If you feel like there are not enough hours in the day to do all that you need to do as a sales rep, it’s not just you -- it’s a data-driven truth.
Study after study proves that sales reps only spend around a third of their working hours actually selling. This is why you’re frustrated by how much of your time goes to things like admin, travel, planning, or order processing.
Luckily, there is tech out there that can help you cut down on wasted time. Let’s review common time-suck activities that you’ve probably had to suffer in the past 24 hours, and available apps that can help give you back your precious time.
There are few things more frustrating than the block looking for parking, except for circling the block looking for the cheapest parking available. Every penny certainly counts, but think about how you’re also eating up time that’s connected to your salary. Also, if you’re finding yourself walking to and from an actual meter, that’s even more time. Not to mention what happens if you misplace your parking ticket.
- Not only can you reserve your spot ahead of time, it is completely managed within the app. Just book it and show the attendant your emailed parking pass. No more physical tickets, no more mad dashes for paper cash. You can search for spaces based on a variety of search terms, from landmarks to upcoming events. It also offers a lot of discounts and a very gracious cancellation policy.
Our world is quickly becoming paperless, but has anyone told the accounting department that? If you’re still relying on paper receipts and physical expense forms, the practice of submitting your expenses can eat up some serious time best used on literally any other task. Not to mention the time traveling to and from wherever you’re supposed to submit these papers, it’s all in all a waste of time. Thankfully, many companies are waking up to a more modern solution.
Not only does it generate an emailable expense form, it allows you to take pictures of your receipts and automatically types out your expenses for you. If your company allows, it can also manage the reimbursement itself.
Mapping Out Your Sales Stops
If you’re in “outside sales,” it can feel like all roads lead to frustration. There are tons of needs when it comes to mapping out your sales money moves. Juggling visits to active clients as well as prospective ones can be a headache to identify and plug into Google Maps. Rushing from address to address can leave precious data behind and leave record keeping in the rear view mirror.
It automatically creates “smart routes” based on the leads and clients you want to hit. This not only saves time, but also money -- saving an average of 30% on gas expenditures. It features advanced filtering functionalities that can help you pick up on trends and understand your territories based on any field you want in its CRM. It also has automation features, like instantly recording your visits based on your GPS location or sending you reminders based on your last activity with a client.
Checking Your Email
If even the sight of the word “email” made your heart rate rise, you already understand. Maybe you already use Unroll.me to manage all the newsletters or promotional emails, but what do you do about so much of the correspondence that is required between your leads, clients, and internal team? Filtering and sorting only does so much, especially when it becomes an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario.
It’s time to embrace the magic of AI for your inbox. The more you use it, the more it learns which senders or content is important to you. Simply move emails to special SaneBox folders and it will not only learn which emails are distractions, but which ones require followup or reminders. Most importantly, this tool can be used with any sort of email client, even Outlook!
Referencing Your Catalog
How do you present your catalog of products or services to your clients? Is it a weighty paper book, scuffed and smudged with wear and tear? Or a lengthy ramble of a webpage that takes so many scrolls to comb through that you are starting to worry about carpal tunnel? If it’s either of those, you understand not only how cumbersome they are but how much of a headache it can be to update or track down order fulfillment.
Once you’ve understood just what your lead is looking for, getting that product to them should be as quick as a handshake (which, coincidentally, was acquired by Shopify). And that’s exactly what Shopify is all about. It’s a one stop shop for your inventory, from showcasing your offerings to tracking down specific orders. Pair with a tablet for a polished presentation to help you close great deals.
Getting Documents Signed
Once a lead has said “yes,” an even bigger battle begins: getting contracts reviewed, signed, and submitted. This can involve PDF formatting hurdles, missent email attachments, and the vanquishing of precious inbox storage space.
It’s cloud-based, uses eSignatures, and features a mobile app that allows you to get signatures wherever a digital screen is available. Plus, it can be integrated with other applications like Salesforce or Oracle.
Staying On Top Of Trends
It’s no secret that great sales hooks require great market research, but keeping all of your resources organized requires a lot more than just a bunch of bookmarks. There are a lot of ways to think about what you do, from general trends in sales to your specific industry or speciality. Searching for this information can bubble up a lot of distractions, too, especially if you lean on social media to serve news to you.
The ultimate information aggregator, Feedly is a dashboard for all of your favorite news sites, newsletters, or blogs. You can group similar outlets together, save keyword searches, or create “boards” of articles you’ve curated yourself. One of the most interesting features is its “popularity ranking” where you can visually see posts that are being read and shared the most, giving you an insider’s insight into what’s creating real buzz.
Getting Distracted By Not Selling
Living in a digital world has a lot of benefits (see apps above) but having such a connected lifestyle makes it easy to get distracted. Anything you want is just a click or search word away, and before you know it, you’ve spent the last hour going down a Wikipedia wormhole rather than making some sales. But remember, admitting you have a problem is half the battle. Help is on the way.
What makes Freedom a bit different from other distraction blockers out there is that it also helps you control what you do on your phone. You can create focused sessions that block time-wasting websites for a few hours, or set up recurring chunks of time (for instance, blocking Facebook between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day). Its “locked mode” also prevents you from changing settings in the middle of a session.
Save More Time For Selling With Apps
Successful sales reps use their time efficiently, and that means cutting down on what’s not related to your essential job function. Although these apps will significantly reduce common time-wasting activities, there may be many more that are specific to your industry. Next time you’re feeling bogged down by busywork, spend a few minutes searching for an app that can do it for you. You might be surprised at just how much you don’t need to do anymore.