Automation is the key to making the most of your day
Recent data suggests sales professionals spend two thirds of their time not selling. Let’s talk about this somewhat shocking data. If we are spending only 36% of our time on sales activities— such as actually meeting with prospects, speaking with prospects on the phone, presenting proposals— what in the world are we doing with the other two thirds of our time? The data suggests we’re spending time on administrative tasks and data entry. We are spending time on typing and sending perfectly worded emails. We are spending time scrolling looking for prospects. We have to do better than 36%, and the key to that is automation. I have three automation tricks that you can do that will help give you more of your time back in your day to focus on selling activities.
Create email templates once. When come across a scenario with a customer that requires a unique email, like a proposal to a prospect with price concerns, a proposal to a prospect that has to break a contract, a proposal to a prospect that has to speak to their partners, save that email as a template. The situation might seem unique the first time it happens, but I’ve learned there are very few new problems. Many salespeople write emails, send them off, and then do it all over again when the situation that comes up again in the future. You’re going to come across the same situations over and over again. I would even argue that you’ll hear the same sales objections over and over again. There’s only five or six objections that we hear on a consistent basis that apply to our industry. So when you create those emails, and those marketing responses, or those marketing emails, or those prospecting emails, save them as a template, customize the areas that need to be customized and save a lot of time. A good email, once crafted, should take less than a few minutes to get out.
Set up— and update— your CRM
Another way to use automation to alleviate the burden of administrative tasks is to set up your CRM process once. Whatever your customer management system is, set it up accurately one time. This requires some time investment at the front end, but you just have to keep up with it consistently, and it will ultimately save you time. A CRM system can bog you down if you haven’t kept it current, like going a whole month without updating your CRM. With the advancements in technology these days it is pretty easy to keep your CRM system up to date. Not only can you do it on your computer, but you can do it from almost any mobile device.
My final tips really boil down to getting your priorities in order and structuring your time around that.
Do administrative tasks during non-peak selling hours
As a sales manager I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when a sales rep says they’re doing administrative tasks and it’s premium peak selling hours. That is not the time to do administrative tasks. Do your administrative tasks at the time when your prospects aren’t available for meetings. Schedule those administrative tasks in advance when you know your prospects won’t have time for you.
Identify the time suck
It’s not hard to figure out what the time suck is for most of us. Simple answer: stop the scroll. Social media, Amazon, E-bay, TikToK, LinkedIn, you name it. What you’re scrolling through on your phone is very likely going to be the time suck. Ask yourself what’s important now and what’s important in the future? If you prioritize what’s important now, and you set up an automation system for what’s important in the future, you’re never going to run out of time because you spent too much time scrolling TikTok. Automation is your friend, scrolling is not.