Time management and a focus on productivity is a must for today’s busy sales reps. Sellers are spending little time actually selling, with many getting caught up in other tasks and busy work. Despite this, sellers do understand the value of time management. According to SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep study, more than one-third of salespeople say possessing time management skills is a top characteristic needed in the industry.
Busy sales reps must be more efficient
This disconnect between knowing the value of time management and efficiently doing it is a challenge. Why? Because sellers are missing out on the major value they get from making the best use of their time. As Close’s Steli Efti explains, “Effective time management provides:
- Increased productivity
- Increased focus on revenue-generating activities
- Improved self-discipline
- Prioritized sales pipelines
Using your valuable time more efficiently is crucial for success.”
Small tweaks can have big impact
Even the smallest adjustments to a process can boost a busy sales rep’s efficiency, and the more changes, the more cumulative the impact. Efti suggests first taking a look at the administrative tasks that you may be able to tweak. This is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the array of sales tools that are out there. Or, if you already use a sales stack, take a moment to consider how well each tool is actually working. Are there areas of improvement? Have there been any new updates or features that you haven’t yet explored?
More than ever, sellers have digital tools available to help them boost efficiency. Make use of them! “While some admin tasks are necessary, sales reps can spend less time on them when you deploy the right sales stack of apps and tech tools,” Efti adds.
More research requires an improved strategy
The evolving B2B environment is impacting sellers’ time differently than in the past. “With the advent of technology, the way that buyers purchase goods and services has changed as well,” according to SalesGig. “In order to stay ahead of the curve, sales representatives must now spend more time than ever researching their prospects, understanding their needs, and crafting custom-tailored solutions.”
One adjustment is to devote attention to pre-call research. If you do it correctly and thoroughly, your calls will be much more insightful and productive. With improved prep work, busy sales reps can save themselves time in the future. “To avoid wasting time (for yourself and your potential customer!) make sure you have all your ducks in a row before getting in contact with them,” fullinfo writes for LinkedIn. “You can make the most of your calls by researching the prospect in advance. In doing so, you’re also qualifying them and saving valuable time.”
Accomplish this task more easily by downloading the free e‑book “The 7 C’s of Pre-Call Intelligence,” written by C. Lee Smith. This resource guides sellers on how to maximize their time before sales calls to ensure they get all of the insights they need to encourage buyers to the next step.
In theory, multitasking seems like a great way for busy sales reps to get a lot done. But in reality, sellers likely aren’t giving enough attention to any of the tasks. Sending a follow-up email while on the phone with a prospect prevents the rep from devoting full attention to either task. And juggling too many tasks at once can lead to missed details and mistakes. “The cost of switching from one thing to another accumulates into a lot of lost time,” Efti explains. “But more importantly, it’s the lost focus that causes the most damage. And that lack of focus leads to less productivity and ultimately lower quality work.”
Make a commitment to focusing on one task at a time, whether that means you put your phone away while writing an email or blocking out specific schedule times for certain activities.
While most feel like they never have enough time to get everything accomplished, there is opportunity to get quality work done efficiently. Time will always be valuable yet finite, so smart sellers do what they can to manage their time as best as possible. Simple adjustments like those discussed here can help busy sales reps improve their productivity and boost their workflow. And for even more insights into time management, check out other SalesFuel tips here.
Photo by Gustavo Fring