The top sales professionals are masters of time management. They all rely on a structured routine each day to help them stay focused, effective, and on schedule. When it comes to field sales, distractions can be even more abundant, making the need for a daily sales plan even more important.
So, taking the time to do some effective daily sales planning can have a hugely positive effect on performance. It will also ensure your time is being spent where it matters most.
Now you may be wondering how to create a sales plan or routine that will allow you to perfect your time management skills. In this article, we’ll outline a good daily sales plan/routine as well as what good sales time management entails.
How to Create a Sales Plan That Will Optimize Your Day
There are a lot of moving parts that make up a typical day for any field sales rep, from customer and prospect visits to follow-up emails and all the sales activities in between. This can often lead to feeling like there’s never enough time in the day to get everything taken care of.
Sales reps can take ownership of their time and optimize their day with an intentional daily plan to follow. Creating a sales plan/routine for your day will center around how to most effectively allocate time to the tasks that need to get done.
According to our 2022 Annual Field Sales Benchmark Report, 57% of reps do their planning on a weekly basis at the beginning of the week, at the end of the week for the next week, or even on the weekends. While 28% of reps do their sales planning on a daily basis.
In general, whether planning weekly or daily, most sales reps prefer to plan before the week or day begins. This often makes the most sense. Then you are not scrambling or taking more time at the beginning of the day to do same-day sales planning.
Here is one example that you could use as a daily sales plan template and customize it to fit your needs as a daily routine (specific times, etc.):
In order from first thing in the morning to the end of the day –
- Quick morning team meeting with sales leadership to go over sales goals, updates, current metrics, etc.
- Answering emails, making follow-up calls, and prospecting.
- Go over the optimized route for the day and any corresponding customer notes.
- Going to the customer and prospect appointments scheduled for the day.
- Checking in with the sales manager after finishing the day’s visits/route.
- Wrapping up any pending administrative tasks for the day, especially any follow-up emails that may be needed from your visits that day.
- Making sure your schedule and route are ready to go for tomorrow.
- Prepare anything else needed for the following day.
This type of daily sales plan will help you stick to an efficient routine that will allow plenty of time for what matters most, while also ensuring you’re not rushing from one appointment to the next.
Make sure that you have your plan for each day in a calendar you can easily access in the office and on the go. Ideally, you’ll also be utilizing a sales management platform that can help you keep track of your scheduled visits and appointments, follow-ups, etc. (More on this below.)
What Good Sales Time Management Looks Like
Optimal time management along with a structured daily sales plan will set you up to consistently perform at a high level while making it much easier to do so. As the old adage goes, “time is money”. So, make the most of it.
While planning out your daily sales routine, there are some specific examples to keep in mind of exactly what good sales time management looks like. This will optimize your routine for maximum effectiveness. These time management strategies include:
Utilizing Time Blocking
Sometimes also referred to as timeboxing, time blocking is a time management strategy that forces you to allocate specific blocks of time to specific activities, mainly ones that actually get you closer to your goals. This strategy helps create a fixed schedule or routine.
It’s almost like you are setting an appointment on your calendar, but each appointment is a block of time to focus on only one type of sales-producing activity at a time. For example, blocking off one specific hour in the morning for prospecting. Of course, your customer or prospect appointments are on this calendar also.
So, between intentional time for certain tasks and your sales appointment, your daily calendar will essentially look like you have specifically scheduled appointments back to back through the whole day. (Make sure to also block off time for breaks!)
This strategy will help reduce the amount of time you are wasting on activities that take you away from actually selling.
Prioritizing the Right Accounts
It’s obvious that it doesn’t make sense to first focus on the clients who do not have a high chance of closing (or are not there yet). So, when putting together your daily sales plan, prioritize the accounts properly. Start with the ones that have the highest revenue potential or the highest chance of closing.
This time management strategy is all about working smarter not harder. You don’t want to waste too much time on accounts that really shouldn’t be taking up too much of your time right now.
Reviewing Account History
The more prepared you are for your sales appointments the more you increase your chance of closing deals. As we mentioned above in the example sales plan, part of your morning before you go out into the field should be spent going over corresponding customer notes and account history for your appointments.
