Earlier this year, we conducted a survey of sales reps and sales leaders. The findings can be found in our eBook, Reaching State of the Art Performance for Field Sales Organizations 2017. In our research, we found that one of the greatest challenges for sales professionals is time management There is a lot of competition for a very limited amount of selling time. So how do you wrestle control of your calendar away from all the distractions and other obligations? We found that traditional wisdom still works, with a few modern twists brought to you by Geo-Productivity Software.
Schedule prioritization challenges everyone. Nearly a third of sales managers (31%) estimate that their reps spend less than fifty-percent of their time selling. So, what is going on with all the other time? Sales people engage in a lot of business that isn’t actively selling. CRM updates and internal meetings top the list, while scheduling meetings with customers and then commuting to meet with them are also time grabbers for salespeople.
Of the sales reps who participated in the survey, 91% feel they’d be more successful if they could get more face time with customers; 87% of sales managers agree. What can be done to save time for selling?
1. Reduce administrative tasks
Reduce administrative tasks through automation, including optimizing driving time through intelligent routing, automated scheduling assistants, and simplified CRM updates.
2. Be prepared to pivot if a meeting changes
Be prepared to pivot if a meeting changes or a contact isn’t available as planned. What else can you do in the area? Are you able to meet with nearby prospects?
3. Focus on the task you’re on
Focus on the task you’re on. Multi-tasking wastes time. Set days aside for calling and emailing, days aside for face-to-face, and focus on making them productive.
4. Tackle the thing you hate the most first
Tackle the thing you hate the most first. If updating CRM is not your favorite task, do it first thing in the morning and get it out of the way. Automate it if you can.
5. Structure your day around your buyer’s calendar
If they’re a restaurant, don’t show up at lunchtime!
6. Streamline repeatable tasks
Streamline repeatable tasks so you don’t have to re-think them every time. Introductory emails, sending thank you notes, calling contacts. Have a plan. Execute the plan. Rinse and repeat.
7. Email templates reduce cycles
Email templates reduce cycles. Prepare two or three base emails that you can edit. Consider different situations and have an email prepared for the most common scenarios.
8. Reduce distractions
Reduce distractions. Like chatting with friends, surfing for cool videos or checking personal email? Set time aside for this on breaks or at the end of the day. When it’s work time, focus on work.
9. Prioritize your accounts using CRM data, not just instinct
Prioritize your accounts using CRM data, not just instinct. The more data you can have at your fingertips, the more likely you are to spend time on deals that will close!
10. Be honest with yourself
Be honest with yourself. If you are wasting time, be aware and focused on improving that dynamic. Set goals for meetings, calls and record keeping. Check off the tasks as you complete them and then allow yourself some good old downtime.
MapAnything GPS provides automated updates to the Salesforce or ServiceNow platforms, and builds optimal customer meeting schedules for minimal commute time and more active selling time. In addition, through route planning and integrated CRM data, sales reps are able to show up at meetings ready to do business, with the latest CRM data at their fingertips. Finally, through the map-based interface, sales reps can see the location of prospects so that as they move from sales meeting to sales meeting, they can fill “dead” time with prospecting. Map anything reveals opportunities to be more productive than ever before. Using routing software, a key feature of geo-productivity software, you can plan our route between meetings, and be notified about potential prospects in the area.
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CMO at MapAnything