It’s no lie that field sales is one of the most stressful careers out there. Each day in the life of a field sales rep is hectic. Constantly bouncing from one task to the next and each day is full of new and different challenges. There are always new things happening within the industry, new sales tactics, and new pain points for the customer.
That is why successful field sales reps constantly strive to maximize their efficiency, productivity, and industry knowledge. They also know how important it is to maintain a work-life balance. This can often be very difficult for sales reps who get bogged down in administrative tasks, inefficient prospecting, or less than productive sales routes. They find themselves with too much to do, too little time, and no time left for themselves. This can lead to burnout quicker than almost any other profession.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. As you’ll see, successful sales reps lead a very structured, efficient, and balanced daily work life. They know that to maximize sales, productivity, and organization.
Working Smarter & Not Harder
You’ve more than likely heard the term “work smarter and not harder”. You could almost say that successful field sales reps live by this. They are constantly searching for ways to streamline their work days and maximize efficiency. A minute saved here and there adds up fast. According to a Hubspot Sales Survey, the average sales rep only spends a third of their day actually selling. The rest is eaten up by inefficient administrative tasks and prospecting, emails, and internal meetings.
To maximize your potential, it is essential to utilize the tools available that will allow you to work at the most efficient level. In today’s digital landscape, there’s really no reason to not be utilizing sales automation tools in your daily life as a field sales rep. These tools automate much of the daily administrative and repetitive tasks that can suck up so much time when done manually. Everything from route mapping, email automation, automated check-ins at client’s locations, and one-touch visual sales data reporting. Plus, many of these integrate seamlessly with your CRM.
The best part about these tools is that most of them also perform exceptionally well on your mobile device. This is crucial when it comes to field sales. Using these on your phone or tablet will empower and enable you to maximize your day in the field.
Successful sales reps utilize these kinds of tools to work smarter and not harder as much as they can. They know how important it is to maintain an efficient day that allows you to focus on selling and still be able to go home and recharge at the end of the day.
Let’s take a glimpse at what a day in the life of a successful field sales rep might look like.
Start The Morning Right
How you start your morning as a sales rep is crucial. It will essentially define your day. Successful field sales reps usually wake rested and refreshed by about 6:00 am on average. This allows for ample time to get in a workout or other physical activity, as well as a healthy breakfast. One thing that will kill your productivity is running on “empty” before you even get started with your workday. Successful reps know these things are essential to get the boost they need to face a usually long and hectic day ahead.
After finishing a workout and breakfast, it is time to dress the part. In field sales, the most successful reps know that your wardrobe goes far beyond just what you look like on the outside. Dressing to impress every single day leads to knowing that you look good so then you feel good. That boost of confidence will follow you throughout the day and speak to your professionalism and attention to detail. Two things many clients and prospects will be looking for.
Refreshed, full from a healthy breakfast, and looking sharp, this successful field sales rep is ready to take on the day.
Source: Perception Sales & Marketing
Hit The Ground Running
In the sales industry, as with many other areas, knowledge is power. It can help give you a competitive edge in negotiations, know what your customers are up to, a pitch that is relevant, and much more.
After getting themselves ready for the day, many successful field sales reps’ next order of business is to catch up on the latest industry news. This may actually be over breakfast, on the go, or last thing before leaving the house. Not only does the latest industry news offer great insight to continue learning from but it can also be used to discover possible new customer pain points in the market.
A quick team meeting, either in-office or virtual, is usually one of the next items on the agenda of the morning. A successful rep is ready to go over the team’s sales goals achieved from the day before and the month so far, any pending tasks, as well as clarifying current key goals and metrics for the team.
After a successful meeting, there is plenty of time to answer emails and make any pressing follow up calls before getting on the road. By utilizing email automation, the best reps save even more time and don’t have to worry about rushing to their first client or prospect meeting.
Already put together and ready to go, the successful sales rep can quickly pull up their optimized route for the day on all necessary devices and go over the detailed notes about the clients on tap for the day. They will already have information on their pain points, their buying nature, services they rely on, etcetera.
A Productive Afternoon
By early afternoon, a successful sales rep is probably already through a good portion (if not half!) of their route for the day. They are prepared and are not rushed. Because of this, they can effectively listen to their prospects and clients and offer solutions. If they don’t close the deal then, they will always schedule the next follow-up call or meeting with the client before leaving.
For a prepared sales rep, talking to their prospects, addressing their pain points, and offering solutions become simple. This is because they have already taken the time to get to know their prospect and their business.
Because successful sales reps are organized and efficient, they are always consciously thinking about utilizing time wisely. Even in the event that unforeseen things happen. Like if a scheduled sales meeting cancels shortly before and you’re already in the area. Instead of letting it get them down and wasting time, they will quickly use prospecting tools to find another prospect opportunity in the area that could quickly be capitalized on.
In between meetings, a successful sales rep will still have time and make time for a break or two in between things. It’s important to give yourself even 5 minutes to catch your breath, center yourself, and relax for a second.
By this point in the late afternoon, this successful rep may already have several deals closed and is finishing up the daily route.
Wrapping Things Up In The Office
After successfully finishing up the route for the day, a great sales rep is back in the office satisfied with the day’s productivity. And this is probably around 4 or 4:30pm.
More than likely the next order of business is to meet with their sales manager. A successful sales rep will be willing and eager to discuss any areas that may need to be improved, brainstorm new strategies or tweaks to existing strategies, and develop an action plan to increase sales even further.
This then leaves plenty of time to wrap up pending administrative tasks that may be outstanding from the day and research new prospects with maximum efficiency. A successful sales rep wraps up their day in the office by ensuring their optimized route is ready for the next day and preparing anything else needed for the following day.
These habits at the end of each day allow for optimal organization, productivity, and save precious time.
A Balanced Evening
The most successful reps know the importance of work-life balance. This is crucial to remain at the top of their game from day to day in this tough industry. Out of the office at a very decent time, successful sales reps have the opportunity to take time to de-stress and relax. Whether this is through exercise or organized sports, hobbies, spending time with family and friends, or anything in between.
The second most important part of a healthy work-life balance is ensuring that you get plenty of sleep to recharge. 7-9 hours is the ideal amount of sleep time to allow your body to fully rest and recoup from the day. After a productive and efficient day closing deals, followed by time to relax and enjoy yourself, it probably won’t be hard to get some good sleep to get ready for tomorrow.
Source: The Economic Times
Of course, the specific daily activities of the most successful reps may vary a little bit from what we’ve recapped here. But in general, to be successful as a field sales rep it is crucial to maintain a balanced life that allows for optimized time to sell as well as time to relax and recharge. The only way to do this is by maintaining a structured, organized, and efficient routine from day to day.
Successful field sales reps all have a never-ending drive for self-growth and learning, meticulous planning, and reaching and exceeding their goals.