Using Your Time Wisely to Increase Sales

Michele Warg
Posted by

Your sales force's productivity is only as good as the people and the tools it uses to achieve better sales metrics. Increase sales by taking advantage of the way your team manages its time and effectiveness.

Your sales reps have to spend time in front of customers to sell something in the first place — they interact and develop relationships through social media, on the phone or in person. Meanwhile, a team's effectiveness helps increase sales when everyone improves the sales process, close rate and workload. Part of your team's efficiency comes down to eliminating administrative tasks they can automate with computerized tools. That way, a sales force spends more time actually selling as opposed to engaging in other tasks.

Managing Time

Sales reps spend as little as 44 percent of their time actually selling products or services. The rest of the time goes toward administrative matters such as travel, meetings and organization. Start increasing sales by having the team examine how each person spends his time. How do sales reps go through the sales process? Do they spend enough time mining the right types of customers?

The answers to these questions lead to a better understanding of metrics and data for every salesperson on the team. Differentiate between revenue-generating and non-revenue-generating activities, and find out how your team manages time spent doing both. The more administrative tasks you can eliminate, the more time your people can spend increasing sales.

Once you identify any administrative duties a sales force engages in during a regular work week, find a way to delegate those tasks to a specialist. Consider hiring a sales support person or sales operations staff. Look into software purchases to automate various aspects of the sales process. Plenty of computer programs use cloud-based applications so your team can remain constantly connected anytime and anywhere. Once every individual gets used to better time management, it's time to train them to be more effective at their jobs.

Boosting Effectiveness

Managing a rep's workload comes down to making sales activities more efficient. Measure how much time someone spends pursuing leads, trying to land deals and working on specific customers every week. Once you have that data, maximize sales by improving the criteria of your sales pipeline and identifying a qualified lead versus a dead one sooner rather than later. How do you determine a qualified lead? How much effort does it take your sales team to discover real opportunities?

Learn to utilize social media to pursue leads. Subscriber lists, social media fans, responses to posts and following links from social media interactions all give your team opportunities to follow up with possible leads, and these ready-made sales tools let your team increase sales through targeted posts aimed at dozens, hundreds or thousands of customers. Social media helps foster relationships with potential clients, so don't be afraid to use these avenues of communication.

Study your team's time and effectiveness to take your sales to the next level. How you choose to do that is up to you, but with so many tools to increase sales out there, your company has little excuse for a lack of investment in the right sales tools.

Photo courtesy of Donald West at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch