Episode #194 – Mark Sellers

Is Time Management the Key to Productivity?

Mark Sellers


Mark Sellers

Mark Sellers founded Breakthrough Sales Performance, a sales training, executive coaching and consulting firm, 23 years ago.  He’s the author of two books on selling, The Funnel Principle and Blindspots: The Hidden Killer of Sales Coaching.  He is a pioneer in customer buying journey models for selling.  Over 120 global sales teams have implemented his BuyCycle Funnel model.

Time management is something most people struggle with and salespeople are no exception. It can have a huge impact on productivity—so how do you manage your time effectively? How do you become more efficient and productive in the time that you do have? Mark Sellers joins Paul in this episode to share his take—don’t miss it!

Mark Sellers is the Managing Partner and Founder of Breakthrough Sales Performance—which has been operating for 24 years. He is the author of two books, ‘The Funnel Principle’ and ‘Blindspots: The Hidden Killer of Sales Coaching’. He is an executive coach who consults with small to medium-sized businesses to help them improve their sales. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented for his insights on productivity.

Is time management the key to productivity? @funnelprinciple shares his take in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Time #TimeManagement #Productivity #ProductivityTipsClick To Tweet


Outline of This Episode

  • [0:59] Mark’s definition of productivity
  • [1:57] Salespeople need to focus on efficiency
  • [3:09] Focus on what is measurable
  • [6:41] Tactics to improve productivity
  • [9:36] What attributes or characteristics should a salesperson have?
  • [11:03] Mark’s weekly strategy: write things down
  • [12:15] The premise of Mark’s book: Blindspots
  • [13:26] Top 3 productivity dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [15:30] How Mark wrote 2 books and built a deck

Productivity is about time management and prioritization

According to Mark, productivity is measured by the function of energy multiplied by the task at hand. In other words, how long does it take you to complete a task? You’re more productive if you get things done in a shorter length of time. But time seems to be what all salespeople are short on—so the goal is to become more efficient with the time you do have.

Mark points out that one way to achieve efficiency is by only investing your time in qualified leads. You can’t continue chasing deals that are dead. You must also prioritize the things that move the needle on sales and achieving quota and everything else is secondary.

Sales managers need to focus on tracking what is measurable—which is why there is such an emphasis on goals, quota, etc. Mark is happy as long as he can see progress is being made towards a goal. But as a manager, you must know how many ‘calories’ your salespeople are burning to reach a goal. If they’re being inefficient, you can help coach them to be more productive and focus on priorities.

#Productivity is about time management and prioritization, according to the special guest in this episode of @SalesReinvented—@funnelprinciple. #SalesReinvented #Sales #Time #TimeManagement #Productivity #ProductivityTipsClick To Tweet


Mark’s tactics to improve productivity

Salespeople need to stop running and reacting—if they can’t sustain their activity level it will catch up to them. To change, they need to plan better. Mark shared some cool strategies:

  1. The 6×6 priority management strategy: Write on index cards the 6 things that are important to you for the next 6 weeks (personally or professionally). You monitor those things for 6 weeks and evaluate your progress at the end. It helps you find focus and clarity.
  2. Practice necessary endings: Get rid of the things in your life that are no longer serving you and are distracting you.
  3. Write things down: Mark sets aside time each week to write down 3 things: one thing to focus on for clients, one for business, and one for his personal life. He resets them weekly. If he’s nowhere near meeting his goals, he’s likely trying to do too much and adjusts accordingly.
  4. Get coaching: No matter what level you’re at—be it CEO, sales manager, or sales rep—you can improve your skillset with coaching. Coaches can give us a different viewpoint when we are too close to the action and dealing with blindspots.

Be sure to listen to hear our in-depth discussion of these topics.

The attributes a salesperson should have

Mark believes the key to being a great salesperson, in general, is having a good vision. What you’re doing in pursuit of the vision will always move you in the right direction. You simply build your priorities around that vision and pursue them relentlessly.

A salesperson must also know where they’re going to spend their energy, both personally and professionally. They have to have the ability to discern what to say no to and what opportunities to embrace. You can’t be successful if you say ‘yes’ to everything and end up burned out.

Mark’s tips and tricks to master time-management

Mark has learned a few tricks along the way that he shares in this episode that can help you maximize your time:

  • Do a monthly funnel audit: It helps you reset your priorities and is a great way to hold salespeople accountable.
  • Use your calendar for a 30-day plan: Go straight to your calendar and time-block and schedule appointments like you would for a customer or a Dr. appointment.
  • Write things down: It’s hard to ignore something clearly written in your calendar.
  • Stay organized: Disorganization is the ultimate productivity-killer.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute: You will never produce quality work when you rush.
  • Learn to say no: Avoid taking on more than you can handle.

Listen to the whole episode for an in-depth discussion on productivity, to hear about how Mark wrote his books, and the best way to knock out tasks.

@funnelprinciple shares his tips and tricks to master time-management in this engaging episode @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Time #TimeManagement #Productivity #ProductivityTipsClick To Tweet


Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mark Sellers

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

More About Mark Sellers

What was the last book you read?
The Second Mountain by David Brooks

Who / What inspires you?
Richard Rohr, Henry Cloud, David Brooks, Gerhard Gschwandtner, the people of Mustard Seed Communities, my faith

Are there any aspects of your own productivity skills that you are working on improving at the moment?
trying to know what to prioritize re: product development, looking for ways to streamline the customization work I do for client, how to build in a healthy balance of fitness into my life

Hobbies, Interests?
reading and writing, my dogs, golf, biking, & travel.

How can our listeners contact with you?
mark(at)breakthrough-sales.com and 614.571.8267