To achieve great success in sales and spend a minimum of time on it, you have to constantly solve many diverse tasks. And without good time management skills, you will get bogged down in these routine tasks.
Remember, the problem is always not that there’s not enough time, but how a particular sales rep uses it. Effective time management always plays a critical role in whether you achieve overwhelming sales success or remain an average underperforming rep.
Therefore, we decided to share with you these 5 simple but effective tricks that will help you spend less time on things that do not lead you to success but to devote more time to activities that will lead you to increased sales.
1. Make technology work for you, but not against you
Technology helps you to work more efficiently by automating administrative and repetitive tasks. One of these tasks is syncing all important data and collecting it in a single place, where your reps can work with their customers from.
Let’s take Salesforce Inbox for example; it’s a CRM email management software tool that brings email, calendar, and Salesforce together in a single application. It helps to automate time-wasting administrative tasks to boost productivity, provides focused context for the current events, and gives recommendations on best follow-up actions to get you covered with important opportunities, allowing reps to focus on closing deals.
But, in addition to the lack of functionality, the tool has some obvious shortcomings like useless “Search” function, “Message could not be sent” errors, the ability to look only at one email field to locate the record, “insert file” option is only limited to Gmail, Google Drive, Salesforce and iCloud, etc.
That’s why you should try more advanced tools like, for example, Revenue Inbox, the best Salesforce Inbox alternative, a powerful enterprise-class yet easy-to-use plug-in that integrates your Outlook/Gmail with Salesforce and allows you to:
- automatically capture data according to your needs, offering multi-directional synchronization of emails, threads, attachments, calendar events, and contacts with Salesforce. You do not have to compromise your data capture preferences, customizations, blacklists, and Salesforce rules;
- utilize the fully customizable sidebar that provides you with valuable insights on every Gmail or Outlook email. View and update your Salesforce data right from the inbox. Display Salesforce views, fields, and objects, including custom ones and create records easier and link custom objects with Salesforce records;
- use Calendars to send your availability, integrate your booking schedule and save appointments to Salesforce. Your private events always stay out of your CRM.
Built and designed for Enterprise, Revenue Inbox offers additional benefits such as greater deployment flexibility and excellent customer service.
2. Prospect with a purpose
One of the most obvious mistakes that sales reps make is spending a lot of time researching potential customers. The “Time Management for Sales” study shows that sales professionals spend 12% of their time researching target accounts and prospects. Ideally, you have to spend several minutes on preliminary research.
So take note of these tips to help you to prospect faster and more effectively:
- build a perfect prospect profile;
- spot the best ways to meet your perfect prospects;
- devote enough time in your calendar for both lead development and qualifying prospects;
- qualify leads faster by asking what they know about your company;
- make the prospects earn the right to become potential customers. Even if they are a perfect fit for your customer criteria, you will still have to realize how you can help them. So, make them articulate their desires so you can begin helping them right away.
Focus on that 20% of potential customers
The Pareto principle, which you probably heard about earlier, says that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. First of all, you devote your time to those customers who will bring you success.
Not every customer on your list is ready to buy your product, let alone listen to your offer. Qualify your leads according to the following criteria:
- awareness of need;
- authority and readiness to buy;
- sense of urgency;
- trust in your company;
- willingness to listen to you and analyze your offer;
- strategic alignment with your company.
4. Schedule Daily Sales Activities
To devote your time to those tasks that are truly worth the effort, start planning your daily sales activities and clearly define your expectations from fulfilling them. Sales cadence tools are a good way of automating sales activities and workflow for this purpose.
A sales cadence is a specific workflow that reps use to contact new leads and get them into the sales pipeline. This could include touchpoints in different channels such as phone, email, SMS, or social. The goal of a sales cadence is to build a solid connection with a lead and set it up for a future sale.
Here are some tips to build a good sales cadence:
- create a clear target persona;
- segment leads into categories;
- find the most advantageous channels for communication with your prospects;
- choose one key pain point for a segment;
- set a clear goal for these touchpoints;
- find the best ways and time to end your sales cadence;
- create email sequence templates based on the pain points you’ve picked up;
- build sales scripts for your reps so they can use them to harmonize their messaging;
- encourage your salespeople to add authenticity and personality to the templates and scripts they use.
5. Stop micromanaging your reps!
Moderate control of work processes is a sign of a good leader, which helps to push the team’s workflow in the right direction and solve current issues.
Micromanagement is excessive control over employees. A manager with such a management style tightly controls his subordinates and, most often, he does that with no apparent reason. He imposes a taboo on reps’ independence and narrows the range of official duties to performing routine tasks mechanically.
As a sales leader, you should not resort to such methods; you should think about the reason behind that:
- your entire sales process may have issues;
- your sales tools may be ineffective or your sales reps may not use them effectively.
Your team can have low morale if you don’t let them manage their time and processes on their own. Analyze your entire sales process and try to understand where its weaknesses are. This will help you evaluate the performance of your sales team against its goals. The analysis provides insights about the top-performing and underperforming products/services, the problems in selling and market opportunities, sales forecasting, and sales activities that generate revenue.
After that, you should entrust your best reps to manage their performance, and watch the results. Believe us, such an approach will pay off with motivation and commitment!