You want to go to each appointment with a firm grasp of where they are in the sales process, what their challenges are, what products or services they are interested in (and which actually meet their pain points), what their budget is, who the decision-makers are, etc. In doing this, you’ll be able to have more productive conversations and deepen your relationships with an account.
Being unprepared and trying to rely on memory can cause you to forget important details that could strengthen your pitch, or worse, put your foot in your mouth and lose the opportunity.
The more of a complete picture you have for your accounts, every time you meet with or communicate with them, the better prepared you will be to offer relevant solutions that meet their needs.
Making Sure You Have Necessary Sales Material
Another part of preparation when it comes to your daily field sales routine is making sure you have all the sales material you will need ready to go for that day. This will also prevent you from wasting time along the way. Whether it is printed product or service material, case studies, or digital sales demos through content sharing apps like Showpad, make sure you have everything together and/or already pulled up.
Doing this will prevent you from forgetting something you will need for a specific appointment that day, which can be a huge waste of time. It will also prevent you from having to rush to get everything together right before you walk into an appointment, which can leave you feeling flustered and unprepared.
Optimizing Your Sales Routes
This habit is huge for field sales reps when it comes to good time management. One of the most time-consuming parts of your day will be traveling from one appointment or prospect visit to another. So, the less time you have to spend doing that the better. Remember, The more visits you can effectively make in a day, the more opportunities you will have.
Taking the time to ensure you have an optimized multi-stop sales route that gives you the fastest way between stops will significantly reduce your windshield time. Plus, route optimization software can help you easily create efficient routes in much less time. Thus giving more time to focus on actually meeting with prospects and customers and actually selling.
Checking for Nearby Prospects
Even the best-laid plans go awry. The top sales reps know that if something happens and your prospect or customer cancels an appointment, that should not mean you now have a gap of time to waste before your next appointment. To maximize your time in the field, check for any nearby prospects you may be able to make contact with, at least just to introduce yourself.
By being able to do prospecting on the fly, you’ll be taking advantage of a chance to create another opportunity to generate more sales revenue without skipping a beat.
Scheduling Future Follow-Ups Consistently
Another good strategy is to consistently schedule future follow-ups for prospects and customers as soon as you are done meeting with or communicating with them. This applies to if you are still trying to close the deal AND if you just converted a prospect into a customer.
Doing this will prevent accounts from falling through the cracks, keep you on sales cadence, and help set you up for successful planning later.
As you schedule follow-ups, you will be filling in blocks of time in your calendar for the near future. So, you won’t have to take as much time trying to figure out which accounts need follow-ups when planning your calendar for that particular week.
By working these effective time management examples into your routine, you’ll ensure that you are working as effectively and productively as possible. You’ll have a much better hold on your time, keeping you feeling motivated and empowered versus feeling like you are constantly looking for more hours in the day.
Sales Planning Software Can Help You Perfect Your Day
As you can see, creating an optimized daily sales routine will help you save a significant amount of wasted time and increase your sales effectiveness. And by utilizing the power of sales planning software, you can save even more time and perfect your sales routine. This is especially true for software that also provides all-in-one sales management (like Map My Customers).
Many of the best sales planning software options today will help you optimize your time management by giving you the capability to automate follow-up emails, check-ins, inputting customer notes, route planning, and even your daily sales planning. Utilizing a software like this can mean spending 50% less time on planning each week.
For example, Map My Customer’s Smart Planner feature can add automation to your daily planning and help you fully book each day with the highest priority activities. You can quickly put your plan into action with easy access to views of what’s on tap for your day, week, and month. This helps ensure that important communications and other sales activities are never missed.
With Smart Planner, you can instantly convert your day into a call list and optimized route in seconds, automating your route planning and saving you even more time. You’ll also receive smart suggestions that will remind you of opportunities, prompt you to add activities if there’s a block of time with nothing scheduled, and even get alerts on days when accounts go out of cadence.
The Lead Finder feature within the platform enables reps to optimize their prospecting efforts like never before. They can search the map for new leads that may be near their current location, along their sales route, or near current customers that they are visiting that day. These new leads will show as pins on the map and can provide detailed business info in just a tap. They can then be easily imported into your account and synced back to your CRM.
Making some tweaks to the way you create your daily sales plan will help you perfect your daily routine and supercharge your sales effectiveness. Optimize your sales time management today!