Making Time for Sales Success: Time Management for Salespeople

Sales success hinges on effective time management, as highlighted in this article. With only 168 hours per week, mastering time saving methods is crucial for maximising productivity and meeting targets. Learn time saving strategies alongside maximising technology such as CRM systems, to optimise workflows and achieve better results in your sales journey.


One of the most common barriers salespeople face when trying to hit their targets is simply that they don’t have enough time to do everything they need to do. But the truth is that we all have the same amount of time (168 hours per week, to be precise) – it’s what you do with it that really counts, and the people who focus on personal methods, processes and tactics to maximise the time they have available are undoubtedly going to find themselves becoming more successful.

In a sales-driven environment, effective time management skills can help sales professionals prioritise tasks, meet deadlines, and maximise productivity. By managing your time efficiently, it allows you to focus on high-priority tasks that drive sales success. In this article, we will focus on helping you to identify your most important goals and allocate your time accordingly so you can ensure that you are making the most of your workday.

Why are time management skills important for salespeople?

Time management skills are essential for salespeople operating in a role where, quite literally, time is money. Every minute you don’t spend in pursuit of your sales target is a minute that you’ll wish you’d spent differently at the end of the month, quarter or year. Salespeople must understand the importance of managing their time as it can often be a major factor when measuring a salesperson’s performance.

In the world of sales where the demands for efficiency, organisation, and prioritisation are crucial to sales success, what specific benefits can you expect from mastering time management? Here’s a breakdown of how time management is vital for your sales success:

why time management skills are important infographic

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Maximising productivity

You should be ruthlessly disciplined with your time, by prioritising tasks and allocating time efficiently on tasks that will really add value to your performance. By doing this, you can focus on activities that drive revenue, such as prospecting, client meetings, and closing deals. By “doing the doing” and not putting off the activities that will make a difference to your success, you can ensure that your sales efforts are targeted towards achieving business objectives.

Identifying and pursuing opportunities

In the fast-paced world of sales, opportunities can appear and disappear quickly. Effective time management allows salespeople to stay proactive and responsive to emerging opportunities. By crafting a dedicated time management strategy to your market research, lead generation, and networking, you can identify promising prospects and maintain a healthy sales pipeline as opportunities progress through your sales process.

Smash the sales discovery process

Discovery calls are one of the most crucial elements to your sales process: make them effective by preparing properly. Research your prospect beforehand, and build a picture of their business, the market they operate in and their likely painpoints. Doing this kind of preparation work will allow you to be much more effective in your questioning, and in turn more efficient your time and your prospects.

Meet deadlines and targets

Sales targets and deadlines are an inevitable fact of life in the sales industry, and failing to meet them can have significant consequences. At Firestarter, we categorise the things that make you inefficient and slow you down as ‘Time Bandits’. By tackling your own Time Bandits, you’ll be amazed at how much time you can create for selling.  Time bandits include office distractions, internal systems and technology, micro-management, emails, interruptions and so on… By proactively identifying your own time bandits, you can work steadily towards achieving your deadlines and targets without being held back when you need it least.

Adapting to changing priorities

Flexibility is key in sales, as priorities can shift unexpectedly due to changes in market conditions, customer preferences, internal requirements & macroeconomic factors. Effective time management enables salespeople to adapt quickly to changes without compromising productivity. By regularly reviewing and adjusting your schedules and priorities, you can stay agile and responsive in dynamic environments.

Reducing stress and burnout

Anyone who has ever been in a sales role will tell you that it can be a high-pressure profession, with tight deadlines, demanding clients, and challenging targets. Poor time management can exacerbate stress and increase the risk of burnout. Salespeople need to maintain a healthy work-life balance, prioritise self-care, and prevent exhaustion in order to perform their role efficiently.

Free Guide: Seven Habits of Successful Salespeople

Effective Time Management is one of the habits of successful salespeople. Download our seven steps to successful selling to find out more.

How to learn time management

Time management isn’t a one-dimensional learning experience; people manage their time in different ways and it can often boil down to what works best for you. However, the end goal should always be the same – to save time! Through our experience of working with thousands of salespeople over many years, we have found that by combining self-discipline, training, and the adoption of time management strategies, salespeople can maximise their time. Here are some of our top tips that could help you improve time management in your day-to-day life:

Be proactive

A lot of the problems people face can often originate elsewhere, with tasks or issues being handed over by others, or urgent issues disrupting your plans. This leads to a situation where you are constantly reacting to issues and not controlling your own time. The answer is to be more proactive; anticipate potential obstacles, don’t procrastinate (do that job you really don’t like the look of first) and get ahead of things before they happen so that you can stay in control.

Rotation is key

Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks across different areas is a really common problem for salespeople, which can lead to balls being dropped in particular areas because you’re focusing too heavily on something else. Having a disciplined rotation methodology is key to making sure you move forward on multiple fronts. There are lots of guides and models for this, such as the Pomodoro method or Eisenhower Time Management Matrix that encourage you to manage your time in specific blocks, but the real answer lies in finding a format that works for you.

