Not Enough Time: How Successful Salespeople Are Great Time Managers

Time management is a perennial personal development need. Here in a couple of lines is the training remedy distilled; the difference between urgent and important, reactive from pro-active tasks, things to do lists, delegation and work–life balance.


We’ve recently been doing some work with a group of high-performing salespeople who seem to manage their time very well. It was instructive to see how much of what they did came from the orthodox time management toolbox.

The first most obvious thing is how well organised they were. They avoided building up a any kind of back-log of work. As far as possible they operated a clean day working model, beginning the next working day ‘clean’ with no overhang of work.

They were voracious users of the entire technology going. No double entry, or multiple systems. They updated CRM in as real a time as possible.

They are selfish. They said no to things if they got in the way of their primary objectives. They focused obsessively on value adding activities and tried to avoid those that weren’t.

They kept on top of their email and only sent email that was strictly necessary. One said the fewer emails I send the fewer emails in my in box. There was a general preference for using the phone, more direct, more personal and more likely to deal with the issue in one go.

They work intensively. Some worked long hours, but not everybody. What they all did though was work productively. They didn’t waste time (none of our group had time for Twitter or Facebook). They liked to multi-task on trains and planes.


And finally they all hated meetings, even effective ones which were described as ‘a necessary evil’.