‘Busy’ Does Not Mean ‘Productive’

The best account managers know how to stay busy doing the sales activities that are the most productive. Being ‘busy’ only matters if you are taking actions that move you closer to making a sale.

How to Be The Right Kind of Busy

The best account managers are busy. Average account managers are busy. Below average account managers are busy. Everybody is busy, busy, busy.

If everybody is busy, why isn’t everybody as productive as the best account managers?

Unfortunately, it’s obvious that the busy account managers who aren’t productive are busy doing the wrong things.

Since you don’t want to be one of those people, let’s review the right things to be busy doing:

  1. The actions that get one closer to making a sale
  2. The actions that ensure the success of a sale already made

That’s pretty much it.

One Step Closer To Making a Sale

Let’s examine Category #1 in a little more detail. The other day, an account manager pointed out to me that she had sent an e-mail to a client with an interesting article attached. The article was relevant to the customer’s business and sending it was a good idea. Does her action fall qualify as getting her closer to making a sale?

Her action should have fallen into Category #1 as she was trying to get closer to making a sale. But, based on the content of her e-mail, I can promise you that she didn’t get closer to making a sale because she didn’t ask the customer to take any action. Her e-mail said this:

“I saw this article and thought about you.”

Coincidentally, another account manager also copied me on an e-mail that he sent to a customer with an article attached. His e-mail said this:

“Did you see this article (attached)? Let’s get together and brainstorm ways to make this work for your business. We always come up with great ideas!”

Two busy account managers. One productive account manager.

To give you some additional guidance about the difference between being merely busy and actually being productive in account management, let’s expand on what sales activities get someone closer to making a sale.

Actions for getting closer to making a sale:


  • Researching to identify prospects
  • Researching to identify industry trends
  • Contacting prospects with valid business reasons to convince them to spend time with you


  • Determining if the prospect has enough money to purchase your products through research
  • Determining if the prospect has enough money by meeting with them


  • Sending presentations that ask for an investment
  • Delivering presentations face-to-face that ask for an investment

While this list of ways to get closer to making a sale is inexhaustive, one should get a better idea about why the second account manager’s activity was productive. He was contacting a prospect and providing a valid business reason to take a meeting to discuss the client’s needs.

Take your prospecting campaigns to the next level, get into more doors, build deeper relationships, and close more deals with the techniques in our FREE guide, The Seven Steps To Building Effective Prospecting Sequences.

About the author

Tim Rohrer

After a 20-year career in broadcast sales, Tim J.M. Rohrer wrote a book, Sales Lessons…

Online Courses

Learn anywhere, any time, on any device.


Learn Online

Self-paced courses from the
world's top sales experts

Virtual Training

Live, interactive instruction in small
groups with master trainers


One-to-one personalized coaching
focused on your unique situation