10 Tips for Sales Reps to Save Time

8 min read - September 24, 2020


In the world of sales, time really is money, and sales reps are busy with all types of sales activities. Most of the time, these activities are administrative and repetitive in nature, or time is spent on activities that are not conducive to the bottom line.

Time management is a valuable skill that can really pay out to sales reps that are efficient with their energy. Wholesale distributors in particular are focused on maintaining and nurturing their customer relationships, so understanding how and where to spend time is key. We have gathered tips for sales reps that you can use every day to save time and get back to selling.

1. Plan Your Day Based on Customer Health

You can be most effective and save valuable time by focusing on the customers that are in most need of attention. If you focus on the customers whose engagement has been trending downwards, you can focus on their account and sales activity to focus your effort on regaining their business.

Sounds easy enough right? It actually can be! If your organization uses a CRM or BI tool that takes into account customer activity and buying behavior, then this information can be leveraged to identify the customers that are low in engagement and showing declining purchasing behavior. From here, you can plan the day around the customers that are in most need of attention.

The customer scorecard within WPCRM is where sales reps start their day to gain insight into the health and performance of their customer base. Right on the dashboard, sales reps can see a list of their customers that are in most need of attention – based on engagement, sales performance year over year, the velocity at which they purchase, and the frequency of their purchases.

2. Eliminate Administrative Tasks

Increase your productivity by eliminating any administrative tasks that take your time away from selling. Tasks such as sending supportive material during the sales process, logging sales activities, and updating statuses can all be eliminated through automation.  Certain actions such as making a call or moving an opportunity stage can trigger these tasks to automatically complete within your CRM system, which guarantees completion and accuracy (and gives you more time for selling).

Custom workflows can be set-up within WPCRM to automate simple and complex tasks to keep the sales process consistent and efficient.

3. Streamline Repetitive Sales Tasks

There are certain sales tasks that may not be suited for automation but are still time consuming and tedious. These tasks, such as updating account criteria for a list of customers, can be completed in bulk. When possible, you can save time by completing these actions through group selection.

Within WPCRM, sales reps can select multiple accounts, contacts, or opportunities and complete bulk actions such as reassigning the account manager, showing their locations on a map, or updating fields.

4. Create Email Templates

Emails to customers and prospects should be personalized for a more authentic relationship, but you can save time by starting from email templates. Depending on the sales process, if there are certain emails that are routinely sent—such as following up after an order or periodic check-ins—email templates can be used for a simplified starting point. If there is no capability within your CRM system to keep templates, saving a document to the computer with the different email templates is a useful alternative.

Quick letters are available within WPCRM that are pre-formatted emails that can be available at certain points of your sales process so sales reps can easily edit and send out. Automation can also be set up through workflows so that these emails can automatically be sent from triggering actions. 

5. Focus on the 20%

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. What does this mean? If we focus on the 20% of customers that will provide us 80% of sales, we can ensure we are spending our time more effectively.

In wholesale distribution, customer relationships are very important and understanding how to nurture those relationships is vital. If you can identify those key customers in your organization, you can use tools to identify new areas of growth for those customers and yield higher sales without having to look too far.

Within WPCRM, sales reps can use Account Planning to highlight those strategic customers that carry more weight and opportunity. More tools in WPCRM allow you to find new opportunities from your existing data.

6. Create Tasks as You Come Across Them

When on calls or communicating with a customer, there are tasks that usually come out of those interactions. It can be easy to take notes and plan to follow-up on them afterwards, but things can come up and these tasks can be forgotten. As you are working on a project, it is easier to create tasks in the moment to stay organized and ensure accuracy.

Task management in WPCRM is an easy way to create tasks that are attached to an account, contact, or opportunity, so sales reps can stay organized and engaged on open items to keep the process moving. Tasks can also be assigned or tagged to other users so a team can be involved and aware of any projects. 

7. Take Advantage of Analytics and AI

Technology can be leveraged to find the answers we need quickly and accurately. Utilizing technology that uses analytics and AI to provide insights on sales trends, areas for growth, product metrics, or margin suggestions, is a great way to get answers faster that will more effectively impact your bottom line. You can spend the time to figure out which customers are down in a specific product group yourself, but it is much easier to use the technology and tools that can provide us those answers right away, with more confidence that they are correct.

WPCRM has Analytics and AI built into the solution that provide sales reps with answers in a variety of areas that can save nearly two hours of time each week (per rep!). WPCRM’s Suggested Products uses AI and existing purchasing trends to identify the products that a customer should be purchasing based on their previous purchasing habits. WPCRM also integrates to strategic pricing tools that suggests the optimum price for a product during the quoting process without compromising margins.

8. Avoid multi-tasking

Multi-tasking has been proven that it is not true and is actually a person doing two separate tasks with their mind switching quickly between the two. This means the mind is not able to focus as clearly on the given task at hand. Different sales tasks engage different types of thinking and mental capacity, such as discovery calls with a new prospect, reviewing projects with a customer, and creating quotes.

Instead, it is better to stick to one activity and focus on it completely, and only move on to the next activity when it is fully completed. If you are running into roadblocks, it can be helpful to take breaks (see below) and return to the work. That way at the end of the day, there are 3 well-though-out completed activities and 2 outstanding, instead of 5 partially completed activities.

Opportunity Management within WPCRM allows sales reps to filter their opportunities by the next action due, so they can focus on the activities that are approaching deadlines. This can help them to stay focused on the tasks with higher priorities. 

9. Batch Tasks Together

To avoid multi-tasking even more, you can batch similar tasks together to complete more items at once. If you created the tasks earlier of what needs done, you can group those tasks with other similar tasks. Then you can work on similar tasks that require the same mental capacity to maintain efficiency. For example, try to complete all your customer follow-up calls at once so you can get in a rhythm with calling, send all your emails out at once, or make one trip out and visit all your customers at once utilizing route planning.

WPCRM allows you to find all accounts in a certain area with Google maps integration so you can make the most of your business trips. 

10. Take Breaks

Taking breaks may seem counter-intuitive, but especially in the world of remote working, it is important to take breaks throughout the day to stay sharp and focused.

Studies have shown that shorter and more frequent breaks, 5-10 minutes every 60 minutes, is better than a 20 minute break every 3 hoursTaking a short walk around your office (or house), talking to a family member or coworker, having a small snack, stepping outside, are great ways to recharge away from the computer and keep your focus.

WPCRM is the fully-integrated CRM built for the wholesale distribution industry that uses your existing data to create a central location of all customer data for your organization. It helps keeps sales reps focused so they can work better and smarter – whether that’s saving time, closing more business, or increasing margins. WPCRM was designed for the sales reps to be easy-to-use, valuable, and accessible.

To learn more about WPCRM and how we help sales reps, visit WPCRM for Sales Professionals, or contact sales@webpresented.com.