Sales is a race against the clock. No matter how long your sales cycle, there’s always a quota (monthly, quarterly, or annually) looming over you, reminding you that you have only so many days to hit your goals or you’ll be relegated to the bottom of the board — not a place you want to be.
That’s why managing the time you have is so important. An overly casual attitude towards that ticking clock will mean falling short of quota, and making the time you have invested worth a whole lot less. To put it simply: mastery over your time can help you achieve your professional goals.
But how does one make the most of their time and increase productivity in a profession with so many distractions, and a world with even more?
We’ve put together a list of seven easy things salespeople can do right now to gain time and productivity — here they are:
1. Time blocking
Time blocking is an excellent way to manage your time and to stay productive. Time blocking is when you set aside dedicated blocks of time for specific activities, breaking your daily calendar down into segments designed to focus on specific tasks. For instance, you might block off two hours every morning for prospecting, or the hour after lunch to catch up on emails. By blocking time on your schedule, then sticking to the plan, you’ll get things done and avoid wasting precious hours.
2. Using technology
“Work smarter, not harder,” should be in every salesperson’s lexicon, and using new technology to save time is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do that. There’s no shortage of new tech designed for salespeople, and most of it can make you more productive and efficient. Dooly, for instance, can save countless hours of Salesforce grunt work each week, optimizing note-taking and updating your CRM. By ignoring newer technologies, you’re not only costing yourself precious time, you’re leaving money on the table.
3. Effective prioritization
One of the best things you can do as a salesperson is learn how to prioritize. Salespeople are faced with multiple competing demands on a daily basis, but only a few of the things we do actually move the needle. Prospecting, pitching, following-up, and working on deals in progress will help you close deals, while everything else, no matter how important, is unlikely to lead to a signed contract. Prioritize the most valuable taks, then make time for everything else when you’re done.
4. The Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique is used by many successful business people (most notably Elon Musk) to gain control over time and productivity. The premise is simple: break down your tasks into 25 minute “sprints.” Set a timer, then work without distraction for those 25 minutes. Once you’re done, take a five minute break, then restart the timer and do another 25 minute push. Pomodoro works well because the timer keeps you accountable, the sprints are manageable, and the process allows you to focus on the task at hand without distractions. Give it a try!
5. Eliminating distractions
Most of us have a hard time avoiding distractions, no matter how disciplined we think we are. That’s why eliminating distractions altogether, rather than trying to avoid them, is the more effective way to go. If, like most people, social media tends to suck up a lot of your attention, remove the apps from your phone, or delete your accounts altogether. If the phone itself is a distraction when you’re working on emails, put it in another room or lock it up in your drawer until you’re done. Whatever your distraction of choice, try to find a way to remove yourself from it, or it from you. Willpower, by itself, usually isn’t enough, so take it a step further and eliminate distractions — you’ll be glad you did.
6. Getting enough rest
Our “hustle” culture tends to glamorize work, convincing millions of people that if they’re not exhausted every single day, then they’re not working hard enough. In reality, the opposite is true. Very few people do their best work when they’re exhausted, and everyone else performs best when they’re well rested, and in good health. Learn how to shut off your computer (and your brain) and get plenty of rest. Use your vacation time for an actual vacation. And ignore anybody who tries to tell you that you have to work nights and weekends if you want to succeed. It’s simply not true.
7. Saying “no”
Salespeople hate hearing the word “no,” but they also tend to have a hard time saying it. Most of us bite off more than we can chew, and rarely turn down a meeting, an assignment, or a networking event, even if it conflicts with other, more important work. Learning how to say no, therefore, can be just as effective in terms of productivity as anything else on this list. By turning down assignments or invitations, we give ourselves more time to do the things that matter. So don’t be afraid to say “no, thank you,” the next time someone asks you to add more to your plate. Chances are, you already have enough.
Join the thousands of top-performing AEs who use Dooly every day to stay more organized, instantly update their pipeline, and spend more time selling instead of mindless admin work. Try Dooly free, no credit card required. Or, Request a demo to speak with a Dooly product expert right now.