Creating the ultimate Time
Management Courses for your Feet-
on-street sales force.

Creating the ultimate Time Management Course for your Feet-on-street sales force

Dear friend,

I hope you, your family, friends, and colleagues are safe.

Covid-19 has driven most businesses to come to a temporary stand-still.

While some of the workforce have been moved to work from home, one segment of employees have been hit very hard - feet-on-street sales representatives.

Feet-on-Street sales is a tough job. Sales reps rush against time to meet deadlines and targets. You and I both know that their worst enemy is TIME!

Now that your sales reps are at home, how about training them on a super practical, easy-to-learn Time Management Course?

As a trainer you would ask - what is good Time Management Course content?

Worry not, we have created a practical, effective Time Management Course content template for you, in this blog post.

The good news is that you can take this template NOW and create a Digital course, allowing your sales reps to learn from home, and also use this template to create an Instructor-led-training experience in the near future. When things get back to normal.

If you ever step into a Sales rep's shoes, how do you figure the daily routine looks like? Here's one scenario.

It is a beautiful Wednesday morning in Bangalore, and Suresh, a sales rep at a reputed appliances brand is about to reach his office in the central business district.

All through the short journey to work, he is constantly thinking about a crucial meeting about to take place that day.

time-management-image

If everything goes well, he might be in for a large order for commercial vacuum cleaners from a big commercial real estate client.

The meeting is scheduled for 11AM.

By the time Suresh walks out of the morning sprint meeting, it's already 10:02AM.

Where's the 11AM meeting? Whitefield! 18 kms from his office!

Suresh has about 58 minutes to make it to the sales meeting on time.

Can he do it?

Time to release the tension.

Knowing Bangalore traffic, we cannot really predict - even if Suresh had 118 minutes :). But leaving traffic jokes aside, whether it is Suresh's conundrum, or a sales rep's typical day, chasing time leaves one stressed and less productive.

Effective time management training can help your Feet-on-street (FoS) sales folk manage their time better.

The question is, how do you create a time management course for sales people who are always on the move, which is:

  • full of empathy?
  • full of actionable tips?
  • and full of interactive elements that deliver maximum learning?

We will provide you an in-depth guide in this blog.

BONUS FREE DOWNLOAD: At the end of this blog post, you will find an in-depth, downloadable guide to help you become a mobile-first training organization.

Sales reps are a unique breed and they need a unique set of tips, techniques, and workflows to manage their time better. In this post we will help you, the trainer, understand how to impart the 6 pillars of successful time management to your FoS sales people.

Objective of the post

Whether you are designing the content for delivering the time management course in person, through video or making an online learning course, this blog will help you create a course that leaves your FoS sales people with actionable tips and a deep understanding of the importance of time management.

Pillar 1: A section on planning each day

From early morning sprint meetings, to cold calling, to scheduling meetings your sales reps spend a lot of time performing a range of tasks every day.

But, do they plan their day?

A part of the time management course you design should focus on helping your FoS sales reps 'fix the small things right, before moving onto larger tasks'.

What does this mean? Your course should empower your sales reps with tips and techniques to start their day by planning their day.

time-management-image

Look at Test Match Cricket for example.

Test Matches are designed to last for 5 days. And each day is divided into 3 sessions. First session, Post Lunch session, and Post Tea session.

Even the teams formulate their tactics and strategies around each of the sessions. Else, the game becomes overwhelming to players as well as spectators.

The same analogy should be used to manage each day for sales reps.

Outcome: your time management course should put emphasis on planning each day for FoS sales reps. You may use the Cricketing or any sporting analogy to get your message across to learners. This will surely enable your sales reps to plan their day well in advance.

Pillar 2: A section on task-type time management

If we classify the time sales reps spend into static and kinetic tasks, you can design your course to address both sets of tasks in great detail.

Let me explain.

Static tasks are those where your sales reps have to sit down and perform them. From data entry, sales calls, generating reports, etc. you get the idea.

Kinetic tasks are ones when they are on the move, such as travelling to and conducting meetings, etc.

Since static tasks are performed on laptops or tablets, find the right set of tools and techniques which allow your sales reps to track time spent performing these very tasks.

time-management-image

Here's an example. You might have come across an Italian time saving technique called 'Pomodoro'. Pomodoro literally means Tomato.

Sales reps constantly race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches them to work with time, instead of struggling against it. A revolutionary time management system, it is at once deceptively simple to learn and life-changing to use.

Watch this video to understand the Pomodoro Technique.

Outcome: The time management course you create should allow your FoS sales reps to learn practical time management and time saving techniques. Especially techniques and tools which allow them to track time spent on static tasks.

