I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
Many sales teams utilize full-cycle inside sales reps who are responsible for the entire customer cycle from prospecting to close to renewal. This type of sales structure has its pros and cons.
On the pro side, sales reps have complete control of their own destiny. They don’t have to worry about a BDR scheduling unqualified appointments or a customer success manager losing a big customer. Since they have multiple responsibilities, their work day is varied as they need to stay in touch with their customers, partners, and prospects. On the con side, they need to manage this hectic day. Prospecting is often one area that gets neglected. Full-cycle inside sales reps have to keep their funnel full as they’re looking for the next big opportunity. Time management is a required skill for inside sales reps. Managers should look for good time management skills when hiring new reps, and they need to be aware of lagging sales productivity or bad habits. Spotting these trends early gives managers the chance to provide coaching and training before revenue goals are at risk.
Here are the top 20 time management tips.
Outbound Prospecting Tips
Carve out time for prospecting – get it on your calendar
Schedule cold calling sessions days in advance during most productive times.
Do the hard stuff early. You are less likely to do the hard stuff as the day goes on. Brian Tracy calls this “eating the frog.”
Prepare for tomorrow calls today, make it the last thing you accomplish in your day.
Minimize social media research time for high-volume cold calling. Create your outbound calling lists with a specific goal or target in mind, so when you do connect, you’ll be prepared
Allot time to connect with partners each week (if you work with them) – nurturing partnerships puts feet on the ground where you can’t be.
Persuade yourself to “buy into your own discipline”; practice something for 21 consecutive days and it will become habit. Habit in your work day will lead to efficiencies that support time management.
Take your paid time off (PTO) during the slow times of year, when everyone else is off anyway.
Delegate (or automate) busy work to others if possible: i.e writing sales email templates, developing new call scripts
Share your tips and collaborate with your co-workers
Turn off distractions like email and cell phones
Can you justify the work that you are doing? Always ask yourself, if my boss were looking over my shoulder could I easily justify what I’m working on? Is it important work or time-killing work?
Automate follow-up tasks with your CRM
Use an e-Check list like Trello and be specific on what time you’ll devote to prospecting, account management etc.
Schedule email to send to yourself or others in the future. Microsoft Outlook Options/Delay Delivery – Helps get something off your plate now but makes sure it is not forgotten.
Recycle old emails as much as possible. Why spend time writing and email you have already written many times? (Proof read though. You don’t want to call someone the wrong name or use the wrong company name.)
Use sales acceleration tools such as sales dialing automation, CPQ (configure, price, quote), document management, data sourcing, lead flow management, lead scoring, and predictive intelligence solutions.
Matt Stanton, vice president of sales at ConnectLeader, has over 20 years of sales experience in the B2B software industry, with both startup and enterprise organizations. He manages all aspects of sales, from identifying new markets, to leading the sales team, to meeting their revenue targets.