When it comes to sales, getting time to connect directly with customers is crucial. Initial calls and meetings can make or break an account. But with all of the administrative work on the backend on top of communicating internally with your team, finding time to cement those connections can become increasingly difficult. With that in mind, there are a number of ways great salespeople streamline their days to ensure they are able to focus on the most important tasks at hand. By stepping back and examining how to best allocate time, prioritize tasks and claim time for yourself on your calendar, you can improve your relationships with your customers and spend more time doing what matters, and most importantly, what drives profit.
Planning your day
Calendars aren’t just for scheduling meetings. You can use calendars to take control of your day and how you approach tasks. For example, you can set time aside each morning or before the end of the day to handle administrative tasks. Blocking this time off on your calendar encourages other team members to allow you to work uninterrupted. And by knowing you have time dedicated to finish these smaller tasks, your mind is less likely to wander throughout the day as you wonder whether or not you finished that report or answered that internal email.
Just like you can dedicate calendar blocks to smaller, administrative tasks, you can also set aside time specifically dedicated to taking calls with customers or building lists. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve lost track of time and let the day get past us. But by utilizing calendar reminders, you can make sure a day doesn’t pass without you working on the tasks that will directly translate to profit. You can even color code your calendar. Admin tasks in red, internal tasks in yellow and the tasks that will make you commission in green for cash.
In 2021, the average employee spent up to a third of their week in meetings. This is nothing new for sales professionals, but it is a notable amount of meetings when you consider what a customer’s week looks like. As hybrid work models remain dominant and employees work through ways to efficiently communicate with their own team, talking to a sales rep is one of the last things on their to-do list.
Taking this data into account, it is crucial to make scheduling meetings as seamless as possible to ensure both the person sending and receiving the invite are able to efficiently lock in a time. While scheduling links have become popular in the past few years, they have a habit of only making scheduling easier for the person sending the invite and they can lose the personal touch that is necessary to foster good relationships with customers. When looking for scheduling tools, be sure to use ones that empower the recipient to more easily find a time to meet and don’t turn them off with impersonable links. Not only will meetings get booked faster but you’ll get more meetings booked as well.
Take control of your inbox
An average person sends or receives 126 business emails per day. So not only are your customers battling their way through their inboxes, but so are you! Thankfully, there are ways to make your inbox work for you, not against you. As we previously discussed when blocking out times of your day to work on specific tasks, tools are available that can ‘pause’ your inbox to ensure you’re not receiving annoying notifications while you’re in the zone. A study from the University of California found that it takes over 20 minutes to refocus after an interruption. Don’t lose precious time getting pulled into other things, or worse, let your work suffer as you try (and fail) to multitask.
You can also empower your inbox to act as a to-do list. Use smart tools to help ‘snooze’ less urgent emails for later. This practice allows you to stay focused on your initial task, but also ensures that nothing slips through the cracks. Sales teams can even use their inbox to remind them when an appropriate amount of time has passed to follow up on an email, taking out the work of keeping track of conversations, allowing your day to run more smoothly.
At the end of the day, sales teams rightly want to focus on spending as much time with their customers as possible. In order to do so, sales teams can make a point of examining their days and how they spend their time to maximize the focus on profitable activities. By proactively planning your day, taking control of your inbox and more efficiently scheduling meetings, sales teams can better focus on the tasks that matter most to their bottom line.