Distractions come at us at warp-speed in this multi-screen, technology-driven world, and it’s easy to let those distractions eat up valuable business hours. But success in sales means actually selling, so anything that doesn’t contribute to business development is a waste of time.

Most salespeople only spend about 10 percent of their workdays actively selling and another 10 percent on prospecting, according to Augusoft. That’s a mere 20 percent of your day dedicated to building your pipeline and bringing in new business—staggering!

So how do you increase sales productivity with so many distractions competing for your attention?

Slow Your Roll

To go fast, we must slow down—that’s a wise saying. In our world of constant change and complexity, we feel compelled to speed up in order to keep up—with the latest technology, the latest thinking, or the latest news. And, of course, with our competition. 

Here’s the problem: We’re trying to catch up with things that are in the past. So the faster we run, the further behind we get. We’re so busy being busy that we miss out on the present and have no mental space to think about the future, let alone create it.

Block out the distractions and focus on the sales activities that matter—connecting with clients, building your referral network and asking for referral introductions. Block out at least two hours every day to talk to prospects and clients. It’s amazing what you’ll learn, and they might even have more business for you.

Get Your Priorities Straight

My trick for staying on course? I do what’s “closest to cash” first every single day.

This could mean writing a proposal, following up on a referral, scheduling a meeting with a prospect, caring for current clients, or chatting with potential referral sources.

Yes, I spend a little time checking email and social media, but when my timer pings at 30 minutes, I sign off. I used to clean out my Inbox every day—not anymore. Unless an activity contributes to building my business, it’s a waste of my prime business hours. I can research, read and listen to podcasts and webcasts when (or if) I have time. 



Learn more productivity tips from sales thought leaders on salesforce.com, or download our free e-book. 

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