As sales professionals, we are always looking for a YES. To help you become more strategic, proactive and brave, you need to identify what you will say NO to, in order to reduce the distractions or even the high maintenance customers in your sales pipeline.
The challenge for sales professionals is that no two days are the same and we must be ready to serve our customers. This often puts us in a more reactive rather than proactive mode.
Let’s look at how we can improve sales productivity to create the ideal sales performance week – an efficient and effective way to maximize your sales performance, without working more hours!
Here are three sales strategies to help sales reps become high performing sales teams.
- Create Your Ideal Productive & High-Performance Week
Many of you are working evenings and even weekends to stay caught up. Your boss and company want you to increase sales. Most high performing sales teams are looking for double digit growth anywhere from 10-20+ % growth. Are you willing to work 10-20+ % more this year to achieve your goals? Probably not! Something must change in order to meet your sales target.
Creating an “Ideal Time Blocking Chart” is a great sales tool to help you identify a more efficient and effective sales week. Chart each day of the week in 1-hour blocks of time. Then plug in the activities that make up your ideal sales week. What are some of the sales activities and sales process that you are doing on the evenings and weekends that you could block time for during Monday to Friday?
This sales tool will take you less than 20 minutes to complete. I recently did it myself. As I penciled in my ideal week, I was amazed how it immediately reduced my stress and anxiety levels and actually increased my energy. It’s that simple and helps you to determine where there is room for improvement in your sales day. Block time for the high performing tasks that will enable you to be proactive with your customers and work when you have higher energy levels to achieve your goals.
Until scientists figure out how to stop time, here are a few statistics that indicate how much time is wasted in the workday, and a few tips on how to better manage your time.
- 20% of the average workday is spent on “crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little value” or “no value”. Source: DONALD WETMORE – PRODUCTIVITY INSTITUTE
- 1 hour of planning each week will save you 10 hours of doing. SOURCE: COM
- The average worker spends 13 hours a week on emails alone, which means 28% of the work week is taken up by email.
- ROTI – Return On Time Invested
Return On Time Invested (R.O.T.I.) is a concept that helps salespeople make their time with prospects and customers more profitable. ROTI calculations can help salespeople manage their time more effectively and efficiently, based on the revenue/gross profit that a customer is worth each year.
Typically, we evaluate our customers based on the amount of sales revenue or profit we earn from each customer. However, we should also be evaluating how much time we are spending with each customer.
- You have to meet with a client that is a four-hour drive away. You schedule two more appointments in the same area as this client, plus another meeting on the way back to maximize your day.
- You schedule a weekly call with one of your key customers to pro-actively manage their account, rather than many emails and calls throughout the week. You provide an updated agenda for the meeting each week to make the call even more productive.
- You meet with a client to conduct a monthly review of their business and plan for their upcoming orders and better manage their inventory.
In managing their customers and meetings, many salespeople will plan the same amount of time for each customer meeting, irrespective of the revenue/gross profit for each customer. Rather, salespeople should be prioritizing and allocating more time to those customers that bring in a higher revenue.
- Say No To Those Activities That Distract You From Your Goals – Even If They’re Good
As a productive top performing sales professional, what are some of the high performing sales activities to say yes to?
- Prospecting– opening doors, securing meetings and following up on proposals
- Planning your next week
- Updating your CRM – moving the needle on the CRM dashboard
- 1:1 Coaching with your manager/mentor
- Blocking days to meet with customers – get out of the office more!
What are some activities that will impede you from reaching your sales goals?
- Unproductive meetings
- Operational issues
- Drive time
- Social media that takes you down a rabbit hole
- High Maintenance customers who don’t produce a high ROTI
During the next week, evaluate and closely observe your activities to determine what produces different hours of power and energy for you.
There are some activities we don’t always enjoy doing like planning or prospecting – yet we know it will yield a higher increase in sales and productivity.
This year in sales, what will you do to produce more and work less? You decide what you will say “Yes” and “No” to, to be a top performing sales team.