Time is pretty precious. While some may wish for an extra day of the weekend, busy salespeople could often use another work day. It can feel like there’s not enough time to get it all done. Now consider that the average sales person spends the majority of their precious time on non-revenue-generating activities. To be an effective sales person, it’s critical to find a way to make more time for selling.
Freeing up time in a salesperson’s schedule can be a game changer. It creates more time to fill the pipeline, nurture leads, make sales calls, and carry deals over the finish line. More deals lead to more revenue, and a more efficient use of time can have other benefits. Along with leading to more productivity at work, more time can create flexibility for hobbies, family, or friends.
Review Processes To Make More Time for Selling
When you consider that companies lose 20-30% in revenue every year due to inefficiencies, it’s likely your process has room for improvement. Your sales process should support sales activities rather than get in the way. Therefore, a close look at your current process is the place to start when trying to create more time for selling. Start by writing down every single step in your existing process. Don’t leave anything out, even if you notice duplication or a way to improve it while writing. You want to start with an accurate outline. Add in duration estimates, or better yet – time out the process. Though this takes time, doing some work up front can pay dividends later on. Be sure to identify the critical points (activities that must be done before others can start). These are likely where you run into “bottlenecks” in your process. Once you’ve outlined your current process, timing, and activity hierarchy, it’s time to start cutting. Look for activities that add minimal value, duplicate other activities, or could be done by someone else. Note these opportunities to streamline the process.
Alternatively, start from the ground up. Write down the end goal and draft a completely new, “ideal” process. Don’t worry about obstacles or potential issues. Just structure what you envision as the perfect sales process.
Work Smarter Not Harder
Now that you have analyzed your process, look for opportunities for efficiency. Often, inefficient systems result from using solutions that aren’t suited for the problem. Sometimes, technological systems and other solutions can be used to help with an activity even though that’s not the intended design. Though this may be a tempting strategy, it can lead to problems down the road. Stretching solutions outside of their intended design is similar to the proverbial square peg in a round hole. It is challenging and often doesn’t work as well as hoped.
Be sure to consider the efficiency of your data as well as your process. Streamlining data can make a world of difference in the efficiency of a process. Things like the bi-directional integration now offered by CardTapp and Surefire by Top of Mind can help. Bi-directional integrations allow data systems to share information back-and-forth leading to more accurate information, less duplication of records, and less manual entry of data into systems. This approach not only streamlines data gathering, but it also produces better reporting in less time.
Leverage Technology for a More Efficient Process
Along with looking for opportunities to integrate systems, you should also review the systems involved in your current sales process. Are they helping or causing issues in the process? Technology should be there to help the process go smoothly – not to make is harder. So during your review, be sure to take a close look at the systems you use and whether there are different solutions or features within the existing system that could make your process better and save you more time.