The primary goal of a business or organization is to sell its products and services. Hence, sales representatives usually undergo the maximum amount of work pressure. One concept that every sales representative would agree to is that “Time is Money”. Thus, one needs to come up with creative ways to save every possible second.
A common mistake that sales reps generally make is spending a lot of time doing one particular task. This also distracts them from focusing on other important things. That is why managing your time well is the first thing to remember. Besides, knowing which task or lead requires your maximum attention is also important.
Even if you are new to all this, there are many ways to increase your knowledge about time management. For this, we have a list of 13 time management hacks, that can be used by sales representatives all across the globe.
These tips and tricks will not only allow you to manage your day and workload more efficiently. But will also help increase your selling time many folds.
1. Automating administrative tasks
Imagine starting your day with the same old tasks. Whether you are an experienced sales representative or someone who is just starting of their career. Such tasks and responsibilities can definitely slow you down significantly. In order to save time, the best way to deal with this is by automating basic administrative tasks. It is believed that marketers can increase their sales pipeline contributions by almost 10% (SofFront, 2017) if they implement automation. Besides, 63% (SofFront, 2017) of organizations are out doing their competitors with the help of the automation technology.
2. Backup plans for meetings
Almost every sales representative has their next day planned out perfectly. An entire workday includes a lot of different things like meetings, administrative tasks, briefings, etc. However, there might be times when you have to be ready with a backup plan. In case things don’t go your way, which happens 15% (Brandon Wong, CallPage) of the times.
For instance, imagine you have a meeting to attend in the central part of your town. But it is canceled due to a reason! What would be your next move? In such a situation keeping a list of prospective clients is a great idea. This way you will be able to call them and maybe score a meeting. It will keep you from wasting your time sitting in a coffee shop waiting for the next scheduled meeting.
3. One task at a time
A lot of sales representatives take pride in the fact that they can multitask. But what they don’t realize is the effectiveness of this particular skill set. Organizations that value productivity usually likes to discourage their employees when it comes to multitasking. It is because these organizations believe that people doing multiple things at the same time are distracted a lot. Moreover, it ends up costing them way more time for finishing tasks, rather than getting them done quickly. In other words, their productivity levels take a hit by 40% (Nick Hedges, INC) on an average. Apart from this, things finished while multitasking is also of not of very high quality, which might compromise the overall aim of the project.
4. Finish boring tasks first
There is at least one particular task that every sales representative hates to do! This has nothing to do with your experience or your capacity as a worker. Whenever we come across such a task, it usually takes up the maximum amount of time to be finished, due to its unappealing nature. It drains us out of our effectiveness up to 14% (Ken Krogue, Forbes) of the times. Some people even like to avoid these tasks as much as possible, which only makes your work pile-up high. The ideal way to deal with such a task and save your time is by finishing them first thing in the morning. Since you are the most energetic when you are starting your work, finishing a boring task first will allow you to get through the rest of the day conveniently.
5. Finding success yet continuing
As a sales representative, you would be liable for closing multiple deals during the course of your career. One thing that a lot of us can relate to, if the fact that, we like to take a break between every deal that is closed. Some people call it a celebration mode. While others just like to get away from the workload for some time. However, to become a successful sales representative and save time one should continue working even after successfully closing a deal. As of now, only 1% (Cara Hogan, Insight Squared) of sales reps follow this norm. Furthermore, it will not only allow you to approach multiple potential clients. But will also teach you how to utilize your time better.
6. Analyzing your buyers’ behavior
Approaching clients without knowing nothing about them can be one of the biggest time-consuming issues. Instead of wasting your time in long conversations with your clients, to understand their needs, you should conduct your research in advance. By analyzing the research you will be able to get a hold of your buyers behavior, which will help you serve them better. Moreover, one also needs to analyze their spending patterns like whether they fall into the 67% unconflicted ones or 24% (Gregory Ciotti, Help Scout) tightwad ones. it will even cut down the time it takes to close the deal with a client.
7. Framework for repeatable tasks
Whatever official designation you might be on, there are certain tasks that are monotonous or repetitive. These tasks usually require you to do the same thing either every day or once in a while. By creating a framework for such repetitive tasks, you will be able to save at least 50% (American Management Association) of your administrative time. Besides, since the framework is already prepared, you would know which step comes next. This will save you from overthinking and wasting your precious work hours.
8. To the point conversations
As a sales representative, you would have to talk to multiple people in the entire day. If you keep your conversations to the point, it will definitely save you some time. Moreover, it will even have a lasting impression on your clients, when they know that you are willing to answer their questions clearly and informatively. It is because 40% (Lattice Engine)of sales reps are not prepared usually with general answers. The same concept can also be applied to when you are briefing your team members. By keeping the instructions clear and crisp, you will not only be able to get better results. But will also be able to cut down on the briefing time substantially.
9. Using email templates
A preferred way to communicate officially is through the email address. It is believed to be 40% (Eric, Business 2 Community, 2018 ) more effective than any other communication channel. In general, 25% of the times one would get a similar sort of business inquiries, which require a standard answer to be sent back. To facilitate this particular task, sales representatives can use premade email templates. These templates will allow you to waste less time since you won’t have to retype the entire thing over and over again. You can even save multiple templates depending on the most common inquiries and emails that you receive as a sales representative.
10. Dealing with distractions
Who doesn’t like watching funny videos on YouTube or listening to music once in a while? But these things can prove to be a distraction when you are working. Almost 59% (Karl Hougaard, Entrepreneur) of sales reps suffer from such distractions. For someone who is a sales representative, such distractions can cause serious damage to their work hours. That is why it is highly recommended that you get rid of these distractions, especially in your office area. The simplest way to do so is by blocking all the unnecessary sites, that you would generally surf at home. This way you will not be able to look them up even if you wanted to in your office.
11. To-Do lists come in handy
Preparing a to-do list in advance is something that most people think about, but never come around doing. Even though we prepare a schedule for our upcoming meetings regularly. The daily tasks are often left out from such a list. By creating a to-do list, including everything that you do from the beginning of the day till the very end, you will be able to move on from one task to the other smoothly. This will keep you from ruining your precious minutes in finding the next set of tasks that require your attention. On average, it can help you save 30 to 60 (Brian Tracy, AMA) minutes every day.
12. Chunking your time
One of the most popular time management concepts which are being discussed amongst sale representatives these days is chunking. Individuals who are working under a lot of pressure like to work in chunks of time to achieve better results. For example, people now days like to divide there time in chunks of 20 minutes, 30 minutes or 60 minutes. So that they can finish a maximum amount of work within a day. By dedicating a chunk of time to a particular task, you would know that it needs to be completed within that time frame itself.
13. Taking short breaks
The last time-saving hack might not be directly connected, but it can still prove to be quite useful. By taking small breaks between each task, you will be able to refresh yourself and focus more efficiently on the next set of responsibilities (Kevin Kruse, Forbes). This will make sure that you do not get distracted or lag behind while working on something. Besides, taking short breaks can also reduce your work pressure as a sales representative, which is quite common.
Even though these time management hacks are quite simple, they can have a significant effect on your productivity levels. In case you too are looking for ways to make yourself better at work, then keep these basic points in mind for the next time around!