“I don’t have time to prospect!” There’s a line that will send your sales manager scrambling to search through their resume database.

To survive in sales, finding the time to prospect is not optional! Every sales representative needs a steady stream of new opportunities entering their sales funnel if they expect the right amount of sales flowing out.
Most sales people know they need to prospect regularly in order to be successful in the long term. In fact, virtually every sales professional could improve their results if they just did more prospecting.

However many are already working long hours and just don’t know where to find the time. The best way to ensure that you always make time to prospect is to arrive at the office Monday morning with your week already booked.

Use a calendar which shows a whole week on one page. This is critical! The only way to plan a week properly is to be able to see the entire week at a glance. If your PDA can’t do this, either find one that can or use a paper calendar instead. Now go to next week’s schedule and start to plan your time and how you are going to spend it.

The first things to enter into your calendar are your booked appointments. This includes meetings with customers, sales meetings and personal appointments. When doing this, also write in the geographic location of each appointment using the postal code.
Book your time for office duties next. This should be in non peak selling hours, either first thing in the morning or after 4 pm. Preparing quotes, answering emails, returning voice mails and completing sales paperwork should be completed in this scheduled time, but only in this scheduled time and not in prime selling hours.

Lastly, but most importantly, time should be scheduled for prospecting activities. Ensure that you book at least one hour each day. Remember, this time is a scheduled appointment just like a meeting with a prospect. You wouldn’t cancel on a customer, so don’t cancel on yourself and your future sales success by failing to complete your prospecting activities.

Now prospect this week to fill the holes in next week. New appointments should be booked in the same geographical locations as the existing ones. This minimizes unproductive travel time and maximizes your time spent selling.

With some proper planning and time management techniques, you can fit more into your day. The key is that you need to work this week to book next week!

Aim Higher!

To download our presentation “What To Do Today To Sell More Tomorrow”, visit our Download centre at www.b2bsalesconnections.com/download_centre.php.

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections

Author's Bio: 

Susan A. Enns is managing partner of B2B Sales Connections, the online sales training website with free sales resources, a specialized sales job board and free resume listing services dedicated only to business to business sales professionals. She has a proven track record of success, with over 22 years of direct sales, management and executive level business to business experience. Her accomplishments include being the top sales rep in Canada, managing the top sales branch, and achieving outstanding sales growth in a national channel sales organization. She has written the downloadable e-courses “Action Plan For Sales Success” and “Action Plan For Sales Management Success”, as well as many automated sales tools, and as the B2B Sales Coach, she writes and edits the company’s newsletters. Currently Susan serves on the Leadership Executive of the Sales Professionals of Ottawa as Vice President. For more information visit www.b2bsalesconnections.com