According to The Brevet Group, it takes 10 months or more for a new sales rep to be fully productive. That said, getting fully productive in sales activities is not just a new sales rep’s problem, it’s every sales rep’s problem.
Sales reps wasting time in sales can have a big impact on companies. According to Hubspot, a loss in sales productivity and wasted marketing budget costs companies $1 trillion each year.
All workers have experienced (or will experience) a productivity slump at some point in their career, and it can be hard to get over it once fallen into. Better time management can be the answer—but salespeople have their own unique challenges due to highly irregular days and schedules.
That said, here’s how to find more time in the day for sales activities.
Track Sales Activities
Knowledge Tree shares that about two-thirds of sales reps fail to reach their annual sales quota. In many cases, it’s not because of a lack of skill but a lack of activity.
Most salespeople have certain goals when it comes to prospecting and building relationships with customers. The most productive salespeople keep track of their activities in order to see if they are getting near their goals and to help properly analyze their next actions.
To start, set a specific number of people to prospect each day, and check results at the end of the day to see if you’ve successfully hit that number. Tracking your activities will allow you to figure out the next step and will help you see your capability in a given time frame—then maximize it.
CRM software is a handy tool that can help track sales activities.
Set a Schedule
Allocating time for prospecting is very important for a salesperson’s activity schedule. One of the keys to effective time management is setting a schedule—and sticking to it. All you need is discipline! A cloud-based calendar application like Google Calendar can also be helpful.
Schedule Administrative Time
Sometimes, salespeople get so carried away with administrative tasks that they end the day without prospecting at all.
These administrative tasks or the non-revenue-generating activities include tasks like data entry, sales paperwork processing, handling issues, and other repetitive tasks. Handled inefficiently, they can eat up much of a sales rep’s time.
It is important to know when to stop. Scheduling a specific time for administrative tasks will help you delegate time accordingly and will help you stay focused while working through your designated administrative time block.
Switching back and forth on different tasks can be exhausting and stressful—it’s much more efficient to focus on just one at a time.
Scheduling administrative tasks doesn’t mean that your remaining time is completely designated as being for prospecting. You still need to schedule time for prospecting—and stick to it—making it a habit.
Prospecting is not a repetitive administrative task that sales reps can knock out on a whim. Instead, prospecting is a planned activity where sales reps approach/talk to customers, build relationships, and make deals.
Prospecting can be scheduled as a specific time block in your schedule but should also be defined by planned meetings (with all necessary details to get in touch).