Apply Your Focus: Results Generating Activities


How much of your day would you say is taken up with meetings, admin, and keeping up with a never-ending stream of emails? More than you’d like, no doubt. On more than one occasion, you’ve probably sat there thinking: “when am I ever going to get my real work done?” There’s only so much time in the day and when you’re in sales, time is the most valuable resource you have. To succeed in an already challenging role you need to find a way to focus your time on the activities that get you results.

Getting The Basics Right First

As a sales management professional, you will no doubt have a team that you are responsible for and you’ll be well aware that you are only as successful as the team you lead. When it comes to getting results, it’s important to take things right back to basics. Your priority is to be leading your team. When you lead your team properly, you create a culture where people perform. For people to perform, they need to be able to focus. As a team leader it is therefore your responsibility to make sure neither your, nor their time, is spent taken up with too many unimportant tasks. Ask yourself: Do you really need that meeting? Sometimes the best thing you can do to help your staff be productive is to leave them to it.

Results Generating Activity vs Time-Sucking Activity

This is all about taking back control of your time. In doing so you are recognising that there are only really two types of activity you do at work. That which produces results and that which simply takes up your time. Once you know which category a task falls into, you can decide how much time to dedicate to it.

To help you do this, follow this easy process:

  • Categorise every activity you do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
  • Once you have this list of activities, you can split this into two lists; activities that get you results and ones that simply use your time.
  • Work out how much of your time is spent on each of these activities.
  • Use your calendar more effectively to block out time for each activity, giving more time to those that generate results.
  • Reduce the amount of time spent on time-sucking activities where possible.
  • Make this an ongoing process. Constantly evaluate how you are spending your time to keep yourself as focused as possible on the most valuable work.
  • Encourage all team members to go through the above process and evaluate their own time management.

Activities That Generate Results

When you’re in sales, you will know the kind of activities that bring in the results. Generally, they will be the ones that involve talking to both clients and prospective clients. To help you categorise your time into results generating and time-sucking activities, the following should help:

Results Generating Activity 

  • Cold calling 
  • Telephoning/emailing warm leads and booking them in for meetings 
  • Following up with prospective clients to close sales 
  • Contacting current clients to discuss potential new opportunities 
  • Meetings with both clients and prospective clients 

Time-sucking And Non-Sales Related Activities 

  • Answering emails 
  • Preparing presentations 
  • Administrative work such as filing, updating a sales system, etc. 
  • Researching prospective clients 
  • Preparation of documents 
  • Team meetings 

There will always be a need to carry out non-sales-related work as it is simply part of the job. It’s about recognising how you can limit the time spent on this work and maximise your time spent selling.

Tips To Help You Focus On Results Generating Activities

  • Always have a plan. This will help you to avoid losing time procrastinating and to keep you focused and productive. If you are looking for some ways to plan your day more effectively, there is lots of advice available.
  • Order your work in descending order of importance when it comes to generating results. This also means getting rid of tasks where you can that don’t bring you results. Where you can’t get rid of them completely, dedicate as little time to them as possible.
  • Batch tasks together. Use your calendar to block out portions of time that can be spent on certain tasks. For example, you might batch together a time to send e-mails to prospective clients, time for research, and time for admin. This helps you to not spend too much time on any one thing.
  • Outsource where you can. Certain aspects of sales, and any business for that matter, can benefit from being outsourced. Social media and email marketing for example can easily take a whole day to do. By hiring a marketing company to take over this work for you, you are recognising how important this is to acquiring leads for your business, while freeing up your time to do what you do best… sell.


Time is a finite resource. No matter how much we might wish it, there will never be more hours in the day. What we can change is how we use the time we have. By taking control of your time and switching your focus to spending time on activities that get you the results you want, you are almost guaranteed to improve your sales numbers. As a sales management professional, you understand the importance of leading your team in a way that gives them the tools they need to perform. The greatest tool you can give is the time to focus. If you do, you’re almost guaranteed results.

Jack Barron, Director

Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. As Director of Invoke Media, he is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of every campaign, getting stuck into the execution of successful at every opportunity.

Further Reading