By Nora Weintraub
It’s hard to be productive when there are so many things eating up your time. A disorganized inbox, a cluttered schedule and distractions during times when you’re motivated can result in lower sales numbers and revenue productivity. Optimizing your sales strategy relies on streamlining your desk and schedule. Even eliminating just a few things can make a big difference in your performance. You may even see a reduction in stress, which can lead to better client relationships. Here are just a few tips you can use to improve your sales productivity:
1. Spring Clean Your Inbox
You probably forgot to clean out your emails and to-do list in the spring, so do it now. Organizing your inbox and updating what you need to get done are often overlooked when things get busy and workloads increase simply because there isn’t enough time. While it may take an hour or so to go through email, it can make a massive difference down the road when, instead of scrolling through hundreds of emails, you come across a desired message with no problem. An easy action to take is to make individual folders for each client’s emails and then maintain the organization as you accumulate more messages.
In fact, many of those emails are often internal and may no longer be necessary to keep, especially those on which you were just CC’ed. Inc. suggested helping yourself by minimizing the length of your internal emails to keep clutter down.
2. Organize Your Desk and Computer
Your physical workspace is an essential aspect of your productivity, as a disorganized desk and computer may not only result in lost files, but even unnecessary stress. In an interview with Entrepreneur, professional organizer Jennifer Hofmann recommended professionals think of their desk as part of their workflow.
“Your desk says who you are, what you value, where you’re going and what your dreams are,” Hofmann said. “It’s a litmus test for your life. If it doesn’t portray an accurate picture, you need to change that.”
3. Identify Your Most Productive Times
Do you work better at 7 a.m. than the early afternoon? Or do you need to eat lunch to really get your brain working? In sales you have a little flexibility with your schedule, but between all of the client communication and sales meetings, you have to get in other tasks when you can. Yet, if you know you perform better in the morning, organize your schedule so that you can actually get things done at that time. If a meeting time doesn’t work for you, speak up and find an alternate time. Rearranging certain duties to other times of the day can help you stay productive.
4. Prioritize Your Responses
You don’t have to drop everything to answer an email from a co-worker right away, no matter how much you feel like you must. Inc. suggested you think of your own time as valuable and realize that immediately responding gives others permission to continually interrupt you with unimportant things, even if they know you are busy. There are times when you need to focus on your own tasks—especially if it’s during your most productive time of day—so others can wait awhile. So prioritize when you respond to a message or create a separate email account or alert where only the most important messages are received. Doing so can help others understand when you can talk and when you need to be productive.