3 Secrets to Boost Your Sales Productivity

Want to be Wildly Productive in Sales? Here’s How

August 23, 2018

Top of desk view displaying a MIcrosoft Surface with teal keyboard, spiral notebooks, file folders, office supplies, and a plant.

Editor’s Note: This guest post was contributed by Mike Schultz, President of RAIN Group.

When I was first selling about 20 years ago, it was just me, the desk, the phone, a written directory of people who I could call, and a ticking timeclock.

Now, the life of a seller is completely different. It’s amazingly harder to execute on a day-to-day basis. You have noise coming at you in all directions. Your phone is buzzing in your pocket nonstop. You have to check your email, Slack, LinkedIn, Instagram, and text messages. You’re constantly reading news stories, sports stories, and trying to keep up with the Kardashians.  

20 years ago, if you had four hours free at work, it was easier to concentrate. Now it’s 10 times easier to react to messaging and emails, check various media, and get lost in it for all four hours.

So, what’s changed and what are the sellers who are succeeding in this new world of great distraction doing differently?

We recently launched a major research study to better understand the key drivers of productivity and sales success. If you want to take our complimentary "Extreme Productivity Assessment" and learn more about your own productivity quotient and specific areas you can improve, do so here.

The 3 Keys of Extreme Sales Productivity

Through our research and our work with clients, we’ve developed the Extreme Productivity System built on following three elements: 

Manufacture Motivation

It’s been thought for a long time that when it comes to motivation, someone is either a self-starter with a go-getter attitude or they aren’t.

In the last five to 10 years, a lot of research has shown that motivation isn’t a fixed attribute. Motivation is more like a skill. It’s a skill that you can develop. It’s like a muscle, a muscle that you can strengthen.

People who can master the first key to extreme productivity and can manufacture their own motivation build a sense of urgency to get up and go. They wake up ready to rock and roll versus those who can’t psych themselves up to do anything.

Control Your Time

The second key is focused on TIME. There are so many distractions and false opportunities to get sucked into.

I remember 15 years ago typing up memos, going to the photocopier, printing 70 of them, and then going to the mail room and putting them in the mailboxes of the people who needed to receive the memo. It was a lot of work!

Flash-forward to today and it’s 200 memos a day we’re receiving, not six. The activation energy for someone to send an e-mail is so much lower than it was when someone had to type a memo and stuff it in mailboxes. The result: so much more noise.

How can you avoid this? Stop getting sucked into all of the distractions. You need to control your time, spend it on the right activities, and become impossible to distract.

Execute in the Zone

When it’s time to focus, you need to learn how to execute in the zone. The zone is a state of flow when you feel like you’re on a roll and achieving peak performance.

Getting in and staying in the zone isn’t easy. Some research says people are distracted every 11 minutes. I think it’s even more frequent than that. The first time I tried to tune out all distractions and get in the zone, it still took me a mere 90 seconds before I reached for my phone. You can tune out distractions that fly at you, but if you distract yourself, you’re toast!

Tune out distractions of all sorts and focus on one activity, and you will get in the zone. Then your productivity will soar.

Like any good system, it takes a lot to embrace these three keys and implement them in your work day in and day out. It requires change that doesn’t happen overnight. The sellers who are able to manufacture their own motivation, control their time, and consistently execute in the zone will see a drastic difference in their sales results.

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