Sales Time Management Tips

Time Management Tips: How Sales Reps should Organize their Month, Week and Day

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“People often complain about lack of time when lack of direction is the problem,” Zig Ziglar, a famous American author and salesman, once said.

Sales is completely results driven and can sometimes get quite challenging and stressful. Since every sales rep has targets to meet, it can be unnerving for those who aren’t good at managing their time.

Of course, there are a lot of articles on the internet which talk about the importance of time management along with some best practices. But, there aren’t many that talk about the importance of self-management and organization skills that is a must-have for salespeople to truly excel.

In this article, instead of just jotting down a set of time management tips, we’ll tell you how you can develop the habit of being proactive and overachieve results with ease.

How to organize your month?

You have targets to achieve each month. And to get the desired results, you need to plan your month. One effective way to do that is to have answers for the following questions:

  • How many accounts should I contact this month?
  • How many meetings should I set up?
  • Which week do I plan on achieving my target?
  • How does my sales pipeline look this month?

To have a successful month, you need to have clarity on the number of accounts to target. This can vary depending on the number of meetings lined up in your sales pipeline. So, if you have a good number of meetings this month, you can work on fewer accounts and vice versa. This can, of course, get a bit tricky if some of your prospects don’t show up for the meeting. Your best bet is to work on 10x accounts if you want to target x number of meetings in a month.

You have four weeks each month to hit your target, and it’s essential that you develop a mind map of what you want to achieve in each week of the month. So, if you’re targeting 10 meetings in a month and targeting 100 accounts, here’s an example of how to organize your month:

Week 1:

Follow-up with existing prospects and prospect for new accounts.

Week 2:

Maximize the number of touchpoints and reach out to as many prospects. So, if you are pursuing 3 leads per account, then you have to reach out to 300 leads in 2 weeks.

Week 3:

Aim to achieve the target by the end of this week. For example, to schedule 10 meetings in a month, you should have achieved 3 in Week 1, 3 in Week 2 and 4 in Week 3.

Week 4:

Follow up and plan for the next month if you have already achieved your target. This is the week where you can try out new templates and get creative with new ideas to crack those accounts that you always wanted to.

If you are yet to hit your target, increase the number of calls and emails to prospects. It’s alright if you aren’t hitting your numbers in a month; you are building a stronger sales pipeline for the next.

It may take a couple of months to get used to this cycle, but it is effective in the long run.

 

How to organize each week?

Okay, so now that you have organized your month, all you have left is to work your way through those four long weeks.

That’s a lot of time on your hands, right? Not really.

If you have monthly targets then it’s very important to pay close attention to the weeks. It may sound like stating the obvious, but it isn’t. Sales is highly unpredictable and your pipeline can get out of control even if you slack off for a week.

Here’s an example of how you can go about organizing your weeks.

Monday:

The day of the week most of us dread working. If you don’t feel like it, so does your prospect. Most of the companies have their weekly meeting on Mondays, so you may most likely end up wasting your time and effort trying to get in touch with them. Instead, you can spend the day by building your contact list, following up with prospects and working on your emails.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday:

These are the days when you need to bring out your game face. Get aggressive and reach out to prospects via their best-preferred medium—email, LinkedIn, calls, etc.

Friday:

Use the first half of the day for follow-ups and build a plan of action for the following week in the second half. However, this can be a really tricky day as the response rate can vary significantly depending on the geography.

Although this plan works for almost every week, it’s not the same during festivals and national holidays. In that case, you should have a clear idea of how the month will shape up by the 2nd week. If you are falling short of your target, you need to be aggressive with your follow-ups and increase your effort to make conversation with new customers in the remaining weeks of the month.

 

How to organize your day?

Now that you have a plan for the month and weeks, that should be enough to ace your days, right?

Not really. You need to plan and organize your day as well.

Here are some effective time management tips on how you can go about managing your calendar and your daily activities.

1. Plan your day

Allot half an hour, first thing in the morning, to prioritize your activities for the day. Check your calendar or CRM software for any callbacks, meetings, and follow-ups scheduled on that day. This is really important because you have worked very hard to get one, so make it count.

2. Keep personalization to the minimum

Researching about the prospect before getting in touch with them is essential to add a personalized touch to your calls and emails. But how much is too much? You can’t spend endless hours researching the prospect when you can use that time to sell!

Instead, keep personalization to a minimum of 3-4 lines. It’s also best to use templates rather than wasting time on writing emails.

Here’s an example of an email template that has worked for most of the SDRs at Freshworks.

Hi {recipient name},

I am reaching out to you because being the {recipient’s current role}, I was certain you would know more about the current process in place at your company for {which department}.

Like we’ve helped {your existing customer}, I felt you might be interested in improving your {the biggest challenge for the prospect}.

I did a fair amount of research on your company’s {current system} and I’m sharing a few of my thoughts here which could help you save {the benefit your product offers}:

<screenshot of their web page>

1. I noticed that {state the current problem and how it can be better}.
2. {state the current problem and how it can be better}

I’d love to share a few more ideas with you and spend more time understanding your current process.

{recipient name}, could we spend 15 mins this week to chat about this?

3. Prospect at the right time

One of the most important practices is to adapt to the lifestyle and culture of the customers you work with. Make it a point to note the best time to get in touch with them. For example, you can prospect when they are traveling to work, and during their lunch and evening break.

4. Keep calls short and effective

This is very important because some of your calls may feel like forever without an end result—setting a meeting with the prospect. This could effectively reduce the number of people you can talk to during the most productive hours.

5. Plan for the next day

Dedicate half an hour towards the end of the day to plan for the next day. For example, if you are going to target a particular vertical the next day, then prepare the list of prospects to contact. This may take a while to adapt, but it is an effective practice.

Conclusion

As Steven Covey said, “Time Management is a misnomer, the challenge is to manage ourselves”. Time management is an art, which becomes child’s play with practice. The key is to stay consistent and dedicated to comfortably achieve your targets.

Do you have some time management tips that have worked well for you? Share it with us in the comments below.

Cover Illustration by Anandh Ravichandran

Thanks to Radhika Bhangolai, my co-author on this blog.

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