Lately, I’ve been noticing how little interruptions make it seemingly impossible to accomplish any pre-planned task. It has always been hard to stay organized, but then when you add other distractions, like your dogs having a “howl-off” or trying to make time for the gym, it can be 10x harder to stick to your plan. Unfortunately, these distractions can cause you to fall incredibly behind on your prospecting or follow up. Need some help? Here are some tips to organize your sales day so that you don’t get behind.
Let’s look at this concept of “call blocking”. What you do is pick times in your day to get your cold calls in, and block that off in your calendar. It sounds simple enough but it actually requires a fair bit of strategy to make that time successful. For instance, if you are working on the east coast, you wouldn’t make your call blocking time be at 9 am your time if you are calling into the west coast. Why? Because no one you call will be awake (or want to hear from you) at that time! Think about your target audience, make a list of who you would call, and schedule your block based on what time that person would be most likely to answer. (The times between 9 am and 3 pm have seemed to be the most generally accepted time frame.)
If we also think about who we are going to call during our call blocks, we have to make sure we have a great prospect list. Some reps have amazing tools that can create a list based on specific filters, while others have to manually search for each contact and their phone number or email. No matter which bucket you fall into, it is important to remember that when you are making these calls, you should be informed and have a list ready to go. You can also block out time on your calendar for prospecting prep. This is usually done outside of your call blocking time and can be most successful in the last hour of your day. This will help you make the most of your time and will help you feel more prepared for the next day.
Both of these ideas are great, and very easy to apply, but if you don’t minimize those pesky distractions, it can still be a challenge. No, I’m not saying get rid of your dog, but I am saying that if you plan out your day, and even plan for administrative work, or emergencies, you can stay on top of your work. For instance, I have a morning walk with my dogs planned and we get up early to do that. This helps them be a little calmer during the day so that I can get some work accomplished. I take advantage of my planned administrative time and respond to emails and work on tasks that may not be what’s making me money. Then, I get into my scheduled call block and cold call, or do follow up calls, based on the list that I had pulled the afternoon before. I’ll usually go for another walk with the puppers if it’s not too hot, and wrap up my morning with some follow ups from the first call block and then repeat in the afternoon.
It may seem like a lot of work at first, but by organizing your day, you’re freeing up time that may have been spent in ways that would cause you more stress, and would lead to less work being accomplished. It’s important to get the necessary tasks completed, especially when we have metrics we are trying to hit. By being able to block out certain parts of your day for those metric-driven tasks, you will be able to accomplish a lot more, and hopefully see your success rise!
Our #GirlsClub Guide to Virtual Sales series is a collection of articles written by #GirlsClub members – proteges, mentors, advocates, and thought leaders – to give women the advice and confidence they need to succeed at work.
About the Author:
Katie Ray is a customer-centric seller with a desire to provide the right solution at the right time. She graduated from Baylor University and is currently pursuing her MBA at Texas Tech. She has been working in the IT industry for almost 6 years and has loved every step of the journey. She hopes to encourage those around her with honest commentary about the experiences and challenges she has faced.