The holiday season can be a wonderful, yet frenetic time. Your time is filled with year-end deadlines, parties, personal obligations, and ample interruptions. But while there are a lot of challenges to sales productivity, it’s also a great time to focus ending the year on a high note — or getting ahead for next year. Here are 10 tips for super-charging your sales productivity during the holiday season.
Think about your “must-dos” before the end of the year. Consider how you can work on your sales goals for the new year. And then, make a list of your tasks. Prioritize your most important tasks at the top of the list. It can be easy to lose sight of your priorities when you have so many things that feel urgent. This is a good way to clarify where it’s truly important to spend your time.
Break down all of your priority tasks into a list of smaller steps that are easier to complete. If one of your goals is to send a sales promotion email, list all of the activities involved in doing so:
And then, assign deadlines to each task. Making a plan this way ensures that no one task becomes overwhelming — which can lead to procrastination. The deadlines allow you to track your progress.
Delegation isn’t always easy. But using your time so it yields the highest value is critical to maintaining your sales productivity. In other words, you’ve likely prioritized contacting prospects and organizing promotions and campaigns for the new year. They’re more important to your goals than, say, placing a food order for an upcoming meeting, filing, or other rote tasks. So if you can delegate some of those and other lower priority (but still needed) tasks to an assistant or someone else in your office, do it. If you don’t have anyone readily available, consider hiring a virtual assistant or using the Workflow app to automate tasks and free up your time. It will help you let go of any tasks that could take you away from your main objectives.
Are you still struggling to get those holiday cards or gifts finished? Pivot and send them after the new year, “when we’re not quite as overwhelmed with everything else that’s going on,” says The Productivity Expert, Nicole Bandes. And then, you can spend that free time working on sales goals and improving sales productivity. An added bonus of waiting is that your efforts will stand out when they’re not buried in with everyone else’s.
The holidays reinforce the concept that everything from client gifts to office parties needs to be “perfect.” In work settings, perfectionism notoriously leads to procrastination. If you’re trying to perfect that client email before you send it, you could be spending more time than is necessary. Sometimes, “good” is good enough, especially if it helps you stay focused on your goals.
You probably have holiday parties and time off scheduled. It’s important to stay disciplined in between. Keep regular work hours, and try not to stay out too late if you have a lot to get done. While you may feel like there’s not enough time, it’s possible to schedule your time for both business and personal activities. Try time-blocking to find efficiencies in your days.
As Forbes reports, 71 percent of people report frequent interruptions when they’re trying to work. And once that happens, it can be hard to get back on task. With that kind of time lost, it’s important to minimize interruptions as much as you can to preserve your sales productivity. Whether you work from home or in the office, minimize distractions by finding a quiet place to work. Turn off your ringer and push notifications for apps and email. There’s a time for responding to calls and emails in your schedule. But it’s not when you’re trying to get work done.
One of the most important things you can do during stressful times is to practice self-care, Bandes says. Get enough rest, drink water, exercise, and eat well. Feeling good will help you be more productive at work because you’ll be more alert and focused instead of tired and lethargic. And it means you can enjoy the holidays, too.Practice self-care. Feeling good will help you be more alert and focused at work. Click To Tweet
Keep track of how your plan is progressing and whether you’ve been realistic in scheduling everything you want to get done. Reviewing your work volume, deadline progress, and key sales metrics gives you some important clues as to where you should be focusing your efforts. Say you’re only closing a small portion of your open opportunities each month. It may be time to review your selling practices and lead qualification methods to improve your closing rate. Take advantage of the holiday downtime to make those kinds of tweaks to your process and improve your sales productivity.
Of course, the holidays are ultimately a time to celebrate with family and friends. As you block out your time to maximize productivity, Bandes recommends also including time for family and friends. Meeting your sales goals are important. But you’ll be more invested in work, if you’re also making that time to enjoy your life too. And with the right balance you won’t ever be distracted by personal things when it’s time to hunker down.
Need to take food ordering for your next sales meeting off of your plate?