Time Management Tactics For Busy Sales Teams


Successful selling boils down to your salespeople’s ability to manage time in order to exceed sales targets. A lot of salespeople work so hard combining office work and field sales activities yet with non-commensurate results. For some, every now and then the day ends and they feel so unfulfilled while for others it is a reoccurring experience of unfulfillment but lots of activities. Allowing this to continue could lead to your team resigning to work with your competitors because of the desire to end this feeling of unfulfillment, yet it has nothing to do with your organization but with their inability to manage time. The purpose of time management is to give that feeling of fulfillment on a daily basis which in turn triggers in the brain the release of chemicals like Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphin. These chemicals, in turn, give us again the feelings of reward and fulfillment.



Research has shown that, a major cause of stress in busy executives is failure to work from a list. They keep key activities in their minds all day instead of freeing up their minds by creating a list. A list is like a white thread guiding you throughout the day so you don’t completely sway of your most important activities for the day. Other activities not on your list might come up but your list will keep you focused. Sales team leads need to practice MBWA (Management By Walking Around) to be sure the team is managing their time properly and the right tasks are prioritized. This is because the ultimate result of the team will be based on how the individuals in the team managed their time. Check everyone and be sure they have a list of activities to be done for the day. Here are a few basic tips your team can use to build the right kind of list in order to maximize time and increase their effectiveness.



If you were given three buckets, one filled with huge rocks, one filled with sand and one empty. Then you were told to fill the empty bucket with both the sand and rocks, what will you do first? What you do first will determine what will be seen as impossible at the end. If you put the sand first it will be impossible for the huge rocks to still go in. However, if you put in the rocks first, the sand will find its way into the bucket. This is the whole idea behind the term, ‘schedule your rocks.’ The goal of every salesperson at the beginning of every day is to identify what their rocks are. Your rocks are the most important activities for the day- the activities with the greatest rewards or consequences.




After listing your rocks on a sheet of paper or notepad, label each rock with any of the letters A, B, C or D

A: Must-do activities

B: Should-do activities

C: Nice to do activities

D: Activities to delegate



  1. Must-do activities

Stephen Covey, in his book, ‘The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People’ wrote about the time management quadrant. Taking a cue from the book, a must-do activity is an important and urgent activity. These activities come with huge consequences for non-attainment.

  1. Should-do activities

This will be more of important but not urgent activities, meaning the consequences of these activities not being done are not immediate but will show up soon and could be grave. This is because you can’t talk your way out of things you behaved your way into. Examples of these activities are relationship management, personal development, planning, strategic accounts management, call planning, territory management e.t.c.

  1. Nice-to-do activities

These are activities that are not important but seem to be calling for your attention. One way to differentiate your should-do activities and nice-to-do activities is by simply first of all identifying your must-do activities then your should-do activities. After which, whatever is left that you can’t delegate would be your nice-to-do activities.

  1. Activities to delegate

Any activity someone else can do for you because you have trained the person overtime to do that activity, should be delegated. This will free you up to do more important activities that are strategic to your bottom line.



After labelling the rocks with a letter from amongst A, B, C or D; next step is to label each letter with a number in order to know the first task to do. For example;


  1. Send in daily reports to the GM……………………………………..A4
  2. Make enquiries for who to buy snacks for TGIF………………C
  • Meet the MD of XYZ to conclude the transaction…………..A2
  1. Prepare invoice for payment …………………………………………A1
  2. Reply emails of clients……………………………………………………B1
  3. Call 5 new prospects ……………………………………………………..A3
  • Follow up on 10 existing clients for more business………..B2
  • Pick up package from head office…………………………………..D


Notice we labelled all the A tasks as A1, A2, A3 and A4. The rule is to ensure you don’t start an A2 task until you have finished an A1 task and you don’t start an A3 task until you have finished the A2 task. Please note that tomorrow is another day and the goal for today is not to complete the activities on the list but to complete the most important activities on that list possible within the work hours available to you. Using this method; at the end of the day, you will be more fulfilled haven done your most important activities.



You may not need to bother scheduling your sand but you need to be focused on scheduling your rocks. This is because the focus in time management is prioritization and scheduling. We will never have time to do everything but we will always have time to do the most important activities- the rocks. The importance of scheduling is this: Parkinson’s Law states that, ‘the time allotted to a task is the time it will take for its fulfillment.’ Therefore, set the time for when the A1 task will start and stop; then be focused like a laser beam cutting through Diamond till it is done. Per adventure you don’t finish within the time frame set, you would have gone further than if you had left the timing open ended.



Yes, I know things could pop up at work and take people off their list but this will most likely not be a daily occurrence. Per adventure it is, be bold to find out how urgent the task is so you can prioritize too. Sometimes, when tasks are handed down to subordinates, not all are urgent or are required to be concluded same day. I believe if most bosses are communicated to they can help the team prioritize their activities in such cases. The key point here is to speak up, asking for help if necessary, to determine if your A1 activity in your list should be done first before the activity being delegated to you or vice versa.




  1. AffiliateLabz
    February 15, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

  2. Stella
    August 8, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Great article.It reminds me of when I joined my present company 6months ago. I was stressed and …my manager told me to learn to manage my time.It worked well. I applied some of these principles and intend to add others to enable me be more effective and less stressed.

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