Effective Time Management Strategies for Salespeople
Time management is at the heart of all successful sales strategies. Many salespeople know what they have to do but they let the little administrative tasks get in the way.
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TRACK YOUR ACTIVITIES
If you really want to leverage your limited time for maximum sales success, you must first track your time.
Through our research, we know that most effective way of starting a good time management routine is to track your time for a week. Keep a log of what you do every 15 minutes. It might seem like a painful practice, but it will open your eyes to how you are spending your time.
If you spend the first 15 minutes of every day shooting the breeze - or worse, complaining with your colleagues about why you can't sell your company's products or services for whatever reason - you have to write that down.
If you spend a half an hour faxing out proposals, write that down.
Now, we know from our experience that most people don't have the discipline to do this for a week. So try it for just a day or two.
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THE SECRET TO TIME MANAGEMENT: INCOME- VS. NON-INCOME-PRODUCING ACTIVITIES
What we invariably find is that too many salespeople spend their time on what we call "non-income-producing activities" rather than "income-producing activities" during a typical 9 to 5 working day.
And the key to effective time management is to maximize the time you spend performing income-producing activities during the normal working day.
Here are examples of income-producing activities:
- prospecting calls- giving presentations
Here is a longer list of non-income-producing activities:
- writing proposals- faxing/emailing proposals- researching for new prospects- writing sales letters/scripts/emails- filing- writing management reports
If you want to improve your time management, try to delegate such tasks - or if you can't do that, do these activities at the right times.
DOING THE RIGHT THINGS AT THE RIGHT TIMES OF THE DAY
It's true that this second list of non-income-producing activities is necessary in order for you to keep your job as a salesperson, but remember, there are 24 hours in a day.
We know you probably don't want to hear this, but successful salespeople spend the hours before 9 and after 5 doing all the grunt work.
Our research shows that they maximize their "face-time" with prospects and customers when they are most available - that is, during the day.
So save your administrative tasks and any other task that doesn't need to get done during the day for after normal working hours or before working hours.
Just this one simple rule will enable you to significantly increase the number of prospects you contact and the number of relationships you can build with your customers.
So do income-producting activities first and non-income-producing activities afterwards. This simple time management technique will get you 90% of the way to maximizing the effectiveness of your working time.