Ever had your work day run away without you? Upon reflection, it’s hard to articulate where the time went, leaving an unpleasant, exasperated feeling. A few unproductive days can leave a salesperson with a pretty slim commission check. Wouldn’t you rather regain control of your life?
Since the modern workplace is blisteringly fast paced, on-the-job productivity hacks have become all the rage. Salespeople are especially looking for that strategic advantage to get them ahead in the work world. Because who doesn’t want to be on their A-game for every call or meeting? Here are seven sales productivity hacks you can use to change your life for the better.
1.) Try Out the Pomodoro Technique
Productivity fanatics have long used the Pomodoro technique to slim down their schedules. And it’s very effective for sales.
You start by setting a manageable goal. Let’s say sending six customized InMail messages or thoroughly researching two new clients for warm calls. Then, you set a timer for 25 to 30 minutes and work without interruption until the alarm sounds. Take a three to five minute break and repeat. Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros, take a longer 15 to 20 minute break and repeat until the workday is done.
The objective is twofold: to increase productivity and prevent project burnout. Studies show that willpower is limited as is and toiling over a task without breaks depletes it quickly. Plowing through a mound of sales calls without pause is counterproductive. The Pomodoro technique gives your willpower a break and allows your brain time to recharge its creativity.
2.) Embrace a Schedule
It’s not impossible to complete your sales goals without a schedule, but the full magnitude is diminished. A schedule provides a sense of urgency and meaning to every action.
Also, this sales productivity hack provides built-in motivation. Knowing the end time for a given assignment is approaching acts as a reminder to move quickly and keep dedicated. That helps you to push down distractions that are nagging at the peripheries of your mind. Plus, it helps salespeople progress through each goal as it is broken down into manageable pieces.
3.) Silence & Hide Your Phone
Your smart phone is the ultimate distraction when you aren’t making calls. Even when powered down, it can derail productivity. A study at the University of South Maine proved the hypnotic pull of our cell phones. Two groups were tested on their ability with numerical puzzles, one had their phones out of sight and the other had them off but at their sides.
The group without their cell phones, not too surprisingly, answered more questions correctly than the other group. In a work situation, that means having a cell phone close at hand can cause errors in messaging to and interactions with clients, which can take time to fix. Even vibrations from your phone (real or imagined) can take you off task. Always deposit a cell phone in a drawer, bag, or purse where its presence will remain unnoticed.
4.) Find Some Time for Nature
Can some fresh air and green spaces boost your productivity? According to recent studies, they can.
Researchers measured the mood and attention of two different groups assigned to take 90 minute walks. One traversed along a stretch of highway and the other group wandered through the tranquil, tree-lined paths of a local park. The group that experienced a natural setting had less activity in a part of the brain (the subgenual prefrontal cortex) that is connected to brooding and depression. And there is a direct correlation between positivity and productivity.
When people are surrounded by negative influences, the part of their brain that is used to solve problems (the hippocampus) shrinks. So, getting that boost in positivity can go a long way in sustaining your ability to effectively solve problems on the job. For a salesperson, that means a walk in a park or wooden trail (if there’s one close by) on lunch can help you overcome objections and brainstorm new ways to find clients.
5.) Know When to Say No
At times, busyness gets mistaken for productivity. The two are not the same. Productivity is the effectiveness of productive effort. Busyness is having a great deal to do. You can easily be busy and not be productive.
If you’ve ever spent a morning answering every email in your inbox, you know the feeling. In fact, if there is too much on a person’s plate, that’s often the case.
Instead of accepting every assignment you are given or approaching more clients than you can handle, recognize when to draw the line. Regularly take time to evaluate your workload. Be honest about what you can manage. And explain to your boss in a tactful way when taking on another account would hurt your productivity.
6.) Never Multitask
This is one of the greatest deceptions of the modern work world. Only a very teeny-tiny percentage of the population (2 percent at max) can actually multitask. The rest of us are kidding ourselves and actually impairing their ability to do either task well.
Need proof? Take this multitasker test. If you can pass, multitask away. If not, you need to face the facts. So, stop trying to draft up introduction messages while doing a status update with your clients. It’s just going to end in disaster.
Looking to learn more sales productivity hacks on the job? Want to work with clever people who will help you make the most out of every day? Join our IDR team. We are constantly looking for new ways to push ourselves in new directions and improve our best abilities.