Today’s Sales Insight post is on an area that I constantly witness sales people struggle with and something that sales managers and leaders need to address, that of time management and where we spend our time each day. It is no surprise that if you get this right, you will see a huge increase in your sales earnings and results of up to 50%.
How a typical sales person manages their time like a dodo
I’d like to start with an analogy around the evolution of the typical sales person, or the typical sales organisation. As far as sales focus goes, typically individuals and organisations start with a very high focus on sales and then over time other non-sales focused things get in the way.
Now when I think about this, I think about how when we’re at our best and we’re spending most of our time on sales, we’re like eagles with the very big strong lift that comes from those wings that the eagle has with the very fit body, not being distracted too much by other activities. But over time what happens is we evolve potentially into the Dodo, the Dodo being characterised by a larger, fatter body, the admin activities that we might get involved in, and the smaller wings of sales, and we wonder why our sales effort and our sales results start to dissipate as we increase this evolutionary path.
Plan out your activity success
There’s a really great way of being conscious of changing this and that is to look at your calendar and think about it across three distinct activities.
- Revenue Generation – The first activity being how much time do I spend generating revenue, and you could colour code your calendar in green for this activity.
- Admin – Your second activity being admin, admin I’ve colour coded red because admin is always a cost to you as an individual and a cost to the organisation – some of it may be necessary but a lot of it just starts to grow over time.
- Growth – The final activity is growth, these activities are those things we do like prospecting and networking that may not generate revenue today or this week or this month but they allow us to more effectively generate revenue later.
Again, if I think of the typical sales person or organisation, I might see a spread of effort, with maybe 40% of our time being spent on revenue generating, another 40% being spent on admin and 20% on growth.
Are you really only spending 2 days in the week selling ?
What that really equates to is only two days in the week being spent on revenue generating, one day on growth and two whole days being spent on a variety of admin tasks or attending meetings and things like that.
Just imagine if we consciously changed our calendar so that we’re able to spend maybe 60% of our time generating revenue, and we’ve still got 20% of our time generating growth but we’ve reduced our admin down to 20%.
How to increase your sales by 50%
It won’t have escaped you, either as sales people or as sales managers who are looking to improve the performance of your sales team that that represents a 50% increase in the amount of time that you’re focused on generating revenue.
If that follows through to a 50% increase in sales results then we’d all be happy, both as individual sales people and as sales leaders in an organisation.
The power of the removing, improving and re-allocating
There is a way to very simply look at removing the amount of admin, that’s to go through a three-step process.
- Remove – The first step is to look at everything you’re doing and see ‘what can I remove?’ because I’m just doing it because someone else has asked me to, or I’m doing it through habit.
- Improve – The second step is ‘what can I improve?’ what I mean by that is how could I make it slicker, how could I use some technology to reduce the amount of time I’m spending on those admin tasks?
- Re-Allocate – The third step is ‘could I re-allocate any of that admin to other people in the organisation who may be more appropriately positioned than me?’ And as admin is always a cost, if we position admin into the lowest cost and the most effective place, then we can start to see significant improvements not only in our cost base but also in the amount of time we spend generating revenue.
Don’t just read this, put it into action. Dig out your calendar and get ruthless with your time, then email me to let me know how much your sales have increased as a result next month. If you’d like to chat a bit more about this please contact me at email@example.com.