Time Management vs. Job Management


Plenty has been written about time management. It’s role in the sales function is critical with salespeople being asked to do so many things other than selling. Most salespeople don’t manage their time particularly well and any time management assistance they can get will help them do more. My frustration with time management is that it helps them do more – of the wrong stuff! Try this simple exercise. Make an Excel Spreadsheet and down column A list the four or five major tasks your salespeople are expected to do. Then, in the second column, list the actual number of hours they should spend on each activity. Highlight the two columns, click the chart icon and choose radar as your chart type. See ‘target’ example above.

Next, using your first spreadsheet as a template, create a second spreadsheet but this time have your salespeople complete column B with their actual hours spent on each activity each day. Follow the same process to create the second chart. See ‘actual’ example above.

What you will probably see is not how they manage their time, but what they spend their time on. If your salespeople are like most, they aren’t spending nearly as much time as you would like on their primary responsibility of selling. What to do? Call a meeting, show your chart and show some of the other charts. Point out the discrepancy and change everyone’s expectations as to how much of their time is to be spent on the activities that produce revenue and profit.