As Viddler strengthens its platform in sales training—and since I’m a sales guy myself—I thought it wise to keep my sales tools sharp, to practice what we preach, as it were. So, I’m always on the hunt for great techniques to incorporate into my “workout routine.” I’m happy to say I found another one: Jill Konrath’s excellent More Sales, Less Time, published by Portfolio last December.
This is not the typical ‘All you need to know about Sales’ strategy book. It’s more about productivity. Although Jill’s focus is on salespeople, the tools and lessons on exploring productivity could be adapted to any profession. It’s especially the case if you work primarily online.
Jill offers insight into her personal journey— why she felt “crazy-busy” all the time. It’s a journey I know all too well, and struggle with when left unchecked. Jill doesn’t lecture about being on LinkedIn, or researching a topic or client, but she does identify tools and suggestions that provide balance between those activities and those that get you paid as a salesperson.
The book offers suggestions on workflow and time management, and on selling activities versus research, blogging, follow up, and pre-selling activities. Most importantly, Jill offers her experiences with software tools that help track your time, so you know, to the minute, how you are spending your time.
For example, the book covers RescueTime (an application that runs in the background on your computer). It tracks what programs, websites, tools you are using and how often. There are other such apps, of course. The point is that have to know what you’re doing and what your goals are if you want to change your behavior.
There is no magic bullet in the book. It’s still up to you to change your habits and behaviors. But Jill does suggest several promising apps and programs to track activities and focus our attention. (She even discusses an app—called f.lux—that will help reduce the blue light emitted from your computer to allow you to sleep better after shutting down the computer.)
I incorporated several of these tools, including Pocket (https://GetPocket.com), Unroll.me and RescueTime (https://www.rescuetime.com/) into my daily activities. If you’re experience is like mine, you’ll be surprised to discover how much time you ‘find’.
Aside from the suggested schedules and applications, the three Appendices are a huge value (and are probably the basis for Jill’s next book.) Appendix 1 outlines best practices for sales managers to help salespeople ‘rescue’ their time. Jill offers specific suggestions to take as a manager to challenge and lead your people through this behavioral change exercise. (To that I might add that such exercises could be implemented with great results in the Viddler Training Suite.)
The second appendix offers suggestions for further reading and listening. This includes Ted Talks, videos, online resources and of course links to the tools and apps mentioned in the book. Appendix 3, Books Worth Reading, is self-explanatory—and quite valuable..
For someone like myself—who likes to skim until I find a topic for deep diving—the book’s presentation and style were perfect. Quizzes, suggestions, goals, and experiments are included at the end of most chapters. Jill doesn’t try to force her methodology. Instead, she opens the door to allow you to easily discover what options are out there. The goal is to make sure you are doing what you need to do—and choose what works best for you.
If you feel you could use some help on focusing on activities that make money, More Sales, Less Time is well worth the read. Thanks Jill. Keep up the fantastic work.