5 Time Management Tips for Sales Reps
Being in sales is the busiest job in the world – hands down.
If you’re a leader, you’ve got a ton on your shoulders between leading your team and establishing a strong company culture. Managers – you’re constantly battling fire drills and balancing your own daily tasks, all while coaching your reps. And reps – say no more! You’re on the phone for hours at a time, making hundreds of calls a week in between various other tasks.
Unfortunately, 80% of those ‘other tasks’ are statistically useless. Meaning, that time is devoted to non-revenue generating activities.
But the good news is: you can gain back hours of your day by following at least one of these time management tips. Lucky for you, I’ve got 5!
READ: Top 8 Sales Management Productivity Hacks
Protect Your Time
Guess what: YOU own your time. You get to make the choice what to prioritize and how to handle what comes your way. The best thing you can do is PROTECT IT!
Block your calendar, get comfortable saying ‘no’ to things that interrupt your work flow or cut into call time. Set boundaries and stick to them. Guard your time, communicate expectations, and get to work.
The other day I had a rep reach out for a meeting and she wanted to give up her time block to schedule our meeting. You know what I said? NO! BIG MISTAKE! I made sure she honored her calendar and let her fit me in somewhere else.
Remember: there are lots of things in the day as a rep that you just can’t control. You can’t force someone to pick up the phone, you can’t make a lengthy conversation go faster to hop onto your next call, you can’t control if you get a call back.
But what can you do? Stick to your schedule!
READ: 4 Time-Saving Prospecting Strategies
Create A Master Plan
Sounds simple, but think about the calls you’re making and what your schedule looks like. Does Client A work night shift? Do they work on the east coast and you’re west? Are they in another country altogether?
Mapping out your day is going to SAVE you time down the line. You’ll want to categorize your to-do list by the following:
- Morning Only Tasks
- Afternoon Only Tasks
- Both (can be done either morning and afternoon)
- Anytime (can be done morning, noon, or late)
(Note: Don’t forget to plan around timezones!)
DOWNLOAD: Virtual Selling Cheat Sheet
Set 1 Daily Goal
Set it and actually DO it. Make that your main mission, your top priority, the thing you sit down to do first and accomplish. Consistency is key here to make sure it actually sticks! Do this every day and it REALLY helps.
Don’t go on autopilot and sit down to check your Slacks, emails, or get into your morning routine. And while you’re at it…
Remember what I said about 80% of your day being wasted on non-sales items? That’s probably because your phone is blowing up with a phone call from mom, texts from your college buddy, social media notifications, Slack messages, etc. etc.
Put your phone on silent, turn off notifications, and focus on what’s in front of you. The ONLY thing you should be working off of is your calendar (or task list) – it will dictate who you need to talk to and when.
This is going to help you make sure you’re getting to all those calls in a day without the distractions.
Touch It Once
If you’ve been pushing the same email to the bottom of the pile for the last two weeks, chances are it isn’t that much of a priority. When you’ve got a task at hand – DO something with it. Either respond and finish it so you can put it away, schedule it to a time you can actually take care of it, or delete it if it’s unimportant.
Whatever you do – don’t just leave it and keep pushing it off. You’re wasting time revisiting the same old piece 3x instead of just touching it once.
READ MORE: 10 Tips for Sales Success from A High Performer
Don’t overcomplicate it. You’ve got a busy enough day, but by adding in a little bit of effort and strategy, you can take back that 19% and get to what you do best: selling!