Productive Time Management Hacks I Learned After 10 Years in Sales
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in over 10 years of experience in sales is that there’s never enough time.
I know what you’re thinking – that’s the most derivative statement a sales professional can make. But it doesn’t make the assertion less true.
Over the years, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how much I plan and organize my day. If I don’t know how to manage my time, there’s little that I can get done at the end of the day.
From experience, and from watching others, I have learned that it doesn’t take much to become successful at selling. You only need to know how to use every minute of your day to the fullest.
My Hacks For Time Management in Sales
While I still consider myself on the learning curve, here are some key takeaways that I’ve managed to score over the last decade in sales:
If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last ten years, is to stop multitasking in sales. Some studies show multitasking is a myth. But regarding sales, engaging in different tasks require different mental muscles. For example: giving a demo requires a completely different mindset and focus as compared to prospecting. Instead of trying to give it a go at different things at the same time, try to group similar activities.
It can help you save time and become productive at accomplishing tasks and ticking off items on your to-do list.
Do What You Hate First
As a sales rep, everyone hates performing a particular task – be it prospecting, making a cold call, logging information to Salesforce, etc. I often leave things that I hate doing to the last, and it always meddles with my concentration because I know I have to get it done before the end of the day. I used to over-invest my time performing other tasks and found that I was mismanaging my time a lot. Now, I just tackle activities that I don’t enjoy doing first. I assign myself a two-hour block to complete that task at the starting of the day so that I can focus on doing the things I’m best at for the rest of the day.
Go to DND (Do-Not-Disturb) Mode:
Distractions are a huge part of my job. That doesn’t help when I need to get important and complex tasks. As a sales rep (either at team or managerial level) it’s integral to physically shut yourself away and concentrate on getting things done on your to-do list. Turn off your phone, notifying your team that you’ll be unavailable for the next thirty minutes, set yourself away on your company’s internal channel and focus on the task at hand without being interrupted.
Biggest Time Wasters in Sales, And How To Avoid Them
Sale reps are always in a time-crunch. But you’ll be surprised to find out that they spend an unnecessarily large portion of their day on dispensable tasks. To become more productive at time-management, make sure to:
1) Setting unrealistic goals: Don’t fill up your entire day, back-to-back with ten different things to do. Chances are, you’ll crash and burn. Your mind can’t jump so quickly from one activity to another (bringing back to point 1: don’t multitask), and you want to set realistic expectations of what you can achieve in one day. Divide your day into blocks of two to three hours (at most), and assign activities to each of those blocks.
2) Prospects flaking: There’s a high chance that one or two prospects might cancel a call the last minute. Write them an email and summarize what you hoped to achieve in that call. If you’d rather wait to get them on the phone, make use of your free time and pivot into other productive activities.
3) Poor throughput: When I first started in sales, I quickly realized the importance of getting ALL decision makers on the first sales call. I’ve had to give the same demo to one lead multiple times because all of the decision-makers were not there for the first call. Now, I simply ask my prospect who is involved in the decision-making process and schedule a demo with all of them.
Tools For Improved Productivity
In sales, it’s important to eliminate and automate monotonous and administrative tasks. With a great tool stack, you can do that and so much more.
At ContactMonkey, we use a suite of tools that help the sales department remain productive and successful.
Following are some tools that my team uses to help manage time more effectively:
Being a sales professional is difficult. It entails odd working hours, high-pressure work environment, tight deadlines, and so much more. When there’s a lot to get done, and very little time, these productivity hacks can help you get the most out of your day, and exceed monthly quotas.