5 Sales Best Practices To Maximize Your Selling Time

Studies suggest that most salespeople spend only about 20 percent of their time engaged in active selling and prospecting. They sink a whopping one-third of their hours performing administrative tasks, and even more time plugging away at personal email, phone calls and other time suckers. 

If they are to be truly successful, reps must employ sales best practices and squeeze in more time for active selling. The most critical of these practices is effective time management. You must spend more time with high-potential customers and qualified leads, and less time on administrative duties and nonrevenue producing activities.

Here are five great sales best practices designed to help you maximize your time. 

  1. Embrace social selling: Monitoring and responding regularly to social media feeds allows sales reps to build relationships with many different people at once. Research shows that the faster you respond to an action on social media (such as a comment, a direct message or photo upload), the more likely the customer is going to convert. Minutes make a difference. In some cases, it takes as little as four hours for a potential customer to grow disinterested in a lack of response. The faster you respond to a customer, the more likely you are to make a sale.

  2. Use analytics data to identify areas of inefficiencies and low ROI: Sometimes you have a set feeling about where you’re wasting time, but you don’t know specifics. Analytics really helps you to pin those areas down. How much time did you spend with your sales force? How much time did you spend talking to customers? Some advanced questions require advanced tools to pinpoint the answers.

  3. Use tools to automate: Sales reps should spend as little time as possible trudging through administrative duties. Monitoring social media feeds, for instance, is a task that technology solutions are able to help accomplish. It’s important to automate any repetitive tasks. 

  4. Only spend time on prospects that look the most engaged and are the most likely to convert: Again, this is where analytics is able to help you. These tools help you figure out the names of your warmest leads and then get you to focus on those.

  5. Avoid traditional timewasters: Some timewasters are standard for all people in office life. People in all professions sink time surfing the Internet, chatting with co-workers, playing phone tag and getting stood up for appointments they forgot to confirm. If at all possible, structure your day to avoid such timewasters. 

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): For salespeople, customer-facing tasks are most valuable, and internal administrative activities are least valuable. Sure, some of those tasks are necessary, but they should be minimized if they don’t provide value to your customers. If you streamline out all of your administrative timewasters, and put the above five sales best practices to work, you’re going to be more responsive when customers need your attention.

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