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GTD for Sales Reps

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  • GTD for Sales Reps

    I have a question for this group. I am a salesman who spends 1/2 of my time on the road meeting with Customers. These meeting can be as short as 10 min or as long as 3 hours depending upon their needs. Does anyone here have experience using GTD in this type of environment? So much of what I do each day is driven by customer needs and thing can change in a moments notice destroying the best laid plans of NA's


  • #2
    Same Gig

    Hi Dave,


    I have the same kind of days you do. I'm not the best GTD practitioner you're going to find here, but when your schedule is client driven like ours it makes a lot of sense to have an NA list to look at when you lift your head from the fray. Its so hard not to be reactive and it seems like those above you expect you to do that non-reactive stuff on nights and weekends. The perception seems to be that if you're not in front of the customer you're wasting time.

    I feel like I'm cheating if I spend a day planning... if I spend a day planning. It doesnt happen much.

    I find that there is a direct correlation between the number of emails in my inbox and the level of trust I have in my system at any given moment. Right now there are over 200 emails in there. Low trust!

    I'm not sure I've offered much helpful advice here.


    • #3
      I'm in sales and here my tips:

      - Schedule 1 hour daily for processing your INs
      - If possible schedule when you stop working to prevent burnout
      - Use Next Actions on ASAP principle (that's not what you have to do!)

      If you have any particular issues please let us know.



      • #4
        Prospect Projects

        One challenge is that each prospect is actually a project - it will take multiple next actions to comlete the sale. This gives one a huge project list if you're chasing as many as me. This added to my ongoing confusion about how many NA's is too many and it can all seem pretty muddled at times.


        • #5

          I am wondering of more often than not you perform approx. the same actions with each prospect in pretty much the same order. Maybe you could have a template or flow chart or check list for each one. If it were me, I would want to have several, if not all the prospects, on one sheet so that I could visually scan and then decide if I shuld take actions in a grouped manner (e.g. phone calls all together, resewarch altogether). Maybe you could treat all with whom the initial contact is in a certain time period as a single group for the purposes of tracking and have them on one sheet (thus a sheet for each week or month or whatever works for you). Reviewing your tracking form, maybe several times a day or week, would be a routine that would give rise to n/as as well as your sepcific interactions.

          I suspect there must be software for this kind of thing.


          • #6
            How many is many? Good question. Please answer my questions:

            - Why you want to answer that?
            - Are you afraid of something?
            - Are you affraid you put too many projects on the list so wouldn't do them?
            - Are you afraid some prospects will go away if you don't get busy with them?
            - What would you loose then?
            - Are you affraid that you did less that you could?
            - Are you satisfied with the results you got by the Weekly Review?
            - Do you want a formula to calculate your future load?

            That's natural that you can't see the future and say if you can do any of them next week.

            My business based on meetings with customers (prospects). Sometimes the sale could be moved with a call or email but that's more an exception to the rule. Naturally I don't like to have more then 3 meetings a day so I have time to relax, process the inputs and do predefined work. My internal feeling is if the outcome is defined (and you really want or need to achive it) plus there's a Next Action then you can move a lot of projects and feel good about not doing others or not completing some of them in a week timeframe. That's because you choosed the projects with highest payoff maybe by skipping less important ones - as your sales intuition advised you on the runway level.

            So. Unless there's a good advice in this thread on this issue just let it go and do what you need-want to do. Don't think about what you couldn't do. You did your best based on your intuitive choices in the moment and external curcustomsences.


            • #7
              prospect projects, etc.

              Here is what I do, fwiw.

              I only manage prospects that I have a 40-50% +chance of closing. These prospects go on my forecast list which would be the same as a project list. in theory, I look at the list every day and try to determine NA's.

              I manage 5 states and travel 4-5 days a week. If a prospect can't make my forecast list, then they just float around with all the other potential clients in that geographical area. i cold call based on what area i will be in. Those prospects that are not 40-50% only become real to me again when i start calling for appts in that particular area.

              This is how I manage NAs with GTD. I only manage the forecasted prospects or else I would have a list with 2000 projects.



              • #8
                I have about 300 customers I have (had) business with. And if I take all of them each could give from 1 to 10 projects at different stages. I think that's impossible to track even with GTD. So I think the idea is to take the most important (with greatest pay off) and work with them.


                • #9

                  I want to thank you all for the responses. You have given me lots to think about as I set up the system.



                  • #10
                    "Forecast List"

                    Originally posted by mattk View Post
                    These prospects go on my forecast list which would be the same as a project list. in theory, I look at the list every day and try to determine NA's.
                    I'm curious Matt as to how you manage that list. Outlook? Excel?



                    • #11
                      We use Goldmine as our crm. I use it primarily to record activities, i.e email about visit when I'm in BHAM next week, ilvm to check in on parent meeting dates, etc.

                      I use a paper planner for NA lists, projects, etc. I read through the list and see if I'm inspired to come up with a next action for each forecasted prospect. Then I write it out on the appropriate context list.