Four Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Here's how to work smarter, not harder as a sales professional
work smarter not harder

If you’re like me, you’ve heard the phrase “work smarter not harder.” What exactly does that mean— to work smarter and not work harder? Everyone says it, but they don’t have a specific strategy to achieve it. The beautiful thing about being a sales professional is we actually get paid for working smarter, not harder. Because when you close a deal, you get paid commission dollars for the results, not for the degree of difficulty in closing that deal. So today I am going to give you four strategies to work smarter, not harder.

Measure Results (not activity)

When you feel that you’re working hard, are you working hard for results or to hit activity metrics? Let’s be honest: managing activity metrics, isn’t going to get you the results you want. Period. I’m a sales manager, so I have to manage activity. But as an individual contributor, if you start measuring your activity and not measuring your results, you are working harder, not smarter. Now you do have to track everything and know your statistics so in that sense, you do manage your activity. But once you have your activity managed, you’ll know where to prioritize your time. So remember measure your results, not activity.

Create a Routine

Another way to ensure that you’re working smarter and not harder is to create a routine. You should have a systemized daily routine established. It will allow you to get into the groove of how your sales are going to produce, how your prospects are doing, how you’re going to get in front of more prospects, how you’re going to produce revenue and referrals. All of that should be routine, and once you establish a routine, the concept of working smarter and not harder starts to fall into place.

Quit Multitasking

We are all guilty of doing this, but I promise, it’s helping none of us. Quit multitasking. It is a phenomenon that doesn’t even exist. When I hear someone say “I can multitask with the best of them,” it’s a lie. There is no such thing as an efficient multitasker. Scientifically our brain cannot process multitasking. I’m telling you as a sales professional (or any profession), when you try to multitask, you’re not giving 100% to one activity; therefore you’re giving 0% to multiple activities. If we’re not giving it our all, we’re not giving it anything. You do yourself a disservice by multitasking because you’re giving 80% or 70% or even less to a task that probably deserves 100%. So when you try to multitask, you aren’t going to have the results you want. Therefore, you’re always going to feel like you’re working harder, not working smarter. Simply put, focus on the task at hand, give yourself time to finish it, move to the next task.

Automate Your Tasks

In your quest to work smarter, not harder, automation is your friend. This is a tip I took from my good colleague Rory Vaden, who wrote a phenomenal book, Procrastinate on Purpose. Have a system in place where everything is automated so that you can eliminates your need to do clerical work, administrative work and any other non-revenue producing work. It takes a little bit of work on the front end, but it saves you a lot of time on the back end. But I’m telling you right now for sales professionals and sales leaders, if you want to work smarter and not work harder, you have to create automation in your life. This can be automation in orders, one-on-ones, or something as simple as setting the correct out of office email. Once you have an automation system in place, working smarter becomes natural, and no longer are you working harder.

This labor day, let’s remember we want to work smarter, not work harder. Measure results, not activity; create a routine; quit multitasking; automate. If you need help with any of these things, do me a favor, subscribe to the blog, comment below, message me, pick up copy of Catapulting Commissions or reach out to me for a coaching session. 

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