A large number of sales development reps fail to generate profit due to poor time management. That is why all SDRs need to set goals and objectives that will help them better manage their time.
Some practices can help SDRs make the most of the time they spend working, and if you implement them in your company, you will see positive results and an increase in sales.
Below is a list of the most useful SDR time management tips that will help your SDRs work smarter, not harder.
Organize your month, week, and each day
A good sales representative needs to know how to organize their short-term and long-term goals, objectives, and responsibilities. Your long-term plans should be a priority, as every SDR has monthly targets they need to achieve.
Plan your month by giving definite answers to the following questions:
- How many accounts do I need to contact this month to achieve my target?
- How many meetings do I need to attend or set up during the month and when?
- Which week of this month do I want to achieve my target?
Once you plan out your month, it’s time to focus on your weekly plan. Some of the things you need to do during the week include:
- Following up with prospects and building your contact list
- Reaching out to your prospects
- Planning for potential holidays
And finally, you need to organize each day so you can follow your monthly and weekly plans. Here is how:
- Plan your day. Make a plan first thing in the morning and prioritize your activities. Check for any meetings, callbacks, and follow-ups you have scheduled for that day and prepare for them.
- Know when to get in touch. Learn the best time when to get in touch with prospects according to their schedules, so you can plan your day accordingly and not waste time on missed calls.
- Make your calls short and effective. Know exactly what you want to say to a prospect before you call them so you can fit in more conversations during the day.
- Plan for the following day. At the end of the day, spend half an hour making a list of prospects you need to contact the following day.
23 smart SDR time management tips
Planning your time can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience or if you’re buried in countless tasks. That is why you should follow these SDR time management tips.
1. Track your time
Track time to understand your habits better. Some habits may be killing your productivity, and you can pinpoint them if you track your time. After a week, you will probably notice some patterns and see how they interfere with your work.
2. Eat the frog
Every sales rep needs to eat a frog occasionally. That is, when they get a task they don’t want to do, they still need to do it. Don’t postpone doing that one task. Eat the frog as soon as you can, and preferably make it the first task on your list.
3. Prioritize tasks
Organize your tasks based on their urgency and priority. Make a to-do list with all the tasks where you prioritize those that will generate revenue. Additionally, make sure to always prioritize your key target accounts.
4. Stop multitasking
A common misconception about multitasking is that it makes you more productive. The truth is multitasking can lead to a 40% drop in productivity because your brain is rapidly switching from one task to another.
To avoid unproductive multitasking, you can try the OHIO and Pomodoro techniques. These can help you be focused on your current task and not get distracted by multitasking to improve your productivity. They can improve your time management skills when done correctly.
5. Avoid distractions
It’s easy to be tempted by various distractions that surround you. That is why you need to get rid of all distractions such as visiting your favorite websites and checking your social media. You can do this by installing blocking extensions and leaving your cell phone out of sight.
6. Take regular breaks
Breaks are important for your productivity and well-being. Take a five-minute break between hard tasks. They give your brain a chance to relax and recoup so it can keep going until the end of the day. During your break, you should also get up and move around.
7. Plan the day ahead
As we’ve already mentioned, writing a to-do list the night before saves a lot of time the following day. It will give you a head start on the next day.
8. Create email templates
If you need to write a brand-new email every time you contact a prospect, you are wasting valuable time. Create templates from emails you’ve already sent out and use them for new emails. While you still need to take the time to personalize each email, templates will speed up the process.
9. Have a defined value proposition for your prospects
Introductory conversations can sometimes be a real waste of time. One of the best SDR time management tips we can give you is to prepare answers for frequently asked questions and a well-articulated value proposition. This way, your introductory conversations will be much more productive.
10. Automate repetitive tasks
A large number of tasks become repetitive after a while. If you notice a pattern with some tasks, don’t hesitate to automate them. For example, you can create sales scripts if you have similar prospects or develop a framework for prospect research.
11. Structure your day around your customers
It’s easy to make a plan that works for you, but you also need to consider your customers’ time. If you want to effectively manage your day, make sure to call your customers and prospects at an appropriate time for them.