Always think ‘next action’

With everything you are doing, always ask yourself ‘what’s the next action, what is this work telling me I have to do next?’ Then really challenge yourself and distil your thinking down to basics – small steps towards your ultimate goals. This type of thinking consistently drives progress; no matter how small the steps are, you are moving forward and maximising your time taking the ‘right’ actions.

Have great systems that work for you

This doesn’t just relate to technology (although that does help), but it’s more about understanding your most effective method of working. For example, are you more productive in the mornings or afternoons? Do you need quiet time, or do you work better in a busy office? Do you need time to plan, or do you just get stuck in? All these questions are helping you to understand how you can structure your days, your environment, your priorities and also your technology. However, the real key to this point is playing to your strengths – use these systems and processes consistently to help you, and make sure that other people understand how you work too.

Set your own deadlines

As we have said previously, there are only 168 hours in any given week and it is up to you to work out how you manage those hours effectively. Focusing on a clear rhythm of activity (using rotations, for example), taking small steps, little and often will ensure that you are making consistent process, but you also need to review progress. Make sure that you set your own deadlines to achieve certain things, but also implement personal review points to check you’re on-track. As a salesperson, its important that you take ownership of your responsibilities – your leads, your pipeline, your sales meetings, your target etc. – so its equally important to understand your pace of work and commit to achieving the deadlines that you set for yourself.

Managing time with technology

With the growing adoption of digitalisation and the ever-evolving advancements in technology, the traditional sales approach has undergone a profound transformation in recent years. Salespeople are no longer keeping manual records or carrying physical brochures, instead sales professionals now have access to a wide range of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and other tools that can be utilised to save time. With any kind of digitalisation tools, such as a CRM, their purpose(s) is to make you more efficient and help get you to a point where you’re using digitalisation regularly to create efficiency in your operational model. Here’s a few ways you can use digitalisation in your daily activities:

Activity management – streamline your daily tasks by managing your activities effectively. You can schedule calls, set reminders for follow-ups, and track your meetings all in one place.

Contact management – efficient contact management not only saves time but also helps you tailor your sales approach, making your interactions more personalised and meaningful. No more digging through piles of notes!

Pipeline tracking – CRM acts like a crystal ball, the system analyses your pipeline and visualises your sales process from lead to closure. By understanding your pipeline, you can strategise effectively, prioritise tasks, and focus your energy where it matters the most.

Performance tracking – with detailed performance metrics at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions, refine your strategies, and continuously improve your sales operations.

How does effective time management produce results?

By prioritising the right tasks and organising yourself in a way that ensures you’re spending time on the activities that bring you the biggest returns, you will begin to accomplish more in less time, increasing your overall productivity and output from your work.

Meet deadlines and goals

Through effective time allocation such as using The Pomodoro Method, you can begin to allocate time efficiently and set realistic timelines for getting tasks done. By consistently delivering results you will see that you can begin to start achieving your objectives in a timely manner.

Reduce stress

By producing a clear plan and outlining a productive structure to your sales activities, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed or stressed by the demands of your work. Approaching tasks with a calm and focused mindset leads to better decision-making and increased performance.

Improve quality of work

By dedicating sufficient time and attention to each task, you can maintain a higher standard of quality in your work. This reduces the likelihood of errors or oversights and ensures that you’re producing outputs that meet or exceed expectations.

Enhance opportunities

Effective time management is key to ensuring that you’re getting the maximum potential out of each opportunity. If you are able to effectively manage your time consistently, whenever an opportunity arises you will be in a position to capitalise on it sooner rather than later leading to better success with your leads.


Mastering time management is not just a skill, it’s a fundamental necessity for sales success in today’s high pressure, high stakes and competitive environment.

It’s important to remember that we can’t control the amount of time we have – it’s a limited resource and there are only 168 hours available in any week. It is up to us as individuals to make proactive choices about how to use the time we have. The really important thing to focus on is identifying and understanding your ‘impact actions’ – the things that can really make a difference to how you manage your time.

By prioritising tasks, staying proactive, and using the effective strategies outlined in this article, salespeople can achieve more in shorter timeframes. Implementing short-term sales techniques will help address immediate challenges, while long-term time management methods  such as the Pomodoro Technique and the Eisenhower Matrix foster sustained efficiency and focus.

Integrating technology like CRM systems and AI such as ChatGPT, will help to streamline workflows and enhances performance tracking, ultimately leading to better results.

But, this isn’t a perfect science, and there isn’t a perfect way to manage time – it’s about finding the best way that works for you, and helping you to not only set some rules, but also follow them in your daily activities. By investing in time management techniques, sales professionals can navigate the complexities of their roles with confidence, resilience, and ultimately, triumph.

Free Guide: Seven Habits of Successful Salespeople

Effective Time Management is one of the habits of successful salespeople. Download our seven steps to successful selling to find out more.

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