The Criticality of Time...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Jun 05, 2014
Sales and time
  • -220 work days in the year
  • -"the best" sales people work 57 hours/week
  • -15%/week is the average time totally wasted
  • -only 57%/week spent on actual "selling"
  • -most deals take 6 calls & meetings to close
  • -most salespeople give up after 3 calls
  • -most salespeople create 65%+ of their own leads

 ...and lots of other stats that show the criticality for each of us as salespeople to understand our personal rhythm of time management for our personal sales and marketing processes with our own personal sales performance metrics.  The emphasis here needs to be on that word, "personal", because if it isn't personal, then how are you going to improve on your own time management. Without making it personal, it's like playing tennis with no net.  A good workout, but not a clue as to whether we're improving our game or not.

In a recent HBR blog, which, although it focuses on project management rather than Sales management per se, the following quote:

"Time, not money, is the most important resource for midsized firms. In order to create a culture which treats time as a valuable commodity in short supply, leadership must believe this. "

I would add to that statement that in the world of Sales, the management of one's time is the most critical factor for individual success in selling anything. More important than skills, more important than experience, more important than training, this issue of the management of your own and your team's selling time is the #1 most critical skill that you can bring to your responsibility as a sales manager.  If you can figure out how you can gain 10% more time from your sales team, and then you can throw in a bit of dedicated tactical training and sales process, our experience and the math shows that you'll increase the performance of your team by 25% over the period of one year.

A Couple of Questions to Answer:

Question #1:  Do you actually have a formal personal selling process for yourself?  
Question #2:  Is it 
crisp, time efficient, personally effective and scalable?
Question #3:  How do you rate your personal time management on a scale of 1-10?
Question #4:  Can you squeeze more marketing or selling hours into your day?


sales time management


If the answers to these questions are not where you need them to be relative to what you want to achieve in terms of your own success in sales this year, and the math of the normal work day/work week works against you, it's time to change.

  • -Time to figure out the math of life/work balance
  • -Time to plan your "typical" sales day/week
  • -Time to define your "daily power hours"
  • -Time to become a true expert on tech tools
Last I looked, according to Einstein, time is a relative resource, so the question becomes, "relative to what?"  
  • Time spent actually selling prospects?  
  • Time wasted performing non-Sales (support) tasks? 
  • Time spent which could be accomplished better by someone else?

When I look up other time-related quotes, I always come across the sayings of my favorite blogger, Ben Franklin, in his Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One, in which he states "Time is Money".  The simplicity of that statement is no better experienced than in the world of one's own personal sales process and in the management of individual salespeople.

So, as you clock your way to the end of this quarter with now only 18 days remaining in June, how about taking just 30 minutes this weekend to actually write down two activities that you're going to personally accomplish during July and August that are going to make a significant difference in boosting your own sales productivity by managing your time more effectively.

To a degree, it doesn't make much difference exactly what you do, but it does make a huge difference that you personally commit to doing something that will improve this critical skill.

Keep Selling...and saving time!  

Jack Derby 

Head Coach  

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Tags: Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales management effectiveness, sales enablement, sales planning, sales management training