A study by the University of London found that multitasking is bad for your brain (and can even tank your sales career!). The study showed that multitaskers experience an IQ decline similar to those who have stayed up all night. And why do people multitask? Because they lack routine. Plain and simple.
If you’re struggling to hit your sales numbers, or if you just need more organization around your day, you would benefit from a tried and true daily routine. And lucky for you, I’ve coached salespeople and my own clients on how to structure their days for optimal success.
Because let’s be honest, there are a million things vying for our attention throughout the day. And it’s easy to end up scrolling on social media for 30 minutes here, texting a friend 30 minutes there, or sifting through emails and organizing your CRM for the umpteenth time. These activities are certainly not helping you to get ahead in life.
But with a solid structure for your day, you can kick these bad habits and focus on what matters most: actual sales activities. Sales activities are revenue-drivers — they are the things that put money in your company’s pocket and YOUR pocket. Examples of sales activities are cold calls, cold emails, follow-ups, sales appointments and demos, etc. Generally, a sales activity is when you’re speaking with a prospect in an attempt to book a meeting or close a deal.
RELATED: How to Cold Call CEOs Like It’s 2024
So before we jump into the optimal daily routine for sales success, I want to highlight a few principles to keep in mind. Each of these is vitally important.
Morning Routine is KEY
Success starts with a morning routine. If you’re not getting up before the birds, then you’re missing out on key quiet hours to get ahead. In my morning routine, I read, pray, workout, and have gratitude for the blessings in my life. It’s also a time when I’m priming and sharpening my ax (that is my mind) for the day ahead.
Call EARLY and Call Often
Again, the early bird gets the worm. I’m picking up the phones and talking with decision makers before the traditional work day even starts. The leaders of industry (CEOs, CMOs, VPs, etc.) wake up early and are available before 9 am. You must call early and call often to win at sales.
Focus on Revenue Drivers
I mentioned this above, but it’s worth driving the point home. Too many salespeople act busy with activities that don’t drive revenue. You might feel productive, but is busy work really going to convert prospects into paying customers? No! You have to focus on revenue drivers — which is why more than 50% of the optimal daily routine I share below is spent cold calling.
No More Multitasking – Practice Time Chunking Instead
If you’re doing several things at once, you’re probably not doing any of them well. Also, remember that studies have found multitasking to be bad for the brain, and it can even ruin your career. Light multitasking is fine and unavoidable, but if you’re constantly switching from task to task, then you need a routine. Also, I highly recommend “time chunking,” or carving out X amount of time to focus on one activity only. Then switch to the next activity for X amount of time. Usually you want these time “chunks” to be an hour or more. (See the daily routine below for examples of this.)
Take Breaks and Breathe
Hustle and grind to get ahead — keep your head down and become the hardest worker in your company. That mentality is good, and it comes from a deep desire to succeed in life. But you have to balance it with down time. You have to take 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day to breathe and stretch and pray. If not, you’re going to run yourself into the ground.
An Optimal Daily Routine For Sales Success
A quick note before we dive in here: This routine won’t work for everyone, but it will work for most.
5-6:00 am – Read and pray, give gratitude. This is the still quiet time of morning when the family is sleeping. This hour sets the tone for the whole day, so try hard not to miss it.
6:15-7:00 am – Exercise or workout. Go to your local gym or go for a run in your neighborhood. Getting in shape physically is a key indicator for success in other areas of life… including sales.
7:10-8:00 am – Shower, eat, help the family out of the house. These are necessary, self-care tasks that you must do. Also, it’s important to pull your weight in the family and spend time with your kids (if you have kids).
8:15-10:00 am – Early Bird Cold Calling Session. If it’s after 7:30 am, it’s fair game to start calling C-level prospects. They are awake and not yet distracted, their assistant (the gatekeeper) isn’t on the clock, so your chances are good.
10-11:00 am – Follow-ups, check emails, etc. This is the administrative part of your morning. Follow-up with key prospects, reply to emails, and generally get your business in order.
11-12:00 pm – Lunch. Be sure you take at least a 30 minute lunch everyday. Eat, stretch, and stay off your phone! Calls are OK, but don’t tax your mind by scrolling on social media.
12-1:30 pm – Lead list building. To keep the pipeline full, you have to carve out time to put new prospects into the funnel (depending on your role in sales). Ideally this prospecting is 20% of your day, and you simply can’t miss it.
1:30-3:00 pm – Midday Cold Calling Session. Same as the early bird session, just in the middle of the day. Get on the phones and start dialing and smiling.
3-3:30 pm – Get your blood flowing and breath. Remember how I said to make time for yourself throughout your day? Well, this is a critical time of day to get into tip-top mental shape. Take 30 minutes to move your body and enter a peak mental state for this next cold calling session.
3:30-6:30 pm – Afternoon / Early Evening Cold Calling Session. After the Early Bird session, this is the next best time of day for cold calling. Prospects are wrapping up meetings for the day and sitting in their office (or in their cars) once the traditional day is over. Fewer distractions means more conversations.
After 6:30 pm – Evening is family time, you have to unplug.
If you’re tracking, this breaks down to the following:
- 6.5 hours of direct revenue driving activities (cold calling!)
- 2.5 hours of self-care
- 1.5 hours of lead list building
- 1.5 hours of admin and follow-up work
- Plenty of family time
A solid daily routine is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. In sales, we can spend an entire day feeling busy, without actually doing anything to generate pipeline. And sadly, that’s the reality of many salespeople today. The good thing is that routine can be built in a matter of weeks if you stick to it. So I highly recommend following the daily routine I highlighted above, or some slight variation of it.
And look – there are things in life that will throw us off our routine. Whether it’s travel or sickness in the family or relationship changes — life is never predictable. So you will have to make a concerted effort to get back ON your routine once you’ve been knocked off it. This adaptability and resilience is a huge marker of success. In other words, get back on the horse! If you do, success in sales is inevitable.
Until next time…