Whatever products or services a salesperson is selling, there are many commonalities for individuals engaged in sales careers. This starts with basic personality traits, like confidence in yourself and what you have to offer, no matter how many rejections you get.
Whether you’re employed in inside sales, outside sales or “everywhere you can” sales, you’re expected to be busy all the time building new business, keeping existing customers happy and taking care of paperwork.
This is where things can get crazy fast. Even though you may enjoy all these tasks, it’s easy to get unbalanced. Too much new business can make current customers feel unloved. Too much nurturing can cut into lead building time, and too much paperwork, while important, can keep you and your company from making money.
That’s why it’s important to figure out an effective schedule for your sales days and weeks. Though something overly rigid may not be able to accommodate client emergencies or appointments/meetings that run long, something too casual can result in missed appointments and missed opportunities, especially if you’re competing against others who are more driven and organized.
Consider trying these strategies to improve your scheduling efforts for better productivity.
Keep a calendar.
Today’s technology makes it easy to arrange and view your schedule throughout the day. Programs like Outlook or specialty software like CRM systems help add, delete and arrange time and projects through the day. This can include appointments with clients, paperwork/admin time, meeting with co-workers or managers, or prospecting. Consider adding in or coding non-work time like family activities, exercise and even meals especially if you’re someone who often works right through lunch (or dinner).
Though your typical day may go from 8ish to 5ish or 6ish, since that’s when everyone else is out there, it’s also wise to use the time before or after this productively. Datanyze suggests using the opportunity to recap your day, regroup with your manager, and start planning a strategy so you can hit the ground running rather than coming in wondering where to start. Promote yourself on social media. Check in with clients who might not have been available earlier.
At the same time, Bidsketch suggests looking for ways to pause if needed and make sure your batteries are charged and you have good non-work balance. Spend time with your family in the morning or evening. Get sleep. Take breaks through the day to clear your head. Skip meetings that aren’t a great use of your time. Exercise.
Block out time for certain tasks – or avoid certain tasks.
The chimes and pop-ups of texting and email are designed to attract your attention, even when you’re trying to focus on something else. Some efficiency experts suggest spending one hour a day going through emails and then shutting them off. Other say the opposite – turn them off now, concentrate on other things, and resume later.
There are plenty of sales professionals in the world, and many selling what you sell. But how you keep yourself organized can go a long way to better productivity and efficiency.