Welcome to the vast and exciting world of sales! You may feel overwhelmed. You may feel like a 14 year-old walking through the doors of high school as a freshman, all the upperclassmen staring at you, sizing you up. No worries, every salesperson has been there and everyone has to start somewhere, right?
From personally working in sales and marketing, reading countless blog articles, and simply surviving university, I have gathered some of the top productivity hacks to help you get acclimated to your new role.
- Always Be Curious (ABC)
This is an easy attitude to adopt because, in a nutshell, it just means you should never assume you know everything. It’s a state of being hungry to learn, gain more knowledge, and continuously improve your skill set.
What exactly does this have to do with productivity? A lot. Imagine you have a question regarding how to reach out to a specific lead. You send a message to a coworker on Slack, but they’re on a call for 23 more minutes. So you sit and wait, check Linkedin, scroll through your emails, etc.
Now you’ve wasted 23 minutes when you could’ve read 2 help guides online, found your answer, and moved on to the next prospect (Sales Hacker and Hubspot both have great sales blogs that answer almost any question you can think of). So, by just being willing to learn on your own, you can save time, and maybe even learn something new in the process!
Adopting this “always be curious” attitude will allow you to get the information you need when you need it, learn new and interesting things, and boost your career.
- Update your Linkedin profile, download it on all your devices, & learn it inside and out
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had a Linkedin profile for a while, but never touched it. It wasn’t until I entered the workforce that I realized - wow, this is something people actually use. Especially in sales.
Knowing how to use Linkedin and checking it often will help make you more productive. You won’t spend time searching for features, looking for settings, or finding prospects in your target group. You’ll know that you can search the company, look through their employees, and specifically filter by first name, position title, or city.
This will also help you be more productive when having conversations with prospects. You likely will have checked out their profile in advance, and they yours. You will be able to identify a common connection before the call, so you can skip the 10 minutes of getting to know each other at the beginning, already establish a personal connection, and spend more time digging into your product and value propositions.
Linkedin really gives you a leg-up on the phone and is an essential tool to use and understand in the life of a salesperson. It also provides a platform for not only networking but also gaining new insights from thought leaders in the industry. Give it a shot by following the top players, interacting with their content, and exchanging ideas.
- Fill out your calendar with blockers to prospect at least twice a week
Prospecting is a task that virtually all sales reps have to do at some point in their lives and is essential to bringing in new sales. RingDNA defines prospecting as “inside sales reps making outbound calls or sending outbound emails to leads in hopes of creating opportunities for account executives.”
One productivity hack to make sure you’re doing enough prospecting is to put blockers in your calendar to set aside time dedicated to pure prospecting. Do this twice a week for 2 hours each, and you’ll already have 16 hours of prospecting by the end of the month. You may land the next huge deal for your company, and you will thank yourself when your commission check hits your bank account!
- Create email and voicemail templates, and A/B test which works better
In sales, adding personal touches to your communication is very important in making your prospects feel valued and appreciated. But how do you send 100+ personal emails or leave super personal voicemails every day? That’s way too time consuming and inefficient.
This is where templates come in. Whether you’re writing an email or leaving a voicemail, a template will really help make you more productive. Leave [gaps] to fill out where personal information goes, and keep the rest of the pitch the same.
Another productivity hack is to A/B test your pitches and templates.
- Say you write 100 emails and leave 20 voicemails in one day. Write 4 different email templates, and split your 100 emails into four groups of 25, and see which template gets the most responses or has the highest open rate.
- Do the same for voicemails. Write 2 voicemail templates, and try 1 template with 10 of your calls, and 1 with the other 10, and see which script gets the most call-backs.
You’ll 1) save time, 2) quickly determine which pitch or template gets the best response rate, and 3) bring in more deals!
- Try bulletproof coffee
Bulletproof coffee is like coffee on steroids (not actually, but kind of). It’s a sweet and creamy version of the hot bean juice that everyone in sales relies on to get their day started, and it includes so many sources of natural energy that will keep you on your game throughout the day.
I am not a scientist, so I won’t bore you with scientific terms that I don’t even understand. Instead, I will give you this short article that includes 16 bulletproof coffee recipes and a great description of allll the benefits of this drink (there’s even a Pumpkin Spice recipe for all you PSL lovers out there).
Next time you have some extra time in the morning or are lacking energy - try it and see how you feel. It will kick your brain into overdrive, which is something that will definitely help keep you focused and productive.
- Create a playlist of your favorite songs for administrative tasks
Nothing gets people more hyped than their favorite songs, and nothing brings people down more than updating their CRM. So make the best of a boring task!
If you don’t have a streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify, you can use Youtube playlists to put together your favorite songs into one list, and put it on while you’re doing mindless tasks.
How does this help you be more productive? Well, when you’re typing away, doing an admin task, I always find that playing my favorite upbeat songs somehow makes me type faster and helps me get more done in a shorter amount of time. It’s like working out! In fact, I recommend even choosing the same playlist to raise your motivation.
As the holidays are coming up, a Christmas pop playlist isn’t a bad idea ;).
- Get enough deep sleep
Do you ever sleep a good 8-9 hours, but still wake up feeling like you got hit by a train? Chances are you are not getting enough deep sleep.
In this 12 minute video, they outline the reasons why people can get plenty of sleep but still wake up with no energy. This is extremely important in sales because you have to be on point while talking to customers. And this is nearly impossible to do when you have no energy.
The three tips given in this video to get more deep sleep are:
- Wear blue-light blocking glasses two hours before bed (or at least try not to stare at your phone at least an hour before bed).
- Get at least 2 hours of sunlight per day, and if it’s not possible, get a daylight lamp for your desk.
- Get up at the same time everyday (even on the weekends!)
Getting enough deep sleep is key to being productive at work and in sales. Set this habit early in your sales career so you don’t get burnt out!
There are millions of ways to be productive in sales, but I hope these will be among the ones you take with you to your new job in sales.
Just as you survived your freshman year of high school, you will survive your freshman year of sales, and thrive!