Any salesperson that works in the electrical distribution space knows that there never seems to be enough hours in the work week to check everything off your to-do list. On any given day, you’re likely being pulled in numerous directions while trying to get work done between meetings, emails, and administrative tasks. To help you work more efficiently, here are 5 simple tips that can increase productivity and maximize the time spent doing tasks that earn you commissions.
1. Have a Routine
This is far easier said than done, particularly when tasks crop up when you least expect them to. Having some structure and a repeatable schedule can help to better manage your day and help you stay productive. A regular approach to the things you do each day can make budgeting your time easier. For instance, catching up on emails between 9 and 10am, prospecting between 10am and midday, and calling on existing customers between 2 and 4pm can help you avoid non-essential distractions. Implementing a predictable routine in your day will make planning much easier and ensure that you get through your essential daily duties.
That being said, electrical distribution often demands a little flexibility. As long as you’re getting all that you need to get done, you can afford to have a bit of flexibility in your day for those unexpected vendor visits, pop-up sales opportunities, meetings, or a quick visit to a customer’s job site.
2. Don’t Ignore the Boring Stuff
We all have those elements of our job that we tend to put-off. There’s just no way around them! From things like prepping sales reports to compiling monthly expenses, each of us is faced with tasks that are less enjoyable to put it lightly. If you can, take steps to inject a little fun. Reward yourself with a snack at key milestones. Put on some headphones and listen to music while getting these menial tasks off your to-do list. Get creative and do whatever you can do to make the best out of a boring situation.
Pencil in some time on your calendar each week or month to get these tasks done and most importantly – stick to it! This will soon become second nature and perhaps every other Friday morning will become your habitual ‘listen to music while you clear out the boring stuff’ time.
3. Take a Break
Simply taking a break every couple of hours to get away from the task at hand can help you focus and manage your time more effectively. Tearing your eyes away from your screen for just 10 minutes can help clear your mind and concentrate on what needs to be done. If you’re doing tedious work like cold calling or sending emails, stepping away for a few minutes to get some air and a cup of coffee can be a great way to refocus. Hammering out 100 cold calls to electrical contractors can be pretty tedious. Pausing for five or ten minutes so you can get back to your workload feeling refreshed and ready for the next call, can serve as a productive reset to your day!
4. Be Concise
This rings particularly true for those of you pitching your prospects over the phone or through emails. It doesn’t pay to beat around the bush for five minutes trying to sell lighting controls or circuit protection. Imagine if you were at the receiving end of that call: you’d get less interested as time went on. Not to mention, it gets tedious for you reeling off the same script day in day out.
Take time to ask questions of your prospect and let them do the talking. Not only will it make your sales call more engaging, but it will also elicit key buying information from your prospect. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy these calls more, and so will your prospects as you’ll begin to build a rapport through this direct, concise, conversational approach.
5. Use Technology
Technology has become a real game changer for saving and increasing productivity. Why waste time on a task that a piece of software can do for you? Making use of technology can be one of the biggest stepping-stones towards getting back more time in your day to focus on the essential parts of your job.
Analyzing reams and reams of sales data to spot your next selling opportunity can be a time-consuming and incredibly boring endeavor. Why bother when business intelligence software can remove the need for manual analysis and do much of the heavy lifting for you? Many of these modern tools feed sales opportunities directly to you and even help with reporting. There are a variety of software applications out there that can help you operate more efficiently. For tasks like writing quotes, sending scheduled follow up emails, and even checking stock levels in your warehouse — technology can really improve your productivity levels and leave you to concentrate on the main part of your job: selling.
Regardless of whether your position is an Inside Salesperson, an Outside Rep, or Counter Sales, taking time to analyze how you’re spending your day can go a long way to operating more efficiently and maximizing your success.
What are some best practices that you use to save time and maximize your sales productivity? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your techniques.