The Top Five Habits of Efficient Salespeople

One of the best ways that you and your team can make more sales and complete more transactions is to use your time wisely. It’s a myth that efficiency takes away from customer service; it’s possible to be quick and effective while also building top-tier customer relationships. If you want to upgrade your efficiency and make more sales, here are the Top Five Habits of Efficient Salespeople.

#1: Structured Daily Planning

An efficient salesperson always starts the day with a clear plan of action. Planning turns thought into action, and prioritizing your to-do list is a great place to begin. Whether you’re a pen-and-paper datebook sort of person or an everything-must-be-digital person, finding a method that works for you will help you stick with the habit of making a plan. Check off things as you complete them, and be sure to leave yourself some wiggle room for tasks to take longer than initially planned—that wiggle room will save you frustration over the course of the day. More important is prioritizing your big tasks and saving the smaller, less intensive tasks for later in the day when you may be running short on energy and brain power.

#2: Effective Goal-Setting

When you set effective goals, you get more done; it’s a simple truth. Goal-setting goes beyond the basic daily to-do list to lay out longer-term tasks and accomplishments. These could be things like monthly or quarterly sales goals or achieving a professional certification. Many people like to use the SMART method for goal-setting, which looks like this:

SPECIFIC: Be as specific as possible about what you want to achieve.

MEASURABLE: How will you measure your progress toward the goal?

ATTAINABLE: Is this goal realistic? Outline the steps and identify any roadblocks.

RELEVANT: How will this goal positively impact your life?

TIMELY: What is the timeframe for achieving each step of this goal and the final outcome?

The SMART method keeps you on track with metrics that break down exactly how you’re going to achieve your goal and how long it should take you. Effective salespeople always have goals they are striving for because they know the importance of professional growth and holding themselves accountable for their progress.

#3: Time-Blocking Techniques

Time-blocking techniques are fairly self-explanatory, and they are an effective tool for better efficiency. Salespeople use time-blocking to get through administrative tasks, to-do lists, client communications, and many more of their everyday operations. Perhaps the most famous of the time-blocking techniques is known as the Pomodoro Method, which breaks time up into 25-minute chunks using the ubiquitous red tomato-shaped kitchen timer. Most people these days will likely just use the timer on their phone or other digital device, but that doesn’t change the effectiveness of the technique. The idea is to set the timer, then work on the designated task for 25 minutes without interruption, then take a 5-minute break and start all over again. You can use whatever chunk of time works best for you, but the idea is the same. Focusing attention on a task helps you get through it efficiently and effectively.

#4: Utilizing Technology

Being tech-savvy and being efficient go hand-in-hand. Workflow apps and software help salespeople keep track of tasks and assist teams in working together toward shared projects and goals. Calendar apps also help with daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly planning. Technology also helps streamline tasks that once took much more time; email is faster than physical mail. Text messaging saves time on phone calls (for more casual communications, of course. We should all always strive to use the most professional method based on the nature of the communication.) Tablets and laptops mean accessing computerized information on the go. By taking advantage of the time saved by leveraging technology, sales becomes a more efficient, effective endeavor. 

#5: Efficient Communication Practices

Beyond using digital means to streamline sales and operations, efficient salespeople are clear, concise, and confident in their communications. They provide detailed information the first time around to prevent the need for excessive follow-up communication. They use collaborative messaging tools to effectively reach their sales team and customer base. They are highly skilled at doing their research, answering questions, and knowing where to find data they may not have at their immediate disposal. Efficient salespeople also make sure to include a slot in their daily plans to prioritize communication, so that they’re always reaching out to clients and colleagues in a timely manner. Adopting efficient communication practices can help make you a more efficient, effective salesperson, too.

The Bottom Line on Efficiency in Sales

The truth is, you don’t have to be a salesperson to take advantage of these tips—they’re good practice for anyone to become more efficient in their professional and personal life. When you integrate these methods for greater efficiency into your daily life, you’ll see an increase in productivity, and you’ll get the feel-good boost that comes along with getting things done. Let’s see you get out there and structure your day, set those goals, block your time, use your tech, and streamline your communications. Once they become a habit, you’ll be reaping the rewards of time saved!

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