Having recently attended a number of our Sales Training programmes, I came across the Eisenhower Matrix for the first time in my professional career.
The first thing to admit, is how on earth had I not seen this before? The second thing to note is that it is, simply, brilliant.
The Eisenhower Matrix has been around for over 50 years and whilst Marketing and Sales teams become more tech savvy and data orientated, this simple tool is still as effective today as it was back in 1954.
Born from the mind of Former U.S President and Commander-In-Chief of the Allied Forces, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Eisenhower Matrix is said to be how he organised his workload and priorities.
Essentially, it breaks down into 2 key areas/core streams:
- Important: These activities are goal orientated and can be both professional or personal.
- Urgent: Activities that demand immediate attention and have immediate consequences.
The Eisenhower Matrix itself is a bi-product of these core steams and makes variable distinctions between what is important and urgent and what is important but may not necessarily be urgent.
For Sales Professionals (as I witnessed on every programme I attended) this tool is invaluable for time management in an environment where time is the most precious commodity.
So here are 5 ways to use the Eisenhower Matrix in Sales:
- Manage your week from Sunday; Not Monday- Take 15 minutes every Sunday and use the Matrix to plan your week ahead. What calls do you have planned? Client visits? What are the “Not Urgent/Important” activities in your prospect pipeline? This 15-minute activity will help you reduce that “week ahead” stress that starts building around 4pm on a Sunday (we’ve all been there) and will help you mentally understand what your objectives need to be for the next 5 days.
- Use the Matrix to supercharge your Calendar – The Matrix is essentially 4 boxes, which you could argue, equates to the 4 weeks of a normal calendar month. Some of our recent delegates have used this ‘4 box/4 week’ approach to plan the upcoming month or even months. In fact, a few delegates pushed as far as 6 months in advance with quarterly targets and sales pipeline activities falling into the “Important/Not Urgent” quadrant.
- New Role? New Approach! – Having seen this activity work excellently, the Matrix is a perfect tool for planning the first 30-90 days of a new role; particularly one that requires self-discipline. More and more sales professionals now work remotely, so setting goals and objectives using this approach can ensure that you are consistently meeting them.
- Work/Life Balance – Manage The Challenge – 6am destination starts, 7pm conference calls, the hours add up and personal commitments become expendable. Use the Matrix (particularly in the build-up to any holiday season) to understand what personal commitments and events need to be considered as “Important/Urgent” and what professional commitments can wait until 2017 in the “Not Important/Not Urgent” section of the grid. After all, nobody is going to be laughing when you have forgotten to buy the birthday present!
- Sales Manager? Meet your new best friend – Think of this as a personal assistant that is with you on any device or in your notebook and keep coming back to the Matrix at the start and end of every month. It’s a mind mapping tool that can be used to great effect to distinguish between a Sales Manager’s two most important goals; Sales Team Performance and Sales Team Professional Development.
To help you get started on the road to Presidential greatness, we have created a FREE template of the Eisenhower Matrix.
Click the file link to download your copy: salestrong-eisenhower-matrix-light
(Yes it’s FREE, no email address or anything, we are just keen to build our LinkedIn followers. Please:))
Salestrong work with Sales Teams, Sales Managers and Sales Leaders every day, using tools and techniques just like The Eisenhower Matrix. The focus may be on time management, goal measurement or preparing for that all important client presentation, but the core aim is always professional excellence.
At Salestrong, we specialise in Sales Training, Sales Coaching and Sales Consultancy services that ensure organisations and leaders can become simply brilliant at Creating, Communicating and Capturing Value; for both themselves and their clients.
If you would like to arrange a consultation to see if we can help you, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01778 382733.