5 Time Management Hacks for Sales Teams

If you’re an outside salesperson, you’re probably used to having a busy schedule and being in and out of the office on a regular basis. You also have to spend a lot of time on mundane, time-consuming tasks that interfere with more important work.

When these tasks start to pile up, teams and businesses can start to get into trouble. That's what it's important to focus on your schedule. We’re going to break down 5 time management hacks for sales teams interested in eliminating busywork and increasing productivity.

1. Automate Workflows Wherever Possible

Salespeople have to switch between multiple programs in their day to get through their workflow. This is time-consuming and cumbersome. For example, if a salesperson wants to get in contact with a client, they have to go into whatever software they use to store contact info and dial their number on a separate phone, or copy and paste an email address into their email.

There are plenty of apps that can automate and streamline this entire process to make you a smarter sales rep. If your business uses software with a VoIP integration, you can make a call right from the software itself by going to the contact list and clicking on the person’s name. If you want to send your client an email, you can click their name and even send an automated email if that’s what the situation calls for.

2. Use a Sales CRM (Customer Relationship Manager)

This is the software we described above. Sales CRM software is built specifically for sales teams. This type of CRM helps sales teams and managers gain control over important customer data to automate workflows, organize data, and use data to generate sales forecasts and reports. Today’s CRM software implements AI to give businesses more accurate results and an extra boost of motivation during periods of sales slumps.

Automating sales activity with CRM software is an absolute must for sales teams interested in improving their time management. Some more specific automation include lead scoring, routing, call/meeting logging and recording, scheduling, and list building.

Each of these tasks used to be done manually and required strong business acumen. Now, AI-powered automation can handle all of this work simultaneously while salespeople focus on the more important tasks, such as face-to-face meetings and phone calls with clients. Sounds pretty good, right?

When searching for Sales CRM software, you have to take into account the needs of your specific organization and sales teams. Enterprise software - like Salesforce, Sage CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics, are great but can take over 3 months to go live depending on your organization and complex your set up is. If you have a smaller team with less complex needs, or are in a niche industry, there are smaller CRMs out there that might better fit your needs.

Using the right CRM will unite your sales team and provide your team with the information they need to succeed.

3. Get Internal Communication Software

Salespeople need to manage their time effectively. One common problem is having two reps working with one client at the same time when it’s not necessary.  If one rep is enough to handle a client, the other one should be working with someone else. Or, if a rep does need help with a client but they’re in the middle of a meeting, using internal communication software can salvage the meeting by helping the sales rep in real time.

The most common internal communication software is Slack. You don’t have to limit yourself to Slack, but you want to be able to communicate with your team in real time. This is especially important if you’re a big business with multiple departments who may or may not see each other on a regular basis. For salespeople, staying on top of who’s working with who is important because you have to make the most of your limited time.

4. Adopt Task Management Software

Two popular examples of task management software are Asana and Trello. They work similarly to Slack in that teams can see tasks being updated in real time. Sales reps can assign tasks to themselves, add followers to tasks, comment on them, and organize tasks into sections that work best for the company. This is just as important as internal communication software because it shows what everyone in the office is working on.

We understand that it might get confusing to use several different programs at once. Luckily, task management software tends to have powerful integrations with internal communication software. If two reps are on Slack and they come up with a great idea, they can simply turn a message into an assignment on Asana instead of going into Asana and manually making the task. This goes back to automating workflows, which is essentially killing two birds with one stone when it comes to improving time management.

5. Consider Route Optimization

Optimizing your daily routes when you have multiple meetings with customers and prospects is crucial if you want to be successful in outside sales. But sometimes it can be confusing to figure out exactly how you should be planning your day and your route in the most efficient way.

Sure, you could use Google Maps, but is Google going to build routes based on who you have to meet with? No. And Google isn’t going to adjust your route either if anyone cancels.

When people talk about sales and what’s best for salespeople, no one ever mentions how to manage time outside the office, even though everyone knows that outside sales reps are constantly on the road. Badger Maps provides an all-in-one solution for the field salesperson. Route optimization helps sales reps and their managers improve their time management and work more efficiently.

Badger saves you hours every week from doing busy work like going back and forth between Google Maps and your contacts, pulling up lists, and determining who to see.

The Final Word

Knowing how to manage time effectively is an important skill for anyone in business. As a sales rep, this allows you to offer better, more-personalized customer experiences. If sales reps are too focused on mundane tasks, they risk alienating the leads they’re working so hard to convert into customers.

By taking advantage of sales automation software, sales reps can focus entirely on working one-on-one with clients instead of wasting time on tasks that could be done quicker and more accurately with the right tools. Additionally, reps can stay on top of who’s working with who and who’s working on what to avoid wasting time. Ultimately, the goal is to work smarter - not harder. 

About the Author: Reuben Yonatan is the founder GetVoIP - an industry leading business comparison guide that helps companies understand and choose a VoIP system for their specific needs. You can follow him on Twitter @ReubenYonatan

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