Adopting and nurturing vital sales skills are tactics that smart sellers use. It helps ensure they remain competitive and at the top of their game. One focus area of great importance in sales associate skills is time management.
Time Management: Which Sales Skills to Master
“By mastering the art of time management, you position yourself not only as a productive sales professional but also as a resilient and adaptable force in the competitive world of sales,” explains Thomas Colson for SalesIntel. “Without a structured time management strategy, you might find yourself reacting to situations rather than proactively driving your sales agenda.”
And reps understand that time management is one of the top sales job skills needed. 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.
But managing time effectively can be challenging, especially when things get especially busy. Colson, in his article, acknowledges these challenges and offers some tips on how sellers should approach this skill.
Audit Your Time
The first suggestion he has is to do a time audit. You need to understand where you’re spending your time. These time audits need to be done regularly and make sure to do a thorough critique.
Do you see any trends? How can you boost efficiency? What are new goals you want to achieve?
If you feel unsure of where to start, the professionals at Hubstaff have a recommendation. Perform your audit during a typical work week. This will give you the most “real” snapshot of your time.
Then categorize your activities based on “time wasters” and “priorities,” and note how much time is spent on each. Think of how you should reallocate time according to your goal, then delegate, consolidate, remove, or add as needed.
Try Time Blocking
Time blocking is one of those sales skills that can have a big impact on how you allocate your time. And if you haven’t tried it, Colson recommends adding it to your strategy.
“Adopting time blocking involves dedicating specific blocks of time to different activities throughout your day,” he writes. “This could mean designating mornings for prospecting, afternoons for meetings, and evenings for administrative tasks.”
There are tools that offer time-blocking templates, or you can choose to do it on your own. Schedule high-priorities first into your schedule, creating “blocks” of time to devote to each task. Estimate how much time is needed for each, but also keep in mind that sometimes you’ll need to be flexible.
According to the Pipeline blog, it may take some tweaks before you settle into a final schedule. “Like all time management strategies, you will probably need to adjust your approach a few times until it feels right. Consider your baseline productivity. After your first day of time blocking, think about what helped and discard anything that reduced your productivity. Do the same after your first week.”
Leverage Automation Tools
Time management is one of those sales rep skills that is evolving. More sellers are embracing automation to help with the workload.
Relying on digital tools for certain tasks can give you back valuable time. Automotive repetitive manual to-dos that don’t require a personal touch can be taken care of immediately.
As SalesFuel notes, these tools can perform a variety of tasks, including:
- Re-routing prospects based on call outcomes
- Communications sent out based on chosen factors
- Email tracking
- Lead scoring functionality
Automating even a few tasks can boost your efficiency and allow you to spend time focusing on high-level priorities. And for more guidance on adding automation to your sales stack, take a look at these tips.
Stick to It
Time management is one of those sales skills that requires diligence and maintenance. Sellers must consciously stick to their management habits, as well as adjust them as needed.
Consider adding these suggestions to your overall sales strategy. Once you’ve established a routine, you can adopt even more to ensure you’re maximizing your valuable time.
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