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Do you have a great sales team, but feel like they are not achieving as much as they could? If so, then they may be simply falling victim to common distractions in the workplace that lead to decreased productivity. In this post, we’re going to look at those common distractions, how to eliminate them, and how to increase overall productivity through visualization.
First, let’s look at three of the most common distractions that happen in the workplace and how you can help your sales team overcome them.
Yes, multitasking. Getting off task or trying to manage two or three at once is a major productivity killer. You likely know the feeling of being in the middle of a highly productive moment, only to be distracted by a notification from your inbox or a coworker showing up at your desk. Five minutes later, you have to refocus your mind to get back on track with what you were doing. A study found that it takes an average of twenty-five minutes to get refocused on a task after being distracted. Here is what that looks like.
Let’s say you have two hours to work on a project. That is 120 minutes.
During that time, you get pull always three times. It doesn’t sound like much. You answer one email in one minute and take fifteen minutes to refocus. You check in on the status of one project and take another fifteen minutes to refocus. You follow up with a prospect in five minutes and take a whopping twenty-five minutes to refocus.
You’ve now lost a little over an hour of your productivity time to three seemingly harmless distractions. The solution to this problem? Create a clear task list, rank each in priority or maybe put those quick email responses at the top, and work through each task one by one. Despite the feeling that you are getting more done when you balance four tasks instead of zoning in on just one studies show that multitasking is a major waste of time and money—especially when a deal is on the line!
Some meetings are essential in most companies, but not all. Meetings can chew up large chunks of a salesperson’s day, and it can be highly frustrating if the meetings are unnecessary.
The first way to increase meeting efficiency is to ensure that there is a specific goal to the meeting that cannot be accomplished in another way. For example, do you have a weekly hour-long meeting to share the current sales numbers with your sales team? If so, eliminate it by sending the numbers via email or, even better, create a daily leaderboard that the sales team can reference to see the current sales numbers and who is contributing to them. This will give each salesperson an additional hour a week for productive tasks. The second way to increase meeting efficiency is to only invite people to the meeting who need to be there. The next time you set up a meeting, look at each of the attendees you are inviting. Does each attendee need to be actively in the meeting to discuss the topic at hand? Could they live with just getting a summary of what was discussed? If the answer to the latter question is yes, don’t invite them, but send them a summary of the discussion.
The third way to increase meeting efficiency is to try shortening the time. Do you find that meetings lasting an hour or more seem to go off track more often than they stay on track? Try squeezing them into half an hour instead. If people know they have a short amount of time, they are more likely to use it efficiently, allowing for less unrelated discussion to occur.
Do your employees just pop by someone’s desk every time they have a question? Think about the time that employee might be spending going to someone’s desk and finding they are not there, only to start chatting with the employee sitting next to them until the person they were looking for returns.
Instead, encourage everyone to either use email (with the expectation that it might not get answered for a couple hours, per the earlier recommendations about email) or to use an instant messaging platform. For example, encourage employees to use Slack in the office instead. This way, they send their question and it gets answered when the person is available.
Now that you know a few productivity killers in the office and how to eliminate (or at least reduce) them, let’s look at a great way to increase productivity through visualization.
Your sales team knows that being more productive is going to ultimately lead to more sales. So the best way to motivate them to be more productive is to help them visualize where they rank on the sales team. The person in first will see how close the second person is to them, motivating them to increase their lead so no one can catch up. The people below first will want to increase their sales in order to win.
Visualization ensures that everyone is on the same page and encourages teams to hit their daily and long-term goals. This leads to an overall increase in productivity as each member of your sales team will want to get as much from each day as possible. At Hoopla, we pride ourselves on providing teams with this kind of visibility and have seen first-hand the positive effects it can have on teams.