Current Reality

 

When tackling time management it’s important to know what your current reality is. This is especially important for sales managers as they need to know exactly what it is that they want to achieve.  So, as a sales manager, how does your current reality need to change to make you and your team more successful?  It can mean a lot for sales and for your own career when you know how to manage your day.
 

Overworked.

The current reality for many sales managers is that they are working 60-70 hours a week.  Most sales managers put their 40 hours in and then spend time at home reading and responding to emails, working on projects, or going back to the office at night to get jobs finished up and paper work done.

 

Too many emails.

An overflowing inbox also seems to be the norm for most sales managers.  Aside from dealing with the sales team, there are messages from customers, internal company employees, and various other emails to attend to.

 

Unnecessary meetings.

Sales managers also attend a lot of meetings and some of those meetings really have no bearing on their day to day tasks. To be blunt, most are really a waste of time. The meetings cut into time that could be used doing other things that ultimately leads to the hours that they have to put in from home after the work day is done.

 

Selling vs coaching

Other sales managers spend their time selling as opposed to working with the reps and coaching them on how to sell.  They work with reps who are underperforming or they have an open territory and need to fill the void by selling themselves.  If it is not the actual selling, it is often the closing.  The sales reps do the work and then don’t know how to close it so the manager has to come in at the end and finish the job.

When things like this happen the sales manager ends up spending a lot of time preaching as opposed to coaching because they simply don’t have time left in the day to coach their team members.

 

YOUR current reality

You will paint the picture of your own current reality and how it affects you but it most cases, it is probably similar to the scenarios described above.  You want to develop and evolve in your career but you are unable to do so when you are spending all of your time on menial tasks that are really not a part of your job description.

However, it should be noted that in some scenarios, you may have to take the bull by the horns and work on your own self-development.  In the end, it will be worth it as you will see growth in your own career and your boss will learn to trust and respect your decisions and how you run your team.

 

How You Should Be Spending Your Time

 

Now that you understand your current reality it’s time to learn better time management. The first place to start is by remembering that you should not have to sell because there is an empty territory. You should always have people in your pipeline so that you do not have to do the job of a rep and the job of a manager.

 

Coaching.

To start, you need to make sure you have time to coach your current team.  When you are able to coach you get insight into your team members and who they are.  You will know if you have an underperformer on the team or not and if you do, you will be able to determine if they can be coached or if you need to be prepared to replace a rep.

As a sales manager, 60% of your time should be spent on coaching.  Saying that you need to understand your current reality and figure out how you are going to move forward in order to achieve your goals with this particular step.

 

Constantly recruiting.

As a sales manager, you should always be recruiting so that in the event that you do need to replace a rep, you have someone in the pipeline who is ready to go.  If you need to hire someone new in order to make sure each territory is full you will have people you can call on who are in need of a job or who know someone in sales looking for a job.  If you have people in the pipeline you will not be stuck with an empty territory.

 

Sales rep development

You also need to work on sales rep development so that the reps are evolving with the times.  You should have time to coach your reps and then do annual and/or semi-annual reviews.  You can help each rep analyze their own career path and then help them to reach their goals through individual training and development.

This includes KPI’s and accountability as they may be similar.  It is important to determine what is important and then focus on that.  So, have reporting standards that will help sales reps achieve their objectives and development plans.

 

Motivate your reps 

The last thing you should be doing to better manage your time as a sales manager is motivating your reps. You need to be able to motivate them consistently. It does not matter if you are a morning person, at your best in the afternoon, or find more focus in the evening; you have to motivate the reps at all times of the day so that they are on top of their game.  You need to understand what it means to motivate sales reps and then find a way to engage them.

 

Release the Hounds

 

The next step in time management for sales managers is examining how you spend your day.  To do this, you should take a couple of weeks and document everything you do in a day. Next, create an infographic that will show you how your day is spent.  When you write things down it will have a bigger impact and give you a visual of what is going on.  When you have a visual created, it gives you information to talk to your boss so that you can explain how your days are currently spent and what your goals are so that you have more time to spend with your team.

Having things written down and also in a graphic form will help to support your case to your boss.  You will be able to show where there are issues and explain how you would like to deal with them.  Look at the graphic and get rid of anything that is not necessary in your day so that you have time to do what needs to be done in order to drive revenue higher.

 

Build around Best Practices

 

The last tip in time management for sales managers is deciding what’s important and what’s not. In other words, what can stay and what should be cut out entirely.  Start by prioritizing what needs to be done first and block it off and then start to add other things to the schedule.  Your coaching should be blocked off first and then add the other daily duties such as meetings and dealing with emails.

This is the time to change any practices that are not working.  Dump the unnecessary tasks and fill the time with things that will help to improve the success of the team.

 

Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at jshea@alignment-group.com.  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.

 

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