Every choice you make will impact your success as a sales rep. When thinking about best practices for sales reps, it generally boils down to not only maximizing the time you have to sell but being smart about how you use that time.

It is often incredibly easy to follow avenues that feel productive but ultimately will not end in a sale.

Things, like reading industry news and taking classes and seminars to learn the latest selling tips and techniques, are definitely valuable, but they should be done in addition to your core sales efforts and not instead of.

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As a sales representative, it’s important to be on top of your game. Last month’s success doesn’t transfer to now so top sales reps always have their eye on the prize.

Research has shown that the top 10% and even top 1% of sales reps that consistently hit 101% of their quotas often have quite a few best practices for sales reps in common.

7 Highly Effective Best Practices for Sales Reps

1. Top sales reps self-manage their time well.

Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, so for top sales reps, it’s about how they use it. Top sales reps are extremely efficient when it comes to how they spend their time.

On average, sales reps spend 53% of their time on ‘core’ selling activities while nearly half their time is spent on administrative tasks, meetings, and continuing education.

best practices for sales reps

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While top sales reps only spent about one hour more per week on core selling activities, they use the time they have more efficiently by qualifying leads, reducing the time they spend on list building and account research, and scheduling time for prospecting.

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The best sales reps are constantly pushing for that next sale, even when that means disqualifying leads. Time is better spent on leads that are likely to purchase than chasing dead ends. Which leads us to the next in the list of best practices for sales reps.

2. Top sales reps aren’t afraid to walk away from leads that won’t convert.

Spending time on leads that ultimately won’t buy not only takes time away from your limited day, but it also takes time away from customers that will buy.

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While it might seem like being persistent is a good thing, disqualifying leads is an important step in the sales process.  When you spend most of your core selling time focusing on leads that will convert, you are more likely to reach your quotas.

3. Top sales reps bring in their own leads.

Top sales reps aren’t afraid to look for sales opportunities in any situation. Sometimes your children’s birthday party might spark a conversation with a fellow parent who needs something you can help them with.

Some research has suggested that marketing only pulls in about 30% of leads with sales reps left to prospect the rest.

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This doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task, schedule time to do this each week or each day instead of backloading it at the end of your month. Sometimes prospecting can be a long game.

Someone you reach out to a few weeks ago will suddenly be in the market to buy, so you will never know when your prospecting will pay off.

4. Top sales reps use software to reduce their workload.

One of the wonderful things about living today is that often software can do the heavy lifting for us. Top sales reps use data and productivity tools 30% more often than average sales reps.

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This is one of the best practices for sales reps because it can help free up precious core selling time. One great option for reducing the amount of time spent list building is by using a service like Growbots.

Growbots increases the number of leads you can contact in a day, which makes you a more effective sales rep.

5. Top sales reps spend less time reading and more time doing.

Research has found that top sales reps spend almost two hours less time per week on keeping up with industry news and content.

While it is important to know the product or service that you’re selling, staying in tune with leads pain points and needs is more important for most sales reps than industry news. 

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Reading up on current events is an easy trap to fall into because it feels productive, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t take you any nearer to closing a deal than other administrative tasks.

6. Top sales reps use the basics consistently.

Sometimes the best practices for sales reps are the basic ones that are easy to overlook. This can include setting an agenda, planning your day, scheduling time for prospecting throughout the week, and limiting next steps for unqualified leads.

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These small steps can show big changes over a week or month. Doing the basics consistently can step you apart from your fellow sales reps and give you an edge.

7. Top sales reps take breaks.

While a well-worn adage for sales reps is Always Be Closing, it’s important to also take breaks. Sales reps tend to be highly motivated, success driven people which is great – until burnout strikes.

Sales is a very up and down world. Some weeks, you might be closing deal after deal and other weeks, it’s a little slower. When you hit a slump, it can feel like what you need to do is put yourself into overdrive.

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While you should still keep pushing to see results, it’s important to also give yourself some time away.

Whether that’s taking a break in the middle of the day to recharge on a walk or turning your phone off after 6:30 p.m. each night for a family time, know what energizes you and helps you re-center and refocus so you can come back in the top, fighting form.

Do you know any best practices for sales reps that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

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Kasia Kowalska

Kasia Kowalska

Content Manager at Growbots. Reading good copy makes me want to sing.