Time management is one of the most important skills for salespeople. At the same time, it is quite difficult to tame your tasks and make the most of your time. But no one can inflate the day by more hours, so you have no choice but to get into the secrets of time management. Read on for tips on how to do it.
1. Reduce administration and pointless tasks
These are small tasks that take a few minutes at most. But they add up to so many in a day that you can burn hours on them. Yet you can skip most of them, do them more efficiently or automate them so you can spend the energy you save on more meaningful tasks.
Tools abound to help:
- Do you find it tedious to set up meetings with your team or clients? Use a shared calendar to quickly find a free slot that suits everyone.
- Spending time writing and scheduling tasks? Use one of our project management tools.
- Do you have client contacts and documents in emails, spreadsheets and documents stored all over the place? Use a CRM, keep your information together and keep it organized.
2. Use templates
Don't waste time constantly creating something you've already done once. When you send sales proposal, create a template for them. Then just update the data and data. If you're reaching out to customers by phone, prepare an outline of questions that you just tailor to the current client and situation. Most questions are repetitive and you don't spend long minutes preparing for each call individually.
3. Have a plan B (C, D,...) ready.
A customer cancels an appointment, the market changes or a deal goes bad. The sooner you put such a setback behind you, the sooner you can start focusing on the next task. Have backup plans in place for what to attend to and work on if some point in your daily plan changes. Then you won't waste time preparing other tasks.
4. Don't put off unpleasant tasks
Everyone has some activity they don't like to do. And most of the time they try to put off such tasks. Go about it differently and start with the unpleasant tasks. Once you have accomplished them, they won't haunt you all day and the work will go more smoothly.
5. When you do something, just focus on that
Multitasking doesn't exist, it's just a quick switch between multiple activities. You don't pay full attention to any one of them, and the result looks like it. Rather, focus on the task you're currently doing. Concentrate on it and you will be more efficient, complete it quickly and the success will motivate you to move on to the next task quickly.
6. Remember the 80/20 rule
This is the Pareto principle, according to which 80% of success comes from 20% of effort. Translated into business speak - 80% of sales come from 20% of clients. Only a small proportion of tasks are really important and most have little or no impact on your profits. So don't waste your time and energy and focus on the activities with the most potential.
7. Plan and prioritise
The day is coming to an end and you see each other at home. Stay a few more minutes and plan your next day. In the morning, you won't waste time and you'll get straight down to business. Put the tasks that can't be put off first. Start with the more challenging tasks - or save them for when you work best.
8. Rest easy
All the time we're trying to convince you how to use every minute of your time efficiently and suddenly we advise you to take a break? Yes, taking a break for a short walk, coffee or lunch in a quiet, work-free environment is the best boost to your productivity. You'll come back with a clear head and recharged batteries for the next job. To avoid feeling like you're wasting time, put rest in your work schedule and, like other tasks, don't put it off.