A Guide to Time Management for Sales Professionals
Time is always in short supply, especially in our tech-driven fast-paced universe. Many sales professionals struggle to allocate time for critical sales-related tasks.
If it were possible to add a few hours to one’s day, salespeople would often take advantage of the opportunity. The average sales professional will readily agree that their productivity will increase significantly if they had more time.
The problem, however, is not that there are too few hours in a day. The challenge is in one’s ability to manage time well.
A study published by Forbes revealed that nearly two-thirds of sales professionals spend their time on non-revenue-generating activities.
Also, a growing body of evidence suggests that people who have mastered the art of time management lead productive and hassle-free lives.
Before we delve more into how salespeople can manage their time, let’s define the term time management.
What is time management?
The concept of time management is the art of utilizing the time we have to accomplish our most pressing needs. While some people have mastered the art of time management, others still struggle with it.
Some studies have shown that salespeople are among those who find it hard to manage their time. But sales professionals need time management more than most people. While many people get paid for hours worked, most salespeople get paid based on their results.
Successful sales professionals are efficient time managers.
Let’s look at some things you can do to manage your time as a sales professional.
Sales professionals carry out so many time-consuming tasks in the course of their work. While these tasks help them do their jobs, some are more important than others.
Intelligent sales professionals have learned how to delegate some of their less vital tasks to create more time to focus on the more important ones. One mistake sales professionals should avoid is to do most of the work themselves.
Delegation creates time for you to devote to more important tasks.
So, if you have been doing all the sales work on your own, try delegating some of them, and you will save time and accomplish more work.
Delegating a few tasks to others whenever you feel overwhelmed with work can also help you avoid stress.
Scheduling your work is having a plan of action, which is an effective way of managing time. For sales professionals, scheduling ensures finishing tasks and meeting daily goals.
Other benefits of scheduling include:
- Prioritize your tasks.
- Prevent procrastination.
- Saves time.
- Saves money.
- Increases efficiency.
③ Don’t Multitask
Have you ever heard of killing many birds with one stone?
We all want to do that. Trying to accomplish multiple things at the same time makes us productive, right? Wrong!
Different research works have consistently shown that multitasking does not make us more productive, especially sales professionals.
Experts have established that the brain can focus on one task at a time. Multitasking means your brain is going from one particular job to another, which slows you down.
Sales professionals must prioritize their daily tasks and tackle them one after the other in their order of importance.
④ Avoid Distractions
We are a distracted generation.
Many things around us, like social media, co-workers, smartphones, emails, and background noise, try to divert our attention. Knowing how to avoid some of these distractions is a great time management strategy.
Our gadgets, for example, have become super distractions. Many people, including sales professionals, seem not to know how to handle them.
To avoid distractions from social media and the internet, learn to switch off or mute your gadgets around your working environment. Switching off and muting your devices will stop interruptions that cut into your productive hours.
The lure of visiting unrelated websites at work can be persistent. Fortunately, some apps can block these sites and help you stay focused.
⑤ Automate your work
Automating your work saves time. Although technology has become a source of distraction for many of us, tools like system.io can help you accomplish more by automating your business process.
A recent study revealed that sales professionals spend most of their time writing emails, scheduling meetings, scheduling calls, and prospecting for leads.
You can easily automate these tasks to create more time for important ones. Some tools can handle your calls and emails faster and more efficiently. For example, automation tools can set up emails and SMS and send them out to your prospects in advance.
Also, sales professionals do several prospecting for new leads, which consumes a lot of their time. Investing in sales prospecting tools can help you cut down on time spent on sales prospecting.
Successful sales professionals automate some of their tasks, which gives them time to focus on other vital aspects of their jobs.
Automation can help sales professionals in the following ways:
- Increase performance of sales reps.
- Efficient use of resources.
- Follow up on your sales leads.
- Accuracy in the sales process.
- Reduce response time.
⑥ Stay Organized
Nothing eats into the time of sales professionals like working in a cluttered and scattered environment. The sight of different files spread across the office makes it difficult to locate an important document on time.
Research has shown that the sales profession is one of the most stressful jobs around. Being organized at work can help sales professionals cope with occupational stress.
⑦ Track Time
Have you ever wondered how time flies sometimes and crawls on other days? But time is constant and moves at the same pace. It has always remained constant. The problem is that it is easy to get carried away while performing a particular task.
The best way to prevent getting lost in time is to keep tabs on the period you spend on some tasks, especially while working.
The first step is to identify those time wasters in the office that consume your time and lower your productivity.
Fortunately, some great time tracking apps can help keep you on track, so you will not spend more time than necessary on a particular task.
With time tracking tools, sales professionals can adjust their routine to improve productivity during working hours.
Mastering time management strategies can help sales professionals accomplish much more in the course of their daily work.
Succeeding in sales entails apportioning your limited time between many tasks that seek your attention every day.
With the tips in this guide, sales professionals can learn how to maximize time and increase their productivity levels.