Time Management for Sales Development Reps

September 09, 2019

Best practices for SDR time management include setting goals and objectives, creating a daily calendar and streamlining activities.

The original version of this article, authored by Bryan Gonzalez, was published by TOPO, now Gartner. 

Effective time management is essential to sales develop representative (SDR) productivity. A full 83.4% of SDRs fail to consistently hit quota each month, in large part because they lack this critical skill.

The problem is so prevalent that in our SDR research, 33.3% of high-growth companies cite challenges around SDR time management as one of the top three challenges for their organization.

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Fortunately, time management is a solvable problem when SDRs use these important steps:

  • Guidelines to approach time management in a systematic manner that supports hitting their quota
  • Best practices for managing time more effectively and optimizing daily activities
  • Tools to set and achieve daily goals

SDR time management best practices

There are three foundational best practices for SDR time management.

1. Set goals and objectives

The first step to effective time management is to set smart daily and weekly goals that anticipate performance challenges before they occur. To do this, first divide your quota into weekly and daily goals. SDRs who consistently hit quota produce steadily throughout the month.

Next, create daily activity goals. If you know you must produce one sales qualified lead each day, break that into individual activities you will need to complete to produce your desired results.

Finally, with your daily activity goals defined, you must ensure you dedicate enough time throughout your day to achieve those goals. Block off time on your calendar for prospecting and protect that time from distractions like internal meetings.

2. Create a daily calendar

The next step is to create a daily calendar to manage your time. The calendar below provides an example of how to block out your day to ensure you stay focused and allot yourself enough time to hit your goals.

Great SDRs not only schedule each day around the activities that will help them hit their quota, but they develop consistent daily habits that allow them to progress toward their monthly quota.

3. Streamline SDR activities

Once SDRs consistently achieve daily goals and monthly quota, identify efficiencies in daily activities to reduce time spent on them.

Common areas for improvement include:

  • Make more calls per day by dedicating blocks of time to this activity.
  • Send more emails per day by leveraging templates.
  • Reduce time spent on buyer research by grouping your outreach by company, industry, lead source or another similarity to scale your research efforts by focusing on the same types of buyers.
  • Reduce distractions by specifying time to internal meeting and protecting all other time for prospecting activities.
  • Manage and log activities more efficiently by collaborating with sales ops/CRM administration or leveraging sales productivity apps to automate administrative activities.
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