One of my favorite quotes comes from Lee Iacocca:
“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”
The most valuable resource any salesperson has is time. Making the most of their time is what separates average salespeople from great salespeople. Creating extra minutes and hours in your day might be the deciding factor between hitting quota and falling short.
The salespeople I work with never run out of steam en route to blowing their quota out of the water. It’s really impressive.
This is why I decided to dive into the time hacks that enable salespeople to get the most out of their day. I’m sure you’ll find them useful (I know I do).
1) Take advantage of your brain’s best two hours.
In an AMA, Dan Ariely, a behavioral scientist and professor at Duke, said that our brains have an unreal productivity window of about two hours. It starts approximately two hours after we wake up.
For example, if you wake up at 7 a.m. every day, your brain is at its best starting right around 9 a.m.
Here’s how to take advantage of this time hack as a salesperson.
Step 1: Start waking up at the same time every day.
This will obviously take some time, but it’s important to get on a schedule for this hack to be effective. Your brain needs to adjust to a new schedule, and consistency is the key.
Step 2: Schedule your most draining task each day for these two hours.
Imagine how many more prospects you can reach out to or clients you can follow up with within this window of max productivity. Whatever you struggle with the most, or find the most tedious, do it during this time. This window is the time when your brain functions at peak performance, so use it wisely.
Bonus tip: If you’re a caffeine person, don’t reach for that first cup of coffee until you hit this two-hour window.
2) Try 52 minutes on, 17 minutes off.
How many of you schedule your sales presentations for an hour?
It really only takes 40 minutes, but you like to leave time for questions, just in case, right? Little did you know this is actually a perfect set-up. A recent study by the Dragium Group found that their top performing employees worked hard for 52 minutes, then rested for 17 minutes.
In other words, taking breaks is crucial. And if you’re pounding the phones all day and not getting the necessary rest, it’s going to kill your productivity.
Take these steps to optimize your hours:
Step 1: Schedule all your tasks in one-hour intervals.
If you’re going to prospect, put everything you’ve got into it for 52 minutes and see what kind of return you get. Or maybe you’re prepping for a huge meeting with a client? Focus as hard as you can, take a 17-minute break, and then resume what you were doing.
Step 2: Come up with goals for your 17-minute breaks.
The most critical part of these breaks is that you completely get away from your computer and your CRM. Use your 17 minutes to review the calls you made during the day, get feedback from coworkers, or just go for a walk.
Setting goals for your breaks will not only help you when it comes to your sales strategy, but if you put in 17 minutes of extra effort every hour towards something you really love, the benefits can be huge.
3) Find your extra half hour.
This is a hack that goes well beyond sales, but is incredibly useful for salespeople to optimize the amount of time they’re spending on certain tasks.
Like I mentioned earlier, what stands out to me about the sales reps I work with is how much time they put in researching, prospecting, developing their pitch, or just simply taking calls from potential clients.
Their hustle is what puts them ahead of their competitors. And all it takes is an extra 30 minutes to improve your hustle.
The idea works like this:
Step 1: Put in an extra half hour of work in your calendar every day.
This could be in the morning, at lunch, in the evening -- whenever you want. Just schedule an extra half hour of work in your calendar.
The bonus half hour every day adds up to an extra two and a half hours of work during the week. Whether those hours are spent creating your pitch, following up with a prospect, or doing some extra research, that extra time improves your odds of closing a sale and allows you to hone in on your craft.
And it doesn’t stop there. Two and a half hours a week becomes 10 hours a month and 120 hours a year. An extra 120 hours per year spent on developing your pipeline? That's huge!
Step 2: Record what you accomplish in this half hour
Take this time to practice the part of the sales process you struggle with most -- whether that’s giving a demonstration, prospecting, research, or something else. Write down what you achieve in this half hour every day, and what you learned. Then, go back and reflect on it. You just got a little better at your job, which will make every day from now on better.
This extra 30 minutes is where a salesperson can really take their game to the next level.
Sales reps have a lot on their plates, and not a lot of time to get it all done. With simple tricks like these, you can get the most out of your day, and exceed your quota month after month.