Time Management for Sales Professionals

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

Sales professionals enjoy a lot of autonomy over their time. Those who manage their time effectively can squeeze a lot of productivity into their work day and sell more than their peers, even if they don’t possess superior sales skills. Practicing poor time management in sales, on the other hand, causes wasted minutes to turn into hours and entire days. This is especially problematic in commissioned sales – a position in which, no matter how many hours you work, you don’t get paid unless you sell. By following a few time management strategies, even the biggest procrastinators can learn to make the most of their selling hours.

Prioritize Moneymaking Tasks

In the sales profession, certain tasks make you money, while other tasks simply support those moneymaking tasks. For example, if you’re a mortgage professional who gets paid a commission from every closed loan, your daily tasks include calling prospects to solicit new loans, helping to process loans in your pipeline, and completing administrative tasks related to closed loans. If you’re prioritizing these tasks based on what makes you money, you should be calling new prospects first, working on processing second, and doing your administrative work last. You won’t have any loans to process if you don’t procure new business, and you won’t have any closed loans to file if you don’t ensure that your pending loans make it to closing.

Stop Multitasking

Young people in particular love to brag about their multitasking skills. Unfortunately, this is false confidence based on a widespread myth that one can perform two or more tasks simultaneously without losing efficiency at either. Studies indicate that combining two duties, even simple ones such as walking while talking on a cellphone, reduces performance at both – think about how many times you’ve been bumped into on the sidewalk by someone lost in a phone conversation. Break away from the multitasking mindset by composing a list of tasks to be completed each day and working through the list sequentially. Focus all your attention on a single task until it is done, and then enjoy the feeling of accomplishment from scratching it off your list and moving to the next one.

Don’t Let Distractions Tempt You

No one loves picking up the phone and grinding through 100 cold calls in a work day. Completing this crucial task is even more difficult when Facebook and Instagram are beckoning from your browser tabs, Tinder right-swipe notifications are blowing up your phone, and your coworker is by the water cooler waiting to dissect last night’s game with you. If you want to make money in sales, you have to prioritize selling over fun distractions, as difficult as that may be. That might mean installing browser plugins that block social sites, consigning your smartphone to one of your desk drawers, and telling your buddy to chat with you after work. By employing time management strategies, you can boost your sales numbers without increasing your working hours or your sales skills.

References & Resources

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