differentdirectionsIf you’re being pulled in too many directions, then you’re not on course for sales success.

Distractions come at us at warp speed in this multi-screen, technology-driven world. And it’s easy to let those distractions eat up valuable business hours. But success in sales means actually selling, so anything that doesn’t contribute to business development is a waste of time.

So how do you increase sales productivity with so many distractions competing for your attention?

Get Your Priorities Straight

My trick for staying on course? I do what’s “closest to cash” first every single day.

This could mean writing a proposal, following up on a referral, scheduling a meeting with a prospect, caring for current clients, or chatting with a potential Referral Source.

Yes, I spend a little time checking email and social media, but when my timer pings at 30 minutes, I sign off. I used to clean out my Inbox every day. Not anymore. Unless an activity contributes to building my business, it’s a waste of my prime business hours. I can research, read, and listen to podcasts and webcasts when (or if) I have time.

Don’t Drown in Distractions

That’s why I resonated with “Stay The Course In a Sea of Distraction,”an interview with Badgeville founder Kris Duggan. Here’s what he has to say about the impact of distractions on our lives:

“Technology sends us ‘pin pricks’ during the day in the form of texts, emails, notifications, and alerts,” he says. These inbound requests are triggers for distraction.

The modern workplace has better tools and more data than ever before. Unfortunately, email, Twitter, calendars, and even productivity tools can keep us from actually getting any real work done. So how can we make sure we stay productive in a sea of distraction?

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Bottom line: Don’t let distractions make you so busy being busy that you lose track of what matters—connecting with prospects, clients, and Referral Sources.

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Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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How do you keep distractions from taking you off course?