7 months ago
February 21, 2017

5 Ways Sales People Can Set Priorities

When sales people set priorities, it becomes easier to reach sales targets and career goals.

Claire McConnachie

When sales people set priorities, it becomes easier to reach sales targets and career goals. This works because setting priorities can create a guide for how day to day tasks fit into the big picture. Learn how to become more efficient and set priorities that support personal and professional goals with the following methods.

1. Set Priorities on a Regular Basis

Occasionally sales people fail to set priorities because setting priorities is not part of the day-to-day routine. However, by making prioritization part of the daily work schedule, sales people can gain an advantage by knowing what needs to be done first, and won’t be as likely to find themselves with a growing to do list as the week draws on. Add setting priorities to your regular schedule by reviewing your top five tasks to accomplish each day when you arrive at the office and scheduling your top priorities for the next week before leaving the office on Friday.

2. Schedule Time for Top Priorities

One reason that set priorities are not accomplished is lack of time. Yet lack of time for achieving top priorities usually occurs because lower level priorities have somehow made it on to the schedule. Don’t let your top priorities be crowded out by tasks that are less important in the big picture. Schedule time for top priorities in your calendar as necessary and treat that time as you would an executive level meeting; don’t reschedule unless a truly higher priority item comes up and must be addressed.

3. Determine Which Activities Represent the Highest Value

Surprisingly, a large number of sales people have trouble assigning priority based on value. One of the best ways to prioritize efficiently and increase sales productivity is to determine which tasks hold the highest value in terms of reaching sales goals. For some sales people this might be new accounts while for others the highest value will be found in existing customers, dependent on the industry and the sales person’s primary area of responsibility. In either case, the highest value tasks should always have the highest priority level.

4. Periodically Review Your Accounts to Help Set Priorities

Many sales people neglect to perform personal periodic reviews of their accounts, leaving it to the discretion of management to pinpoint areas that should be prioritized. While your sales manager does play an important role in helping to set priorities, remember that your sales manager is also setting priorities for the other sales people on the team and the group as a whole, and that you as the sales person are likely more attuned to the needs of your accounts. Perform periodic reviews to assess:

  • Which clients make up the largest portion of your sales revenue
  • Whether most of your time is being spent with the clients who make the bulk of your sales
  • How much of your time is being spent with accounts that have little to no growth potential

These periodic reviews can help sales people set priorities by identifying the clients who should receive attention above lower-level priorities. The clients who represent the largest and most reliable long term revenue are the clients who can make or break a sales period.

5. Set Priorities on a Long Term Basis

Setting high level priorities on a quarterly, annual, or even five year basis can help you set all of your other priorities by acting as a guide to where you want to be at the end of a given period. By being aware of how the items on your to-do list will ultimately contribute to your set priorities you can determine how to prioritize the lower-level tasks that come up in the meantime, which can help you become a more effective and efficient sales person by allowing you the time and energy to focus on the priorities that will contribute the most to your success.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.