Top Hacks to Achieve Extreme Productivity

BY Kathy Crosett
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There goes the rainmaker again. They are ringing the bell or sliding their name higher on the board. Regardless of the system your manager uses to mark success, that rep is always ahead of you. And you’re not sure why this happens because you’re a super hard worker. Right?

Or could it be that you’re not as productive as you think? There’s a big difference between working hard and working productively. In the Rain Group’s recent Extreme Productivity Benchmark Report, about 14% of respondents rated themselves at the top of the scale. The following tips from Mike Schultz, president of Rain Group, can help you achieve extreme productivity.


Not long ago, Cy Wakeman discussed the topic of accountability on a Manage Smarter podcast. She pointed out that employees will be more productive when they accept that they make themselves accountable for results. In the Rain Group survey, 76% of extremely productive employees hold themselves accountable. Only 34% of other employees say they do the same. 

You can make accountability work for you by setting specific goals for the week or the day. Write them down. Then set aside time to measure your progress at the end of the time period. If you’re likely to let yourself slide, ask a co-​worker or manager to help you stay on task and realistically measure what you’ve accomplished.


Are you the type of rep who reaches out to take on new challenges? Or are you more likely to put your feet up on your desk after you’ve made your calls and done your emails for the day? Over 67% of extremely productive reps say they are very proactive. They take the initiative to mine social media for contacts at a business they’d like to sell to. These reps will go to industry events and introduce themselves to attendees. They might not make a sale that week or that month, but they’re building relationships that will pan out for them over time. 

Proactive reps also have an agenda. They start out their day knowing what they are going to accomplish. At least 35% say they don’t react to someone else’s agenda. Why? Because doing so will blow up their plan. It’s not that these reps ignore what someone else wants them to do. They simply prioritize their day according to how they can be most productive. Only 10% of other employees say they don’t react to someone else’s agenda.

Don't wait another minute for the rainmaker to get ahead of you. Resolve to improve your accountability and your proactive nature. Improved sales success will be your reward.