We’ve all said, ‘I don’t have enough hours in the day!’ at some point in our careers. For a sales professional, time selling is the most precious of all hours, minutes and seconds of each working day. Without this our capitalist society would grind to a halt.
So, why do we seem to spend so much time on everything BUT selling?
As in our home life, the workplace has become a multi-skilled, plate-balancing nightmare where integrated teams and new technology have meant we all have to do a bit of everything.
Sales people are expected to be marketeers, travel agents, administrators, customer service and order processers. All whilst managing to prospect and close sales. And we wonder why margins are slipping?
Managers ask yourself: did you hire your sales people to do admin or did you hire them for their sales skills?
Sales professionals ask yourself: do you feel your day is full of tasks not in your job description that are stopping you from hitting your targets?
So, that’s where we are – how do we shift the balance back to allow our specialist employees to shine? Try our 5 Point Plan.
5 point plan to make more hours in the day.
To cut through the basic tasks that are stealing direct selling time from your day you need a structure to stop things creeping back in. We have created 5 key points to keep you and your team on the right track. Referring back to these 5 points every day will boost your selling time and give you a clear understanding of your daily goals. So, let’s begin…
Point 1 – Focus.
Think of these three goals as the foundation of all of your actions.
Your Company Goal
Do you know your company’s core aims? And just as importantly, how your manager interprets these?
sales-i has 3 pillars to our company
1 – Deliver a world leading sales tool
2 – Redefine the B2B sales process
3 – Ensure renowned retention levels
Your Team’s Goal
What is the year/quarter goals for your team? How do you fit into this?
In a sales environment:
Generate 100 leads, book 20 appointments and win 10 customers a month.
What do you need to do each year/quarter/month to do your bit for your team (and company)?
Generate 20 leads, book 5 appointments and win 2 customers a month.
You can download our Focus template here: My Focus PDF. Once you have your 3 statements – print them out and put them somewhere visible in your working environment to keep them in the front of your mind.
Point 2 – Prioritize.
Now you know what is expected of you from your team and wider company it should be a lot easier to decide what tasks serve those goals and which do not.
Tasks from external sources
When you get in each morning to a full inbox of new work why not try out our flow chart:
Just because you think of some tasks to do, whether that be research, visiting a client or updating your CRM, doesn’t mean that this is the best use of your precious time.
Ask yourself again – do these actions serve your goals AND pass the flow chart test?
92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.
Did you realize that spending time travelling to and meeting with customers could be the biggest drain on your selling time?
Are you always chasing the quick wins and not dedicating enough time to research and develop a prospect that could be a much bigger account?
80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.
It can be very tempting to get side-tracked by doing tasks that are working toward your goals but that are taking up a disproportionate amount of your time for the return on investment (ROI).
Setting aside time to research the prospects you are chasing will allow you to order them by best fit, likelihood of success and net worth of the sale. This will help you prioritize your cold calls, follow up calls and give you the basis of any reporting you need to do to line managers regarding your efforts and estimated turnover for a set period.
Read our next article ‘5 point plan to make more hours in the day Pt.2’ to continue to streamline your work day to sell more.