Time management in sales plays an important role for sales individuals. Managing your time well allows you to increase your productivity and helps you avoid forgetting important tasks for your clients. We will be exploring tips and skills to help you effectively manage your time.
Time management in sales begins with planning your day
Effective time management always starts with how you plan your day. I try and plan my week the week prior, day by day in my calendar. An electronic calendar (such as Outlook or Google Calendar) can often be the best way to keep your tasks organized. You should also get into the habit of reviewing your do list at the end of each day and review if any adjustments need to be made to your daily calendar. When planning your day, you should be scheduling your tasks around the prospects you are trying to reach out to. For example, you want to conduct your outreach and tasks at times when your prospects are most likely able to be reached or connected with. Optimal times to reach a prospect are usually early in the morning when most prospects are just getting to their desks (or logging on in today’s virtual setting) and checking their emails before beginning their days. The next optimal time is usually near the end of the working day when prospects will most likely again be checking their emails as they prepare to end their day. One tip I use to help me manage tasks that could be in different time zones is to label the tasks with the time zone that contact is in. For example, I could label a task (EST follow up or PST follow up). This will help you when you’re scheduling your day and ensuring you are completing your tasks at the optimal times to reach your prospects. For more tips on time management consider this article.
Limit multitasking and stay focused on the task
When you have a block of time assigned to a specific task you have scheduled for yourself to complete, it is important to focus on completing that task. This means if another activity that does not relate to the completion of that specific task comes to you, try and avoid dealing with that task until your original task is completed. Switching between tasks can be seen as multitasking, however it can mostly be a waste of your time and energy. You should get into the habit of dedicating your focus to one project at a time. Allowing yourself to be more dedicated to one task at a time will increase your productivity. This is easier said than done since there will be times when the customer needs come first as they arise and need to be completed on time sensitive time frames. For more information on managing different accounts consider this article.
Discipline with your time management
Often the easy part of the plan is the creation of the plan itself. The most difficult part is following through on that plan and implementing it on a day-to-day basis. Forgetting any of your tasks can have consequences such as incomplete work and more importantly dissatisfied clients. As with any plan, you should always have backup or redundancy. While you have your electronic calendar, you should also keep a list of your tasks on a notepad (this can electronic or on paper). Creating email templates will save you large amounts of time since email will be a common form of communication for most sales reps. Proper discipline also entails logging your customer information in your CRM system promptly. You should get into the habit of logging any interactions with clients after a conversation has been finished. For information on CRM systems consider this article.
Remember the key to effective time management in sales is to make a plan and remain committed to it. If you need help with your time management strategy, you can reach out to me for a conversation.