Many organizations and sales representatives lose valuable time due to the common interruptions and distractions that exist in today’s fast paced, information driven world. Have you identified the specific tasks and high priority items for each individual involved in a sales or customer service role?

In some of the X5 sales and service training programs, we often reference the priority matrix to help participants identify important and urgent tasks vs. unimportant and non-urgent tasks. This enables individuals to quickly identify those critical areas of focus for weekly scheduling and helps eliminate distractions and interruptions that can be costly to an organizations productivity.

The priority matrix is divided into 4 areas in which individuals are encouraged to identify the priority level of each task they may have. This allows them to know exactly which tasks must be attended to immediately and what tasks can wait. Consider the 4 areas of the priority matrix below:

Area #1: High Importance and High Urgency: This is the red zone! These items must be solved immediately and efficiently. Urgent customer issues and sales proposals with an upcoming deadline fit well within this category. As these items arise, priorities in the other 3 areas will take a back seat.

4806295665_8ee75ebb38_nArea #2: High Importance and Low Urgency: Although not required to be completed immediately, these sales and service related tasks are critical to continued success and growth. Continued sales and servicing existing customers keep your organization in business. This category may include carving out time for continued business development activity or prospecting.

Area #3: Low Importance and High Urgency: We encourage individuals to try and limit time in this area. What may seem highly urgent to some may not be important to your sales goals or to the health of the organization. Common workplace distractions and interruptions fit well within this category.

Area #4: Low Importance and Low Urgency: Consider this area your stop doing list! Any activity that fits within the category is not providing you or the organization value. Time lost in this category due to common distractions is costly to the growth of the individual and the organization.

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