Do you find it shocking that nearly two-thirds of all salespeople spend a staggering 64% of their time on non-selling tasks?
I do. Then again, how could it be any different with so many administrative tasks to get through each day,? Or when you have to process all the emails or uncover the data to help you figure out where to invest your time in the first place?
An even more shocking statistic is that only 22% of sales teams implement strategies or time management techniques to maximize their output.
The result? Well, I’m sure you can imagine it – Losing sales opportunities, poor performance, and stress.
That’s why, in this post, I’ve outlined seven strategies for avoiding any of that. My strategies will help you boost productivity and performance, and that’s regardless of how many non-selling activities you have to do.
Strategy #1. Develop a System to Uncover the Best Leads Quickly
When processing leads, most salespeople use one of the two ways to do so.
Some of them follow the gut feeling. They look at the lead data they have, analyze it quickly and pick the people whom they think offer the biggest business opportunity right now.
Others process every lead on the list with no exceptions. Although both of the options work, neither of them is the best use of your time.
By following the gut feeling, you rely on chances to come across and process a truly great opportunity. Sure, you do use some criteria to evaluate them. But without a process to follow, what you do is prone to human error. Calling or emailing every lead on the list takes time and can leave you at wit’s end. With 50% not being a good fit for your product in the first place, you have to engage many people who’d never buy from you anyway.
Luckily, there is a solution – Develop lead scoring criteria to qualify leads fast while uncovering meaningful insights.
In a nutshell, the process involves identifying the ideal client characteristics and assigning scores, both positive and negative to each criterion.
By scoring and qualify leads, you can evaluate each new opportunity quickly, and ensure that you focus on the best ones only. The result – Saving time on processing low-quality leads, and increased performance.
Strategy #2. Become an Expert in Your Product
Today’s customers have access to more information than ever before. As a result, they enter the sales conversation having significant data about the product already. What’s more, they expect you – the salesperson – to surpass that knowledge and provide them with insights they’ve missed during research.
In many cases, doing so is your only opportunity to wow and engage them. Even if customers don’t rate you on your product knowledge, they may still require you to provide advanced insights to them.
Staying on top of the product development will help you save time on uncovering insights customers have requested and you did not have.
Strategy #3. Registering Sales Events In-the-moment
How often do you waste time trying to remember or find evidence of what’s been going with a particular deal? How often do you have to scout email, flick through your notebook and other places to figure out what you and a lead had discussed so far? And how quickly would that sale move forward if you had all that information in front of you all the time?
Most salespeople I know leave registering sales events – calls, meetings, conversations with leads, even ideas to push the deal further – for when they’re free, and nothing would interrupt them in doing so.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many moments like that in your day. Most of the time, something else screams for your attention.
By developing a habit of registering every event in the CRM right away – immediately after putting the phone down, for example – you reduce the time needed to look for information. Whether it is the client who calls you or you reach out to them, you always have the most up-to-date information available.
Strategy #4. Doing the Paperwork During the Low-energy Hours
We all have high-productivity times throughout the day and the times when the energy just isn’t there. I am most productive in the mornings, typically. But once the noon hits, my energy disappears, and I struggle to complete high-intensity tasks.
Which is why I schedule doing the paperwork or any other mundane tasks for those hours. The rest I fill in with high-impact work – prospecting, calling and engaging my leads.
Strategy #5. Focus on One Activity Type at a Time
You do so many different tasks each day. You look for new prospects. You call or email leads. You answer customer inquiries. Then, there are all the admin tasks, reports, meetings and so much more. But do you do one activity type at a time only? If not, then, you might be losing up to 80% of your productivity by switching tasks constantly.
Try focusing on one activity at a time. Block time during the day for calls only. Do your emails in bulk. Schedule mundane, admin tasks for low-energy hours.
You’ll discover that you can fly through those tasks quickly and get far more done in a shorter amount of time. What’s more, you can get ahead of everyone else quickly and go further in the company!
Strategy #6. Weekly Review Over the Weekend
I realize how controversial this strategy may sound. Who’d want to work over the weekend? But did you know that even spending a couple of minutes on Sunday evening to outline what you want to achieve during the week will increase your productivity?
Why, because you’ll start the week knowing what you want to accomplish, and mentally prepared for the effort required. However, if you’d only start planning on Monday morning, you’ll waste precious time trying to figure out how to make the most of the next couple of days.
Strategy #7. Daily Performance Review
I admit this is more of a productivity hack. However, seeing how helpful it is in boosting productivity, I decided to include it on the list as well. The hack relies on evaluating your performance at the end of the day.
The most effective salespeople focus on their performance. They strive to hit the daily quota of calls they set for themselves. Or send a specific amount of emails at least. And they use this hack to ensure they constantly push themselves to do better.
Why does it work? Well, for one, because seeing good results motivates us to work even harder. Seeing a weaker performance, on the other hand, gives us a push to improve.
So, set up quotas for various activities you do each day – calling, emailing, etc. Then, at the end of each day, take five minutes to review your performance.
After implementing this hack personally, I discovered that I became more focused on my time. I started making better decisions about how I spend it. In fact, I began prioritizing tasks that help me reach my daily goals, increasing my performance and output.
Soon, you’ll realize that you the decisions you make about how you’ll spend the time start focusing on anything that helps you reach your quota.
As a salesperson, you have your hands full all the time. Calls, emails, admin tasks and more scream for your attention every day. Unless you develop ways to maximize the time you have, your productivity and output will suffer.
You can test some of these recommended strategies like developing a system to qualify leads faster, building a habit to add events and updating the CRM in-the-moment, doing the paperwork during low-energy hours and finally, setting up goals for yourself.