As a sales representative you are faced with many time commitments. How will you balance your sales efforts with creating the Ideal Life for yourself? It is easy to come off of the holiday and focus solely on work. You may forget to make time for some of the most important things. You need to remember yourself and your family.
Top sales reps spend over 45 hours per week focusing on their patch. 62% of that time is spent on selling activities. This leaves a lot of time for you to establish and live your Ideal Life. How successful have you been? Ask yourself:
- Are you able to stay ahead of your work responsibilities and commitments?
- Do you have a proper work / life balance?
- Do you find yourself working late evenings & weekends?
- Do you cancel prior engagements because of work?
- Do you scramble at the last minute to make sure that everything gets done?
- Is the end of the quarter a painful time?
There are better ways to approach your career and personal life. Interviews that we have conducted with top sales reps around the world support these 5 steps to set yourself up for a strong and meaningful new year:
- Target Your Time: Time is the one resource that we cannot get any more of. You have demands on your time both in and out of the workplace. It is imperative to set a goal for the hours you want to dedicate. What is the correct balance of time to commit? Identify the key activities that you want to focus on in your personal life. Determine the number of hours per week that you want to work. Be prepared to hold yourself to these!
- Make Time Goals for Yourself: Look at all of the work responsibilities and activities that pull on your time. Divide the major groups of activities into buckets. Make sure that all of your identified activities fall into one of these buckets. This is important so that you can track and adjust accordingly. Identify the things in your personal life that are important to you. Don’t forget to allocate time to these areas as well. They can be the easiest to fall off the list. Put key business and personal activities in your calendar as soon as they arise. This will ensure you don’t end up booking time over them.
- Track Your Time: You have established the parameters for how your time should be allocated. The next step is to track it. Use the time management tool to track the activities you have identified. Make a habit of entering your time in 30 minute increments. Do this a few times per day and you will avoid the end-of-the-week scramble. Dedication will save you time. You won’t have to remember where you were and what you did last Tuesday.
- Review Time Spent: Every two weeks, take 30 minutes to review the time that you have spent. Compare it to the goals that you established for yourself. Are your work efforts in the ballpark? Did anything get missed? Did you have to make any time concessions on the personal or professional front? Is the answer to any of these questions ‘YES’? If so it is time to dig deeper and identify why.
- Shift or Lift: Look at any areas that are consuming more time than you feel is necessary. Ask yourself – “will this activity drive sales?” If not, identify ways to shift time away from this activity towards more impactful ones. Is it possible to lift the activity entirely? You get paid to produce results, not check the boxes. Do you find your time being spent in low-value areas? Re-examine your territory strategy to make yourself more efficient and more effective.
The key to living the Ideal Life is simple; look at the forest before planting new trees – and then nurture them. Focus on the life that you want. Work backwards to identify what and when activities need to take place. Eliminate activities that do not produce the results or meaning that you would like.
Download the Time Management Tool. It will help you to identify and prioritize key work activities that you need to complete. Customize the ‘buckets’ and ‘activities’ to be specific to your sales needs. Set goals for each one of these areas and track your time over the next 4 weeks. Do you find your time spent to be out of balance with your goals? Make adjustments. Use the results of the tool to have a conversation with your manager about gaps and help re-focus your efforts. Your sales results and personal sanity will thank you.
Download our Time Management Tool here.