Great salespeople are organized people and it all starts with time management and scheduling. In order to be productive, every item on your calendar should be geared toward meeting sales prospects and ultimately closing sales. Below are five tips that successful salespeople use to manage their calendars:
Taking the time to write down the income you want will set the motivation to help you stick to your schedule. Once you have defined your main goals, breaking down these sales goals into smaller, short-term tasks and milestones helps to make them more achievable. This also makes it easier to define the activities you need to accomplish in a day, week or month and add them to your calendar.
2. Set a schedule and stick to it
Scheduling your activities is key to managing your calendar well. Determine the number of hours per day or week you have to spend on various activities. According CSO Insights, salespeople currently spend 41% of their time selling (either by phone or face-to-face), 24% generating leads and prospects, 19% doing administrative tasks and the remaining time on other tasks like service calls or trainings. With this said, the main point is to increase the time spent selling, but strike a balance between other activities that have to be done to lead to a higher number of actual sales. Planning your day and allotting a specific number of hours for certain tasks only takes a few minutes but saves you a ton of hours.
3. Focus on your 20%
The 80/20 Rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. Determine what these activities are and focus on them more. Think about how to increase time with qualified sales leads. Spend more time on customers who are most likely to consider buying your product and spend less time on administrative duties and other non-revenue generating activities. If possible, outsource these tasks to a productivity assistant to get them off your plate entirely.
4. Manage interruptions
Protect your schedule from distractions and interruptions by focusing only on the tasks you need to work on for the hour. Distractions come in many forms like unproductive meetings, answering non-urgent emails, and interruptions from co-workers. Giving in to distractions robs you of your valuable time, and you have to be firm in saying no in order to avoid these circumstances. Still, some interruptions are unavoidable, and when stuck in such situations, proper management and diversion of these unproductive events can help salvage whatever time you can still save. Stuck in a meeting? Use the time to analyze data on sales leads. Receiving unimportant calls? Tell them to send you an email instead.
5. Set aside creative time
What should you do if there are no scheduled sales calls, or during “dead time” when your prospects are unreachable? Block out this time to identify what your customers’ needs are and create some solutions to meet those needs. Also, spend time creating systems that improve the flow of your sales processes, which will ultimately save you more time in the future.
Successful salespeople know how to prioritize, plan and have the discipline to stick to the plan every day. Knowing what to focus on and what to avoid can save you from time wasters and give you valuable time better spent on revenue-generating activities.
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