Pillar 3: A section on focusing on the 20%

The 80/20 rule,also known as the Pareto Principle,is attributed to the italian economist ,Vilfredo Pareto.In one of his papers ,Pareto noted that about 80% of the land in italy belonged to approximately 20% of the country's total population.In essence,the Pareto Principle infers that there's an 80-to-20 relationship between effects and their causes.

time-management-image

Applying it to the sales world, the 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of your company sales come from 20% of your customers. Alternatively, you could say that 20% of what your sales reps do represents 80% of the outcome.

I know what you are thinking right now.

How do you dish out practical 80/20 tips through the time management course?

There are pattern seeking techniques which can help your sales reps understand their prospects and leads better. Include such tips in the course.
Here are a few:

  • Customer discovery: sales reps usually have 1000s of contacts and several 100 leads. Empower your sales reps to keep a close tab on customers who have made a recent purchase, frequent buyers, or which ones were generous in their purchases.
  • Locate customers geographically: your training course should empower your sales reps to pay attention to analyze neighborhoods, localities and regions of past sales. Such insights should drive them to sharpen their sales and marketing techniques.
  • Difficult customers:we all that diificult clients need more attention.Which means your sales reps need to spend more time on such hard-to-please customers.The training course should empower your sales reps to plot such difficult customers along the 80/20 principle. Provoke them to ask questions like 'do these difficult customers fall into the frequent sales generated 20% or the other 80'?This allows your sales reps to prioritize.These are just 3 techniques of many, which should be part of the course.
Outcome: this section of the course enables your sales reps to think on their feet and seek patterns which can lead to better time management. Here's a great article on how the Pareto Principle affects sales click here

Pillar 4: A section on task automation

On a daily basis, your sales reps perform many routine tasks. From entering data from the previous day's actions, planning routes for the current day's meetings and spending time on cold or scheduled calling to turn prospects into leads. A section of your training should focus on eliminating repetitive tasks through the help of two things. One, a smart daily workflow and two, online tools to automate repetitive tasks.

Here are some tools which should be conveyed to your sales reps as part of this course.

  • Google Calender: We reckon Google Calendar to be one of the first must-haves. GC helps your sales reps organize meetings, schedule appointments with ease.
  • Zoom - video conferencing: Suggest this app if your sales reps are bound to conduct online meetings and discussions. From screen sharing to giving sales presentations, this app is fantastically helpful.
  • Circleback - address book management: Help your sales reps to avoid clutters and manage contacts with ease using Circleback. It is one of the best sales productivity tools for sales reps.
  • Expensify - Expense management: Empower your sales reps to simplify and streamline expense management with Expensify. It is one of the best expense management apps for Feet-on-Street sales people.

There's always an app to simplify or automate most tasks performed by sales reps, you can find more apps here.

Outcome: help your sales reps manage their routine tasks through the help of proven best practices and online tools which can be downloaded and used on their tablets or smartphones. Every little minute saved here can be put to better use elsewhere.

Pillar 5: A section on organizing sales collateral

Sales collateral and sales content are the bread and butter to every FoS sales rep out there. Typically sales reps are responsible to sell a wide variety of products and each product comes with its own set of sales content.

Organizing these collaterals well in advance ends up saving a lot of time and reduces anxiety during sales meetings as well.

This means, a section of the time management course you create should address best practices to arrange sales collaterals and contents in an easily retrievable manner.

Here's another aspect.

Some FoS reps might be responsible for writing, replying to sales emails on a daily basis. Creating templates for routine emails can also save valuable time.

Note: Sales reps who spend most of the time out on the field are individuals with different mindsets and perceptions.

Not all your sales reps behave and react the same way to daily challenges on the job. So, it might be great for you to collect best practices from high performing sales reps from all regions, and include them in your time management course.

Remember, your high performing FoS sales reps know how to deal with adversities better than anybody.

Outcome: the course will allow your sales reps to spend a little time each day organizing sales related collateral and communication, thereby saving a lot of time when they are out and about performing revenue generating tasks.

Pillar 6: A section on taking a 'No'

The longer your FoS sales reps spend chasing unqualified leads, the less time they have to close deals with qualified ones.

While we're encouraged in most areas of life to be optimistic and look for the silver lining, in sales, your sales reps are better off looking at a prospect more pragmatically. A section of your time management course should provoke your sales reps to avoid letting one promising quality lead them down a rabbit hole of calls, emails, follow-ups, and more. Empower them to recognize such leads and disqualify them and move on.

Outcome: the training you design should also boost your sales reps' confidence to take a "no"as a victory for their schedule and move on!

Now comes the part of creating and distributing your top class time management course

As a trainer you might use a range of tools to plan, design, and distribute courses for your employees. What if you could create an interactive, mobile-friendly (responsive) time management course in no time, and have your FoS sales persons go through it without having to organize training sessions?

You can use our course content guide and create a) a classroom / video training course or b) a digital self-learning course as well. That's why we built Nittio Learn to make your (trainers) job easier in creating and deploying digital courses. Visit nittiolearn.com to learn more.

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