Our previous post identified some best practices of making outside-sales days more productive.
Similarly, here are some ways to optimize efficiency during inside-sales days:
- Plan your work. Experts suggest spending the 1st 15-30 minutes of each day planning. You might start with both a weekly to-do list and organize tasks by the dates when you’ll address each item as opposed to just a weekly deadline. Many people combine the use of this list with their calendars, thus going a step further and assigning times of day to the tasks that correspond to each date. The weekly and daily combination is very effective for prioritizing tasks. Be sure to address top priority items first!
- When using your calendar try to leave short gaps between scheduled tasks or meetings. Otherwise, the back-to-back scheduling approach leaves no time for addressing emerging issues, responding to messages or emails, or for traveling from one location to another.
- Manage email. Set specific times of day for reviewing messages; strive for “one-touch” handling emails – either respond, delete, or move to reduce “re-work.” Be precise when writing, and use templates whenever possible to spend less time writing.
- Manage meetings. Create a written agenda… and make use of it! Be on-time (early!). If you’re leading the session, start on time and end on time. Encourage attendees to reach a consensus for clear next steps.
- Organize your work space. “Mess equals stress!” An organized space increases efficiency and decrease “re-work” as well as distraction.