I live my life by being very schedule-oriented and task-driven. There is a comforting aspect to knowing that you have everything scheduled out. You go from one task to the next and, in a blink of an eye, your day is through. But understanding how to task out your day effectively is a different story. Making your tasks work for you, and actually benefiting your work, compared to blindly leading you down a defined path, is hard to master.
I have found in the business development world that tasks can keep everything lined up. But, I have found that people don’t know how to schedule or manage their task list. It can be a delicate balance to being able to know what accounts to focus on and stay in front of compared to accounts that you can forget about for a while. The following steps I have found to be effective, not only for me in my workday, but they can really help in the BDR role.Don’t Task Everything
Let’s start with do not task every record you call. There is no need. You will find yourself having to literally update task due dates constantly along with a bigger issue, constantly following up with the same companies. The key to business development is the ability to stay in front of lots of companies, as more equals more. Your task list too can become unmanageable having too many records to call in one day, which then can cause you to miss some and have overdue tasks. Finding the right balance of tasking pertinent accounts that you know need a defined date to follow up with will ensure you are not being overwhelmed with tasks.
Change Up What You Task and Why
I have found a need to task an account that you have never even spoken with the contact, BUT it could be a company that you are really trying to get in front of. For this instance, pick companies that are important and put a task on them for a follow up once a week, bi-weekly, etc. The most important records I find that tasks will assist me in are the ones I have had previous conversations with the decision maker. I know the company and contact are a fit, and it’s OK if they are not open to meeting or have a need right now, task them out and keep in touch.
One of the most successful processes in business development is the ability to effectively stay in front of a contact and not pressure them. There will be a day that they have a need and if you set your task right to keep in touch, you will talk to them on that day and land a lead! Lastly, if you have contacted a certain account multiple times with no luck in progressing it to an opportunity, delete the task and leave it alone. The great part of lead gen is you can always backfill with a new account!
Keep Tasks Up To Date – Clean Up Overdue
I consistently find that people struggling to manage their tasks don’t know why they even need a task or why they cannot have success in getting back in front of decision makers. One key issue when checking their tasks…they have LOTS of overdue tasks! Why, Why, Why schedule a task if you are never going to follow up with it? It’s a waste of time. If it gets to that point, delete the task, and move on.
I understand that at times we will be out of the office or get behind on our task list to which the due date has come and gone. That is fine but be sure to go back and bring the task due dates up to date. For one, you might have missed a prospect, and if you get too many overdue tasks it will seem daunting to even want to work through them. If you start to see where you are getting a lot of overdue tasks, take some time to even just go through them and update the due date to the following week or a few weeks out.
Set It and Forget It
This is why I love tasks the most, you can set them and then forget about them until the due date. There are WAY too many people and companies out there to remember who everyone is and what the next steps are. So, I let tasks work for me, tasking out companies and then logging in every day and attacking the tasks that are due today. Don’t worry about what is scheduled for tomorrow or next week because really, who cares. Follow up with the companies that are scheduled for today because you took the time to task them as they should be important, and this should be the best time to follow up. If you feel the need and maybe it’s a light day on tasks, look for a few that are upcoming and call them sooner. I also like to look at all my prospects towards the end of the month and if I need a lead or 2, snipe one out of my upcoming task list! It’s nice having my tasks work for me, and by following some of these steps your tasks can work for you too!