Let time management take care of sales management

The secret of success of every man who has ever been successful lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. – Albert Gray

Heads up – this post won’t teach you anything you don’t already know. But I believe it’s a useful read it nevertheless.

Twenty years as a salesman and sales trainer has taught me that developing a couple of basic good habits is way more effective than any “sales trick” or “proven method to get through to the decision maker”. Focus on the right activities, spend more time with customers and you’ll close more sales. Guaranteed.

Here are three habits that will help you better manage your time, and ultimately your sales results.

Create activity goals

A sale is a result of specific actions, for example making cold calls or sending out price quotes. These activities are not always pleasant and they usually don’t appear urgent. So if “urgent” things like meeting requests or a batch of new emails show up, the sales activities tend to get pushed back.

The best thing anyone in sales can get is set yourself activity goals. First calculate how many sales calls or meetings you need to make to hit your sales goals. Just count how many calls, meetings and proposals you need to make, on average, to close a sale. (here’s a sales calculator for that). If you’re just starting out, make a guess, and correct it later when you have more data.

Book slots in your calendar for reaching said activity goals

Once you know how many calls or meetings you need to make each day, set aside some time when you make this happen – and do nothing else. Book it in your calendar and let it show publicly, politely decline any meetings requests that come for that time. Treat that time slot with the same respect you treat a meeting time with your top customer. Because in a way, that’s what it is.

Learn to focus on one thing only

The best time management tool is Sign out button. When making phone calls turn off all applications you don’t absolutely need for the task at hand. You don’t need to check email regularly, it’s way more effective to reserve a 30-minute slot every morning and evening for correspondence. Needless to say that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram won’t help you you either.

Set activity goals, take time to reach them and get rid of distractions. This is nothing new to most people, and yet so many salespeople don’t do it, starting with yours truly at times. And the most effective advice is often something that sounds simple, and actually is simple if you put in a little bit of effort.

I’d love to hear in comments how many readers consider to master these things already. And if I’ve missed any good tips how to develop these habits, let me know as well.

  • A

    I agree 100%. No matter what we do (work related or life in general) there are things that are urgent and there are things that are important. If we don´t book time for important things then urgent things can easily fill up our entire time and we never get to do what actually matters. If firefighters focus only on putting out the fire and not doing any prevention work then this is what they will always be doing. One leads to another. It is as important in (active) sales work for sure because the things that are important are usually the activities that require discipline and stepping out of the comfort zone. So booking a special time for these activities in calendar (and treating them as an appointment – we don´t check emails etc when we are at the meeting with customer) is the 1st thing we need to do when we plan our time. Everything else needs to get done during the time what is left from that. We never get done all the urgent things anyways so if we choose them over important things then we will never get to the important things.

  • Stephie Daniel

    This sounds pretty interesting that the sales management is co related with the time management specifically. I can better understand that how the time management matters in terms of sales as I am a sales coordinator who practically manages things to be done up in the process that comes up in the industry.

    For a quite long time it was being a trend to manage the time in every possible aspects with the help of a set of pen and paper or with the help of excel sheets. Some what the time management gets advantageous with the usage of tools as is done in other segment also. Through out my career I have learned a lots techniques for the time management where as the one that I am using as of now means a lot to me. Yep, the cloud based Replicon’s time tracking software ( http://www.replicon.com/time-tracking-softwares.aspx ) makes me organize my team seamlessly and get the level of productivity with ease.