Do you have a sales schedule? If not, you may not be making the most efficient use of your time. Even having a loose schedule to follow is better than winging it everyday. “For better or worse, sales is less forgiving than other professions,” writes Camille Trent for Dooly. “Waste time on the wrong activities and you may not hit your number.”
Creating a sales schedule starts with what you can control
Creating or revamping a schedule seems like a lot of work, but the first step can actually clear a lot of the clutter you’re facing: Focus only on what you can control. She spoke with Nick Cegelski, senior account executive at Time by Ping, and shared the importance of only working on what you can control.
So before you begin blocking out time, make sure that you’re only including tasks that you have a stake in. You’ll instantly rid yourself of potentially wasted time and efforts.
Prioritize the beginning and ending of your day
Cegelski believes that paying extra attention to the beginning and ending of your workday leads to an effective schedule. He recommends starting each day not with emails but rather the most unpleasant task. As Trent writes, “Nick’s main philosophy around starting the day is the saying: ‘eat the frog.’ Thankfully, the frog is a metaphor, and all it means is starting your day with the hardest, least pleasant task first.”
Not only will you avoid procrastinating later, you will get the dreaded to-do done, and it won’t be looming over you the rest of the day. Plus, checking off such a big task will kick off your day with momentum and a feeling of accomplishment.
And when creating your sales schedule, also take time to plan out your end-of-day tasks. Cegelski recommends devoting this time to whatever you want: if you prefer to have no meetings at the end of the day, block it off for other tasks. If you prefer to do a final rundown of email, make this your last task. The important thing is to finish your day on your own terms whenever possible.
But, he does recommend you tack on one specific action to however you choose to close out the workday. Plan to spend at least a few minutes prepping for the next day. This little bit of time devoted to being prepared the next morning will help you start each day knowing and ready for what lies ahead.
Other tips to fill in the day
Now that you have a plan for the beginning and end of your daily sales schedule, it’s important to craft the rest of your day thoughtfully. One tip Cegelski recommends is to “batch” to-do’s when possible.
The professionals at Asana also support this tactic. As they explain, “Task batching is a productivity strategy that involves grouping similar tasks together to complete all at once. This technique can help you avoid multitasking and increase the amount of time you have to focus on tasks.”
By allocating similar tasks to the same block of time, you cut down on the amount of context switching you’ll do and keep your focus sharp. You’ll also cut down on multitasking by staying devoted to one type of task for a specific amount of time.
Make it a habit
If you aren’t used to having a formal sales schedule, it may take time to get used to, but stick with it. Soon enough, it will become a habit, and you’ll find out what works, and what doesn’t. But the key is to stick to the plan to reap the benefits.
As Kathy Crosett writes for SalesFuel, “In the sales profession, we spend a lot of energy on improving our sales strengths. We plan to improve our discovery process, and we want to perfect our negotiating skills. None of that can happen without a solid plan [or sales schedule].”
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