Sales is all about timing. Acting fast, striking at the right moment and fitting as much into your day as possible are key factors, and each involves tight time management. There’s always more to do during a day in sales than it feels like there’s time for – new clients to secure, existing clients to retain, emails to send, and endless data to input.
True sales pros know that great time management boils down to the little tips and tricks that squeeze as much time out of their day as possible. Even better, the more you can pack into regular working hours, the less you need to work late into the night or on weekends.
Here are our six tips for taking back your time:
1: Stop having meetings about meetings
How much time have you wasted on endless meetings or calls that are just a recap of other meetings? Everyone dreads repetitive meetings, but there’s a way to keep them to a minimum. To keep everyone who needs to be in the loop happy, aim for seamless connections between internal and external stakeholders. Develop quick or even automated templates for specific types of emails (i.e.: follow-up emails, updates on client calls for your sales manager), and track – and use – the quickest channels of communication for each client. Stop dumping wasted time into four follow-up emails where one quick call would do the trick. Keeping all parties in the loop may seem like a time-suck in the short-term, but in the long-term, it reduces time lost to confusion, duplication of efforts, and other miscommunications.
2: Know your sh*t
This one should be obvious, but too often it isn’t. If you know what you’re selling, you can answer any question or address any issue a client may have correctly, the first time. No more wasting precious time (that could be spent selling) on a dozen emails to your support team or vamp for time on a call while you frantically search through a product manual or FAQ. Knowing your product doesn’t just mean understanding the basics, it means keeping up to date with new developments that come about as the product matures or changes. It also involves keeping an eye out for new challenges based on client feedback and personal tests. Save time, look smart – know your sh*t.
3: Prioritize your leads with intent data
In many organizations, about 50 percent of sales energy is lost on leads that were never going to convert. You probably already know that not every one of your leads is a worthwhile one. Let’s face it, many are a waste of time. In slow times, you may go after any lead that shows even an iota of potential, but don’t fall for that trap. To better manage your time, focus on leads with higher probabilities of converting into new accounts. We’ve even got a hook-up for you: 6Sense is a great tool that can dig deeper into customer intent data and help you identify which leads are really ready to get a conversation started.
4: Rely on quality data
There’s a saying that goes: a sales professional is only as good as the data she relies on. (Well, we say that at least.) CSI Insights found that salespeople waste more than a quarter of their time – 27% – chasing after bad data. The reason bad data sticks is that your CRM doesn’t make it easy to clean up messes. Finding a solution that makes data entry easier and cleaner means your entire team can easily update Salesforce with relevant, current data. If only someone made a solution for quick, clean and painless Salesforce data entry … we think you know where we’re going with this. Save time, get clean data. It’s possible – we can show you how.
5: Take breaks
Are we serious? “Take breaks?” Sure, sales has always been called a “grind,” “hustle,” “grit,” *insert others here.* But that’s old news. Effective time management today involves giving yourself enough space during your work hours to rest, reflect and re-energize. Squeeze a stress ball. Take a nap. Connect with a colleague for lunch (or a quick nine holes). High-pressure sales culture has trained too many of us to feel like we’re doing something wrong when we take a break, but these moments of rejuvenation result in a sharper mind that can focus better and address problems more quickly. So, drop the Forever HustlingTM mentality and go for a walk. Not only does it feel so good – you’ll end up saving time in the long run. Who knew?
Most of the problems above can be avoided by having the proper tools. There are tools for better data management, easier communication and more accurate data entry. PeopleGlass is one of them. Paired with Salesforce, PeopleGlass will allow you to spend less time sweating over admin work and more time prospecting and selling. The more time you spend doing what you enjoy during your work hours, the less likely you are to end up burned out and disappointed. Never stop searching for tools to help you simplify or automate your processes. Why waste time when you can save time?