• For Sales Leaders & Senior Sales Professionals

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What does every, single sales professional have in common?

Give up?

Every sales pro has exactly 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and 365 days per year to make it happen.

Time is the ultimate equalizer. Make the most of it, and you can blast past quota in fewer than 40 hours per week. Squander it, and, well, you know…

Isn’t it time to declare time your friend? If you agree, here are the top five time-wasters for sales pros, and more importantly, how to overcome them.

1. Focusing on Unqualified Prospects

Pursuing prospects with little chance of buying is a clear waste of your cycles. But just how do you ensure you only spend time on high-value prospects?

First, it’s essential to validate that the prospect is truly ready to make a change, whether that means adopting a new approach or abandoning an existing solution. Look for signs that the person is frustrated or dissatisfied with the status quo. You might even surface a strategic company initiative that will warrant a solution like yours. It also pays to monitor the buyer’s actions to date. Has the prospect downloaded a certain set of information that indicates a progression down the purchase path?

2. Getting Sidelined by Poor Records

As you work multiple opportunities, you need to keep track of all the activities associated with those potential deals. Unless you’ve got a photographic memory, you need to log all the details of your calls and other interactions and attempts you’ve made to engage prospective buyers. We know this is probably the least favorite part of your job, but it’s essential to being productive. (Plus, I’m willing to bet your boss is constantly on you about this.)

If you find yourself frittering away irreplaceable minutes trying to piece together random notes scribbled on the back of scrap paper, napkins, and business cards, you need a new approach.

Many CRM systems – including Salesforce, HubSpot, Infor and Zoho – have built Sales Navigator integrations into their applications. You can also access Sales Navigator directly from your Gmail inbox. That means with a single click, you can easily capture essential information as you go about your daily work of researching prospects, pinpointing key account insights, and engaging leads.

3. Relying on a Single Relationship

If you’re doggedly trying to engage the one person you’ve identified as the key decision maker, you’re barking down a dead end, so to speak. Unless you’re selling a commodity product at a low price, it’s almost guaranteed your contact makes up a fraction of a larger buying committee. Plus, decision maker churn is a fact of life, so you could easily see the value of all your time and energy immediately plummet to zero if that one person moves on.

A smarter bet is to invest time identifying and engaging everyone involved in the purchase decision. By embracing a multi-threaded approach and nurturing multiple relationships, you greatly boost the odds of that deal progressing.

4. Failing to Maximize Your Down Time

It may seem like you barely have a moment to catch your breath during the workday, but chances are you find yourself idle here and there, even as you hustle. Whether you’re on a train to meet a client, are standing in line at the coffee shop, or are in the airport to catch a flight, you can use those moments to your advantage. By accessing Sales Navigator on your smartphone, you can do the following from anywhere:

  • Prospect by searching LinkedIn based on criteria matching your ideal customer profile

  • Build pipeline by reviewing and saving daily lead and account recommendations

  • Map out a buying committee by looking through the “People Also Viewed” section of a prospect’s profile

  • Prep for a meeting by reviewing the insights displayed about your accounts and leads

  • Start a conversation or a relationship via an InMail message

  • Capture details about a contact you meet at a conference or networking event

5. Calling Upon Substandard Engagement Practices

You may be getting more dials, but are you seeing more results? Buyers are responding less and less to cold outreach. If you’re still dialing for dollars and blasting out generic emails, you’re behind the times.

Instead of playing the odds by placing as many calls as possible, get on board with social selling. Focus on polishing your professional profile, establishing yourself as a thought leader, and contributing to online discussions. These efforts will yield better results as prospects welcome your invitations to connect, and seek out your insights, perspective, and guidance. In fact, master modern engagement practices and you can drive quality leads and opportunities without picking up the phone.

For more ways to boost sales productivity, download our eBook, Proven Strategies From the World's Top Sales Professionals