficient.

13 Lucky Tips for Excellent Time Management

  1. Set goals! Determine your top three goals each month and work towards their completion. Write down both your goals and the action steps to reach them. For example, set a sales target every month, calculate how many prospects you need to call, meetings to book & closes to achieve this target. Put this plan in a prominent place in front of you as you work. This will help you stay track.

  1. Stay motivated! Learn how to get motivated when you want to, rather than waiting for stars to align or the right mood swing. Motivation comes from action, so take control and start. It has been proven that simply smiling can improve your mood & happiness, so no matter how you feel, smile, pick the phone up and start calling call. Self-motivation is the force that keeps pushing you to go on.

  1. Block off your time! Identify your most effective time of day and try to make as many calls as possible during that period. Block off this period every day/week to make your calls and prospects. Find a quiet place, lock the door and don’t let anyone interrupt you. Colleen Francis says that, in sales, there are only two times of the day: pay time and non-pay time, meaning that you should use as much time as possible to talk to your customers. Any other activity not directly related to meeting people, closing business and building rapport and trust should be done before or after working hours.

  1. Don’t get interrupted! Stay away from the Energy Vampires in your office. Remember, friends & colleagues can waste as much of your time as you allow them. In the end, your performance will decrease and you will be the only one to blame.

  1. Be on time! The more often you are on time for meetings and appointments the more respectfully people treat your time — respect other people’s time, & expect the same in return.

  1. Plan your activities! Make a to-do list. Sort your tasks according to priority. Start the day by taking care of important and urgent things first and then complete other tasks. Use your CRM to break your day down into small, manageable pieces that you can do with ease. Being a successful sales person means that you will have many customer meetings so you’ll have to arrange them in the most efficient way. Doing that, you won’t be in jeopardy to miss some of the appointments and lose a client or opportunity due to the poor time management.  Don’t forget to organize your day, week and month by looking at top goals you determined. Whenever you have problems deciding which tasks are of higher importance, as your priority set the one which will benefit you the most and bring you the money in relatively short time. Everything that doesn’t fit here you can leave to rest for the time being.

  1. Apply the 80/20 rule! Distinguish between the customers and the prospects and approach them differently. Focus on the customers that generate the most income (the 20 percent) and drop the rest (80 percent) which provide only marginal benefits. Don’t bother with people who are not attracted to your product or cannot afford to buy it. Put the accounts with high yield possibilities in the center of your interest.

  1. Apply the 80/20 rule again! Use 20 percent of your time on thinking about the other 80. Before you make a call think about what you want to accomplish, what value you bring to the customer, how you are going to persuasively present the proposal and check if you have all the material needed. Make an assessment of the call you made –  ask yourself what went well, how you made that happen, what went bad and what you can do to get better results. Spend more time identifying customer needs and creating solutions.

  1. Think geographically! Cluster your appointments. Work on your appointment scheduling. When you schedule your appointments throughout the day, you waste a lot of time. Take control and schedule them in a way that will bring advantage to you and your business. Instead of having meetings all week long – pack them in two or three days. If that’s not possible, arrange them as successively as possible, try to group them and consolidate them all into one part of the day.

  1. Prepare for the next day! Confirm the appointments for the next day, don’t let your meeting be on ice because you didn’t call to confirm. If needed, fax or e-mail the client your agenda before the meeting. Make plans and priorities for the following day so you would know how to start it.

  1. Delegate and eliminate some tasks! No matter how well you do your job, you don’t have to perform all of the tasks yourself. Delegating someone else to go to a meeting can save you much of your valuable time and energy which you can spend to focus on what it is you do best and increase success of your sales.

  1. Get the most out of technology! Technology is not your enemy, it’s here to help you. Instead of running from one meeting to another, use GoToMeeting and conduct online meetings from your office. It’s easier, cheaper and environmentally friendlier. To improve your performance and accelerate your efficiency, use Activity Tracking Software designed especially for the sales people. One of the most popular is The Action Machine which tracks the time you spend on each activity.

  1. Keep your health up! Get enough sleep, eat proper meals do exercises and keep the positive attitude.

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