Order Of Precedence For Making Calls At Start Of Day:
1. Followup on Proposals (“Deals” category in Pipeline Deals)
2. Generate Proposals (“Deals” category in Pipeline Deals)
3. Fulfillment: Not 100% on Pipeline Deals, but can check “Work In progress” which is the purple tag in “People”
4. RED Hot: Followup with connections that aren’t quite deals yet. RED color status in “People.”
5. Warm Lead: Check the warm leads that are colored Pink. If they don’t have a next action set, do that before acting (since many of these we should let incubate for a while before contacting again).
6. New Leads / Sales: No Tag and Grey color in “People”; work to set appointments.
7. After this is complete, can move to planning and asset-building.
Before, we'd often act haphazardly when making calls. Sometimes we'd put time into categories #6 and #7 before categories #1 and #3... even though the latter set are infinitely more short-term, mid-term, and probably even long-term valuable.
We don't comply 100% with the system 100% of the time, but it serves a very good guidepost for the order of doing things. Do you have something like that for when you're doing business development at your own company or personal life? It'd be worth doing -- it's doubtful you automatically apply your time to the highest-value activities, even if they're equal difficulty (or sometimes even easier!) than other tasks.
Why? Because the mind doesn't work like that. Set an order of precedence. Think it through and build some clear fences around that, so you know when you're doing one kind of activity or another. I can near-guarantee it'll improve how you spend your time.
When ever you start measuring something, you need to weigh the cost of measurement against the gains gotten from it.
Thus, it doesn't always make sense to track a metric. It can make a lot of sense to do it for a short time, understand how you're operating, make improvements, and then drop the tracking.
That's how it goes for me with filling out a time tracking sheet. I'll do it for a while to establish routines and make improvements, and then go off the process at other times during busy periods, or if I'm not getting much gain from it.
Here's my newest time tracking sheet. I fill this out daily, starting from the morning, and ending when I mark down the last notes at night. Explanation follows below --
I'm a power user of multiple 37 Signals products, including the Basecamp project management system (much less so since Socialize moved to agile scrum methodologies company-wide) and its Customer Relationship Management system, Highrise.
Highrise is kind of like democracy: Not great, but definitely the best thing out there, especially if you want a lightweight CRM. (Salesforce is what you'd probably turn to for a more deeply integrated, enterprise-level CRM).
The biggest problem I have with Highrise, though, is its poor Deals section. The entire reason a CRM system exists is to manage customer relationships, and part of that is an uncanny ability to manage sales opportunities. I've hacked Highrise to make it better, but I wasn't satisfied. I put a request out on Twitter and that's how I met Alexey Panteleev.
Alexey of Yoxel.com (great service, by the way -- check it out) created a Chrome extension that's absolutely killer with Highrise. In this post I'll talk about how I've hacked Highrise to work well for me, and how Alexey's extension makes it even better. If you want to try Alexey's extension too, just leave a comment below and I'll connect you to him. If he gets enough interest in it, he may productize it and offer it to anyone using Highrise.