10 Effective Time Management Strategies for Sales Reps

A guest blog by Vartika Kashyap (Marketing Manager at ProofHub)

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Time is money”. No one can relate to this old proverb better than a sales representative. If you want to earn more money, you have to spend more time on high value sales activities.

Yet, a study, based on responses from nearly 200 sales reps including a dozen in-depth interviews, reveals that salespeople have some serious time management issues. According to the study:

  • Only 28% of sales reps have a dedicated time management system in place.
  • Only 35.2% of sales reps’ time is focused on selling and 65% on everything else, but not selling.

Every minute that the study indicated being spent on non-revenue-generating activities represents lost opportunities — and lost money.

That’s why we’re sharing some easy hacks with you to spend more time selling and increase your chances of hitting numbers and goals.

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1. Create and follow a process

If you have the habit of doing all the research work on prospects on your own, creating a standardized process will help you speed up the process and make things more consistent.

Just create a 5-minute routine that you have to follow before you make any new call to a prospect. Try this and you will be able to get things done quickly and efficiently.

Use time management software in the process and you will be able to gain more convenient, productive use of your time each day. The use of an hours tracker is another great option to get a more insightful view of where most of your time is going.


2. Improve organization

Do you often find yourself searching scattered files and wasting tons of time?

Then try using a cloud-based file management system that will help you keep all your critical sales related files and documents in one place. Also, make sure that you can share, proof, and download files (including different versions of the same file) without any hassle.

Try spending more time getting leads and making sales instead of searching and organizing files.


3. Focus on the 20%

You must be familiar with the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, for those who don’t know). Here’s a quick overview:

“80% of sales come from 20% of clients”

This means you’re wasting too much time focusing on tasks that have little or no impact on your success. You need to focus on the tasks with the highest ROI.

Remember, not every name on your list will buy or become a high-value customer. If you’re spending too much time on an unqualified lead, you’re not selling – and that’s your job.

The sooner you figure out your potential, long-term customers, the better for you.


4. Streamline repeatable tasks

It’s okay if you’re not a big fan of “sales scripts”. But you have to accept the fact that if you’re targeting a certain type of customers, more often than not, your prospects will be similar to each other.

So instead of investing the same amount of time on the same kind of tasks, developing a framework would be a smarter choice. This won’t take much time – just take a quick look at your past wins and note down the details that might come in handy in the future.

It will help you streamline repeatable/recurring tasks and save more time.


5. Start batching things up

Batching, grouping, time blocking, and batch processing. These are simple practices that can literally change the way you get stuff done and make you insanely productive overnight.

All you have to do is pull out your to-do list, group similar tasks together (e.g. email follow-ups, calls, meetings, CRM work), and dedicate a window of time to each group.

If you give your brain some time to catch up every time you move to a new kind of task, you’ll be a lot more efficient.


6. Be smart with time tracking

When it comes to managing your time, time tracking is pretty obvious. Most of us are unaware of the habits that kill out time, and hence productivity, during the day.

Using time tracking software like Toggl or Toggl alternatives like ProofHub, Everhour, Harvest, etc. can really help you acknowledge and understand such habits. You can track the amount of time you spend on specific tasks, analyze your routine, spot patterns, and adjust your time management strategy accordingly.

If you often get the feeling that you’re having too much to do and not enough time to do it, time tracking is a great place to start.


7. Plan your day around your customers

The time you’ve blocked on your calendar to call prospects doesn’t necessarily match their schedule as well. And if your timings are inconvenient for the customers, you’re not going to make a good sale.

Doing a little research on your end first will help you figure out what the best time is to reach potential prospects.

Plan your day around your customers – know their interests, get familiar with their routine, and create schedules that let you reach them at their best times.


8. Limit multitasking

Being a multi-tasker doesn’t make you a productive, successful sales rep. Multitasking is not good for sales because your brain can’t do two things at once.

When you attempt to tackle more than one task, your brain constantly shifts gears and takes some serious hits darting from one task to another in rapid succession. As a result, you slow down and lose 40 percent of your productivity.

So, instead of multitasking, consider prioritizing your sales activities and try to focus on one thing at a time.


9. Get to the NO faster

Chasing the wrong lead (longer than needed) is a waste of valuable time.

Yes, it’s hard to let go of a sale, but think about this: what’s better? Nurturing a viable lead or following a prospect that appears to have little or no chance.

Learn how to spot a dud lead, disqualifying leads as quickly as possible, and get to NO faster so that you can make good use of your time.


10. Take fewer breaks

Are you guilty of taking too many breaks at work? If your answer is YES, then you’ve got to make some improvements in your daily habits.

It can be a little hard to enforce, but it is necessary to take fewer breaks if you want to make more sales. Avoid getting into the habit of taking a break after every call. Just a couple of minutes break (most likely, 5-10 minutes) after every 90 minutes would be enough.

Effective time management is your key to becoming a good – productive, successful, less stressed and more effective – salesperson. So, learn how to manage your time rather than letting it manage you. And make sure you are having enough sleep to stay productive at work.


A little about Vartika:
Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub – a simple project management tool and a powerful Asana alternative. Vartika likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.

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