Focus - Use Time Wisely

Use Time WiselyUse time wisely and focus - a bit of advice given to me by a wise sales manager many years ago. The world of sales is made up of distractions, sound bytes, lists of important things to accomplish, and “noise” - you need to focus on activities that lead to revenue before you do anything else.

Why?

Because of everything you do in your sales career, time is the one thing you cannot recoup.

Lost time is never found again.
-Benjamin Franklin

Do you ever audit the time you spent today or last week? Think about it?

Think about the time you spent

  1. going after a deal you never really qualified and won't get
  2. doing "research" because you are reluctant to get on the phone
  3. doing "research" because you are not clear on who your buyers really are
  4. in the office with your colleagues talking about the "problems"
  5. doing anything except what you should


The Challenge

The challenge for professional sellers is that an individual contributor position is very entrepreneurial. That means that you are not watched every minute - and most of us in selling are not micro-managed. We like that, right? But the price you pay for that freedom is that it's up to YOU and only YOU to make the most of it.

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?
-Henry David Thoreau

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.
-Carl Sandburg

Here are some ideas sales professionals employ that help them be more productive:

• Come into the office with your list of top 3 things to accomplish today

• Be "revenue-focused" - in other words, start your day with the tasks closest to revenue.

• Make 10 calls to potential buyers before your first cup of coffee

• Read about David Allen's "Getting Things Done" GTD system - the best system I've ever worked with sales reps and sales leaders on to be more focused and organized.

• Take the How Productive Are You Quiz - and get ideas and tools to improve

• Start timing tasks - how long does it take you to write three emails to prospective buyers?

• Determine if you are doing the same work that someone else is on your team or at your company - and find a way to become less redundant.

• Have a brainstorming session with your peers, team, or colleagues - find 3 ways you can leverage tools or others to do less mundane, non-selling work.

• Stop attending meetings that don't involve growing or keeping business.

• Use the rule of thumb on all things - If this task does not lead me or the company to finding, keeping, and / or growing revenues, can someone else do it?

What ideas do you have?

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Here are some other posts you should read:

12 Sales Time Hacks So You Can Sell More

Just In Time B2B Sales Resources


Lori Richardson  helps mid-sized companies grow revenues by solving key issues in their sales department - like recruiting, retention, diversity hiring, process, pipeline and leadership. She speaks at CEO groups on topics of sales growth. Clients include companies in the technology, telecom, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services industries. Subscribe to the award-winning blog, follow her on Twitter
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Topics: B2B, Sales Productivity

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