12. Be consistent – stick with the task you are working on
As we’ve already mentioned, multitasking ruins your productivity. When you start doing one task, stick to it until it’s completed, even if you run into issues along the way. Another way you can be more efficient is by grouping similar tasks.
13. Eliminate administrative tasks
A large number of administrative tasks can be automated with various productivity tools and software. Even though most of those tasks last for only a few minutes each, they add up and become a waste of time.
14. Prioritize the sales pipeline
Your sales pipeline is an important instrument you need to focus on. Start every day by looking at the pipeline and determine which tasks will have the biggest impact on it. Another thing you should think about is which tasks will have the biggest impact on your clients.
15. Automate the follow-up
A large number of salespeople still do their follow-ups manually by putting a reminder on their calendar. That system has a lot of flaws and sometimes leads to things slipping through the cracks. Make this task easier by automating it.
16. Prevent no-shows
No-shows are sadly unavoidable, but there are some things you can do to decrease their number. Explain to the customer why the meeting is important and send them reminders. If they still don’t show up, prepare a task that you can do in that free time.
17. Make sure you reach out to qualified leads only
The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers who are qualified leads. Instead of wasting your time and efforts, recognize leads that have the potential to be long-term customers and focus on them.
18. Use a project management tool
Sales representatives have a lot of tasks they need to think about and manage, as well as several prospects to take care of. That is why one of the best SDR time management tips is to use a project management tool or application.
19. Build routines
Routines are what helps you stay on the right track. Start your day at least an hour earlier so you have enough time to wake up and fuel up before work. All other routines should be tailored to fit your responsibilities, but make sure to build every routine with the result in mind.
20. Only check emails at the designated times
If you constantly interrupt tasks to check your emails and messages, your productivity will drop. Instead, designate a time for checking and replying to emails.
21. Block out the time in your calendar for important activities
Some activities such as appointments, proposals, and prospecting are more important than others, so they need a special place in your calendar. Don’t allow any interruptions or discretions while you’re doing these tasks.
22. Set reminders for important activities
Important activities such as meetings and appointments require preparation. Make sure to set reminders before these activities that will give you enough time to prepare for and get to those appointments.
23. Use a daily planning tool
Even though it’s the last on our list, using a daily planning tool is still one of the best SDR time management tips. This type of tool will help you replace the traditional office planner and keep track of all of your calendars, lists, and scheduling.
Recommended resources for helping SDRs improve productivity
Time management is a topic a lot of people have studied and discussed. However, it is still an ongoing issue for many SDRs who can’t organize their time well enough. That is why you should listen to SDR time management experts for valuable tips and advice.
- The Impact Theory Podcast with Tom Bilyeu. Some of the things you can learn by listening to this podcast are how to eliminate distractions, use affirmation to direct your focus and the importance of values.
- The School of Greatness Podcast with Lewis Howes. This business podcast will explain everything from how to build from the ground up, why money is a tool for happiness, and how to build life-changing habits.
- The Make it Happen Podcast with John Barrows. Here you can learn why a slow and steady approach to business is the key to success, how not to let your expectations crush your momentum, and many other useful tips.
- #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self Awareness, by Gary Vaynerchuk. Garry Vaynerchuk’s answers on how to navigate the business world, be successful in your field but also manage to have fun while doing it.
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, by Timothy Ferris. If you’re looking for a book that gives insight into distilled tools and tactics to succeed in the business world, this book will help you achieve that goal.
- The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, by Anthony Iannarino. Learn the most important skills every good seller needs to have such as self-discipline, resourcefulness, and accountability from a very successful sales manager and speaker.
- The Challenger Customer, by Matthew Dixon. If you want to be a successful salesperson, you need to know how to win deals with challenger customers. This book teaches you how to target those customers and manage to make a sale.
Start Working Smarter Today
Now that you’ve learned about some of the most important SDR time management tips, you should be ready to apply them to your everyday life and become a sales expert who is always on top of their game.
While it will probably take a little bit of time to get used to proper time management, it will be worth it in the end. As long as you stay focused on your goals, have a good plan mapped out, and apply all of the tips you just read about, you will reach your target every month.