Working in sales means that you are committed to a hectic and busy schedule. The average day of a typical sales rep consists of more than just meeting with prospects. Sales reps maintain relationships with existing customers, help with any issues or problems, attend department meeting & training sessions, generate leads, record data into CRM software, cold call, and do anything else to enhance the customer experience and increase the bottom line.
Needless to say, the day can quickly become a chaotic mess. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that come with the job, which translates to a lot of needless stress. It’s important for sales reps to manage their time effectively. A big part of managing time effectively that often goes unnoticed is to simply get organized. Everybody knows that organization is good, but the actual act of getting re-organized might seem like a time-consuming task. To make the process easier and to get organized faster, follow these organization hacks specifically catered to sales reps.
Buy a daily planner and plot your day the night before
Go out and buy a physical daily planner (you don’t need anything fancy – here’s a good basic one on Amazon). The night before your next day starts, take a few moments and write down everything that you have to do. Plot the entire day down to the last hour. This strategy can help overcome anxiousness or the feeling of being overwhelmed. It will allow you to have a set schedule in your head and will force you to allocate every moment in your day to a specific task. No more wasted time. A lot of people like to use an app on their phone or a calendar on their laptop. That’s completely fine as well, but I prefer to use a daily planner because, for me, the act of writing something down mentally commits me to it. Either way, make sure you commit to the schedule and follow through.
Clean your office/car
Simply working in a clean work environment can do wonders for your productivity. Not only do you feel better about your surroundings, you’ll feel better about yourself too. Take a few moments and dust everything off in your office or cubicle. Throw away any useless papers and garbage. Clear your desk and make sure everything has a proper location that’s out of the way. The same idea applies if you are in outside sales driving around all day. Vacuum and wash the car. Wipe down the interior. Wax the outside. Cleaning, in a sense, will force you to get organized.
Check emails 4 times/day and have an empty inbox at the end of the day
Emails can drive a person insane. According to this report, the average worker received 121 emails per day or 44,165 emails per year. Bear in mind that this was back in 2015. That number has surely gone up since then. I’m sure that a good chunk of those emails are not that important, but there are oftentimes extremely important emails that go unnoticed because they get lost in the masses. It’s very easy to get bogged down by the sheer number of messages that are received every day in the inbox. The best way to handle this is to check emails 4 times/day while categorizing each email to a separate folder away from the inbox. For example, I have a folder entirely dedicated to orders. This forces me to read everything and store it for easy retrieval if needed. Psychologically, it’s much more satisfying to end the day with 0 unread messages in the inbox.
Update your CRM software or customer records ASAP
Most sales reps are required to input information about their sales calls into a customer relations management (CRM) program. This has multiple benefits. It’s not only an extremely important organizational tool for sales reps, but it gives vital information to anyone who comes in contact with the customer in the future. It’s used to provide a consistent experience for the customer, which is important for customer loyalty. However, it’s easy to input incorrect information by accident. During my first sales role, I would input all my information at the end of the day. By then, I was usually exhausted and mentally drained. My notes were often written in short-hand and were a mess to read. I would input wrong information by accident or forget things all the time. Not maliciously, but because I created an easily avoidable organizational mess. Once I started inputting information in the software immediately following a sales call, I found that my day went much more smoothly and I didn’t have to spend an hour at the end of my day entering data.
Take a few moments to clear your head
Even if you’re the most organized person in the world, it’s still easy to get overwhelmed with everything when you’re in the moment. I’m sure we have all had days where despite everything being planned out, we still felt like we were out of control and slammed busy. We often forget that organization doesn’t just mean having a clean desk or a planned day – it means having a calm and clear mind to focus on the task at hand. If you are, for example, worried about your customer issue while trying to pitch to a prospect, you’ll be less enthusiastic and energetic. If you start to feel overwhelmed or chaotic, take a few minutes to close your eyes and clear your head. Meditate or listen to your favorite music. Once you clear your mind, refocus on the task at hand.
It’s crucial for a sales rep to stay organized. This will allow for him/her to manage their time effectively and efficiently, which will reduce stress and increase performance.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com