Sales Time Management – The vast majority of salespeople waste their time on the same 7 daily activities that have a terrible return on time invested. Watch this short video to learn exactly how to avoid this time-wasters so you can sell more than ever before.
By far, the most common question I get from salespeople is this: “What are some of the best sales time management tips or advice that you have?”
My response is actually always the same. It’s not what you need to be doing; it’s what you need to stop doing in sales that will determine whether you’re effective with your time—or simply wasting it.
In fact, there are countless activities that waste salespeople’s time every day.
By removing these time-wasting activities from your daily routine, you will see at least a 2X return on the time you spend selling. In this video, I’m going to show you the top 7 time-wasters of most salespeople. Check it out.
Sales Time Management Video Summary:
Sales Time Management – Time-Waster #1: Checking email.
Chances are, you saw this one coming. Constantly checking email is the number one time-suck for salespeople across industries. Not only is checking your email a waste of time, but it also breaks your focus throughout the day. Remember, you’re in sales—not operations. You don’t need to solve every single problem in the first five seconds it’s presented to you.
Email. You know what? You probably saw this coming, but there is no greater time suck for salespeople than constantly checking email. It’s not only a waste of time, but it also breaks your focus throughout the day.
You’re in sales, not operations. You don’t need to solve every single problem in the first five seconds that it’s presented to you. Salespeople who take pride in always immediately returning emails in fact have nothing to be proud of. They’re just wasting their time.
Sales Time Management Tip: Check your email no more than three times a day at scheduled intervals and make sure that the rest of your day is spent doing things that are actually making you money.
Sales Time Management – Time-Waster #2: Operations.
The most valuable person in an organization is a person who can generate revenue. Operations people are a dime a dozen. Now, that may piss some people off, but it’s still true.
Great salespeople, though, are diamonds in the rough. It’s critical that we, as top-performing salespeople, understand that the time we spend on operational issues is a total waste.
Sales Time Management Tip: We are so much better off outsourcing any operational activities except for the absolute most critical tasks. Stop wasting your time in operations.
Sales Time Management – Time-Waster #3: To-Do Lists.
Now, we’ve all been taught to make to-do lists, but the problem is that they tend to fill up with lots of tasks and no clear prioritization.
What’s more, there’s no deadline for each task. It’s time to throw out that old to-do list and use an objectives list instead. The key idea here is that every objective should be both time-bound and clearly prioritized in terms of what’s most important.
Sales Time Management Tip: Realistically, there should be no more than a couple of objectives in any given week that you’re focused on. The rule of thumb is that, if you ultimately push back an objective’s completion date more than three times, it’s obviously not important enough to do. Delete it and move on.
Sales Time Management – Time-Waster #4: Research.
I know a lot of people are going to be really annoyed that I just said research is a huge time-waster. But it’s true. I will acknowledge that every good salesperson needs to do some research. There’s no question about it.
Whenever we’re talking to an important prospect or client, we need to know what we’re talking about. And just as important, we need to know who we’re speaking to. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours each day researching your prospects.
Sales Time Management Tip: In fact, a good chunk of research can actually be outsourced to an administrator or some type of a virtual assistant who can do 90% of the research for you, and then simply present you their findings. Of course, you can fill in any holes. Don’t waste your time spending hours and hours each day researching.
Sales Time Management – Time-Waster #5: Strategizing.
Strategizing is similar to research. Of course, we all want a good sales strategy in place, and that’s critical. But strategizing is not something that you should be doing on a daily basis.
Sales Time Management Tip: A top salesperson is clear about what the strategy is going to be with key prospects, and once that strategy is laid out, there’s no need to rehash what it’s going to be.
Most salespeople fall into that rut of waiting for the perfect strategy or approach for each prospect, when they should really just be spending that time implementing a simple strategy. Keep it simple and take action.
Sales Time Management – Time-Waster #6: Tire-kickers.
One of the biggest time-wasters of all is spending time with a prospect who is never going to buy from you. This isn’t just a time management strategy, it’s also a sales strategy. Right?
The typical salesperson, according to my data, spends at least 15 to 20 hours each month with prospects who will never buy. That means they’re losing about a quarter of every week to those tire-kickers.
Sales Time Management Tip: You must be willing to disqualify prospects early on in the sales process so you don’t waste your time with people who are never going to buy.
Sales Time Management – Time-Waster #7: Selling to “buyers.”
By “buyers,” I mean those people that actually have the title of “buyer.” Many salespeople waste a lot of time selling to low-level prospects who lack the authority to make buying decisions. Those are usually the people who have titles like “buyer.”
Sales Time Management Tip: It’s time to step outside of your comfort zone and sell higher up the organization. You want titles like VP, CEO, COO, and director. “Director.”
Buyers rarely have the authority to say “yes.” They do, though, have the authority to say “no” and they’re going to beat you down on price and ultimately make difficult clients.
So there you have it. Now you know the top 7 time-wasters of most salespeople. I want to hear from you. Which of these sales time management tips did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comments section to get involved in the conversation. I’ll respond to every comment I possibly can.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.