When it comes to PTO, sales professionals need regular breaks just as much as anyone else. As tempting as it might be for sales teams to avoid taking any time away from their lead pipeline, we all need moments to refresh and recuperate every so often. According to reports, taking just 4 weeks off a year grants more total productivity than working throughout the full 12 months.
The question for most sales professionals, is how do you take personal time off, without worrying about your sales pipelines?
PTO Sales: How to Take a Personal Day
As mentioned above, when it by taking PTO, sales professionals can improve their overall productivity, as well as reducing their risk of burnout. According to author Shawn Actor, time off can improve a salesperson’s satisfaction levels, and happiness in team members can lead to sales increases of around 37%!
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to make the most of personal time when you’re constantly worrying about lost opportunity and dwindling pipelines. With this in mind, one of the best things a sales professional can do, is make sure they’re prepared for their time away from work.
Before going anywhere for personal time off, a sales professional should make sure they have full control over their sales pipeline. Taking action on as many deals in your pipeline before you leave will ensure you’re not falling behind when you’re not at the office. Some sales professionals even find it easier to ramp up their activities before taking PTO, so they feel as though they’re still on track to reach their quota.
If you’re dealing with a deal in the middle or bottom of the funnel, mention your upcoming absence to increase urgency and push the sale. For top-of-funnel leads, you can schedule follow-ups and meetings which take place after your time off.
Top Tips for Personal Time Off
Aside from progressing deals as much as possible before taking personal time, sales professionals can also take a range of other steps to get their pipelines in the best possible position. For instance, using workflow automation tools can allow you to put repetitive tasks on autopilot, so you can keep working on your deals when you’re away.
Workflow automation tools can automatically drip content and emails out to your contacts to help with nurturing leads. You can also use the same tools to notify team members and other people in the sales team when a deal is progressing, so they can follow up.
Other ways to make the most of your paid time off include:
Setting schedules: Returning from vacation can be a complex and daunting experience for a sales professional without the right preparation. Make sure you set your schedule before hand to make the return to work as simple as possible. Leave the first day back at work free from calls, so you can enjoy a “buffer” day, then use the remaining days of the first week to catch up with hot prospects.
Supporting colleagues: When you’re taking PTO prepare the others on your team to take over your deals for you. Making sure other staff members have access to the right information and tools to keep a deal progressing will help you to avoid missing out on opportunities. Your colleagues can even set up meetings for you when you return if you provide them with access to your calendar and availability.
Defining the right times for vacations: Certain times of the year are more hectic for sales reps than others. Looking at your analytics from the last couple of years should give you an insight into when the most problematic times to take paid time off might be. Arranging your schedule so you take time away during moments when there’s a natural lull in your industry can reduce your stress levels.
It’s also worth making sure you talk with the other sales reps on your team before you begin planning your PTO. If possible, you’ll want to ensure you and other crucial members of staff aren’t away from the office at the same time. When one critical salesperson isn’t available, another one should be there to ensure essential opportunities aren’t missed.
Is PTO Possible in Sales?
Taking paid time off when you’re in a fast-paced and challenging environment like sales can sometimes feel impossible. However, even the most successful sales people need to take time away from the grind every so often. Taking personal time can give you time to refresh your mind and come up with new ways to reach your sales goals.
Some companies even use things like “quota relief” to actively encourage their employees to take time off. Quota relief works by reducing the sales targets a professional need to reach in aa specific time if they’re going to be using their PTO.