Let’s talk about time management tips for sales teams.
We’re all allotted the same 24 hours in a day, right?
Time is a precious resource, and if you don’t govern it, you’re wasting it.
The same is true for your sales team. Your team’s mission is to convert more leads into prospects, and more prospects into clients. But if your team members are slowed down by inefficient systems and poor time management, they’ll never be able to produce the results that you hired them to generate.
However, if you manage your time (and theirs) effectively, you'll have a process that maximizes every working minute. Your team will remain focused and motivated to achieve the set goals.
The result is better project management, with less stress and more productivity team-wide. That's sure to drive revenues and incomes higher.
Effective time management also positively impacts your operating budget. And let's not forget the work-life balance benefits, which are pretty important too. In short, there are no downsides to time management. It's all good.
So, what do you need to know to effectively manage your team’s time? In this post, we share our top time management tips for sales.
1. Track Your Time
Before diving into the other time management tips on this list, start here: Assess your current habits. What is your daily rhythm?
Consider the daily responsibilities for everyone on your team, including you. Your tasks likely include recruiting and hiring, developing a pipeline, distributing leads, and providing ongoing motivation and education for your team. Your team's related tasks together may include prospecting phone calls, email follow ups, preparing reports, conducting demos, and updating information in a CRM.
How much time is spent on each task? What are your "need to accomplish" goals? Track the time spent over a one-week period, and be honest about the value of the time being invested.
Is more time being spent on high-value activities or low value activities? With an honest answer you can look for the best opportunities to streamline your process.
For example, did you know that up to 73% of prospecting time is wasted?
PhoneBurner's Power Dialer feature enables sales agents to call up to 80 leads per hour, by handling time-consuming low-value tasks that often sap sales reps time. This feature alone quadruples productivity because agents can streamline tasks like dialing, leaving voicemails, logging calls, and sending email follow-ups. Learn more about our power dialer.
All of this activity (and call outcomes) gets tracked automatically. That means sales managers can see how long reps are spending on the phone, leaving voicemails, talking to prospects, and much more.
Another win for admins is available with PhoneBurner's LeadStream feature for automatically (and intelligently) distributing leads to your agents. As you know, lead distribution can be a headache and a huge time suck, but LeadStream makes the process easy and seamless. Set up the platform by assigning delivery tasks and LeadStream does the rest. Check out LeadStream in action here.
2. Batch Your Processes
Whether you call it grouping, blocking, or batching, the idea is the same: Do related tasks together at the same time. This automatically makes you more productive and allows you to manage time effectively on important tasks.
Multi-tasking is a myth. It’s impossible for the human brain to do multiple tasks at the same time (minus the automated tasks of breathing, etc.). Instead of performing several tasks at once, we’re actually switching rapidly from one task to the next. The problem is that we lose time during the switch. Some studies suggest that our productivity plummets by 40% when we “multitask.”
Instead of trying to do it all at once, and causing your brain to jump from one process to another, consider grouping important activities together. For example, create a block for meetings and another block for emails and yet another block for cold calling. This allows your brain to hyper-focus on a similar activity and remain at peak productivity - these hacks will level up your time management skills.
3. Improve Your CRM
Your CRM is one of your most important tools. It allows you to make a list of your customers, know where they are in the pipeline, and help segment them accordingly. You’ll also use your CRM to improve your follow ups to know exactly how you spend your time.
Having a CRM is non-negotiable, but having a CRM is not enough. To make the most of your time, ensure that your CRM is easy to use. If you have information scattered all over the place, your CRM is not useful to your agents.
Start by getting a CRM that’s easy to use. If you don’t have one, you can try PhoneBurner’s CRM for free (no credit card required).
Next, make it a habit with your team to enter in new data immediately after a customer interaction while it’s still fresh on their minds. With PhoneBurner, calls can be logged and notes and tags can be applied automatically based on the outcome of a call (one click) for even bigger time savings.
Every month, set a time to ensure that your CRM is updated. Hunt for duplicate entries and take care of it. Check that important contact information is updated. Make sure there are no past due tasks to be done.
4. Templatize Everything
The amount of time which is wasted on things like emailing the same thing over and over again can be big time wasters. (All of those 5 minute emails add up.) Instead of writing a new email from scratch, create email templates for your most common scenarios, such as appointment requests or follow ups. Then, add them to your CRM so that you can easily deploy the messages from one spot.
Using PhoneBurner, you can also track email opens, link clicks, attachment views and more to see how your prospects engage with your emails. This allows you to strike at just the right time.
Another email time-waster is the dreaded meeting time exchange. Instead of going back and forth over email, use an app like Calendy or YouCanBook.me to simplify your meeting schedule (and save time).In addition to email, create scripts for your sales calls. Don’t let the word “script” throw you off. Instead of reading the script verbatim, you can use it as a reference point to ensure that you mention key points during your cold calls. You can create, store, and access scripts in PhoneBurner. This will streamline your prospecting process.
5. Write Short Emails
If you're writing over 500 words in your email, you're probably writing too much. No one wants to spend a lot of time reading your email. (Remember, they’re interested in time management, too.)
Keep your emails bite-sized and ready for quick consumption, because most people get hundreds of emails every single week, with each fighting for attention.
Cut the fluff and focus on the action that you want the reader to take (i.e., schedule a meeting, download a case study, read a blog post, follow you on Facebook). According to marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki, the ideal email is five sentences long. It’s enough space to help get your point across without being abrupt.
6. Prospect Early
Prospecting should be done in mid-to-late morning hours when:
- Your calls are most likely to get answered.
- Your prospect isn’t preoccupied with another task (especially during the 10am slot - just hours before lunch).
- You still have energy and optimism.
Prospecting in the morning creates a winning atmosphere for your team. While they won’t convert every caller, they’ll still feel accomplished by checking off their most important task for the day. That way, by the end of the day, they can focus on the more mundane tasks, such as paperwork and CRM updates.
Getting prospecting done early is also great way to reduce stress.
7. Research Upfront
Minimize time spent on prospects that aren't likely to pan out. Invest in higher quality lead sources. Create cadences that qualify prospects so the cream bubbles to the top. Then find out everything you can about your top prospects before reaching out. Then you can customize your pitch and make it impossible for them to say “no.”
When researching your prospects, ask yourself:
- What are their pain points?
- What are their top hesitations?
- What will motivate them to act?
Review their website, blog, or their profiles on LinkedIn and Twitter. Learn what you can about their background and record it in your CRM.
Knowing the answers to these questions can save time and help you craft a more effective script to use when cold calling. Of course, it’s not a perfect science, and you’ll definitely need to make adjustments as you go. However, investing five minutes before a call to research a quality prospect is a good use of your time.
Work productivity starts with an effective plan for your time. Use the above tips to maximize every second of your sales team's day.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out PhoneBurner. Features such as the Power Dialer and LeadStream free up your time and make it easier to complete necessary sales tasks. Try PhoneBurner now for free.