Common Productivity Thieves For Sellers

BY Jessica Helinski
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Productivity in sales is vital to a seller’s overall success. The old saying “time is money” still rings true, especially when both buyers and reps are busier than ever. And those in the industry know it. 

One-​third of sellers say that managing time well is a top skill needed to be successful in the industry. But despite understanding the importance of productivity, sellers may still struggle with time efficiency. 

Productivity thieves” may actually be to blame for the small time sucks that add up to lost productivity, Selling Power’s Samuel Whitaker believes. 

By changing your approach to these moments when time is easily lost, you can increase productivity here and there. You’ll find that even the tiniest adjustments can have a big impact. 

Productivity Thief: Travel

For many sellers, travel remains a part of their career. Navan reports that sales teams continue to account for a large share of business travel.

Specifically, sales-​driven meetings represent “approximately 33% of business travel use cases.”

While travel is obviously a valuable aspect of modern sales strategies, it can also chip away at productivity. Even if you don’t control where you go, you can adopt practices to make the most of your time.

Whitaker recommends using downtime, especially if commuting via a train or bus, to catch up on paperwork and emails. It may be tempting to scroll through social media, but those moments are best spent knocking out quick tasks. This keeps them from piling up while you’re away. 

If you’re the one behind the wheel, you can even use this time to learn something new. This includes keeping up on industry news or finding inspiration.

If you are driving, use the travel time to listen to sales and motivational recordings,” he suggests. 

And be sure to map out all of your meetings prior to your trip. This is especially true if you’re not familiar with your destination. As Choncé Maddox explains, doing so can prevent lost time spent trying to find an office or scrambling to find details at the last minute.

Then, she adds, “clearly communicate the details with everyone well in advance.”

Eating alone

This may seem like an odd tie-​in to productivity, but multiple sources say that eating alone (especially lunch) can dent productivity. Using your lunch time to eat and engage with another person is smart multitasking, Whitaker explains. 

[It’s] one of the best ways to turn a prospect into a customer or to keep an existing customer satisfied.”

And it makes sense. You’re sitting down with the other person and devoting time to being together. But unlike a meeting, this sit-​down is more casual and offers the chance to build personal rapport. And most likely, the topic of business will come up. 

Another way dining with someone can boost productivity is that is an excuse to meet outside a traditional meeting setting. There may be someone that you’ve been wanting to meet. Or, there’s a lead on your radar via a referral. 

Take the opportunity to ask them to lunch or dinner, which allows you to get to know each other informally. Maddox believes these get-​togethers can create valuable connections on a more authentic level. 

Rather than eating alone at your desk or grabbing something from a drive-​thru, consider making the most of your lunch…by extending an invite. 

Eliminating these two productivity thieves is relatively simple and can have an impact. These slight adjustments can help you make the most of your valuable time without a complete calendar overhaul.

And more even more professionals tips for improving productivity, take a look at this advice from SalesFuel.