Introduction:

Time management is difficult. Time management for sales managers? An entirely different monster. If your current reality has you overworked, exhausted, with barely any time to spend with your team, it’s time to come up with a different way of doing things. Today on the Funnel we discuss how you should be spending your time, ‘releasing the hounds’, and building around the best time management practices. As always if you have any questions please schedule a free 30-minute consultation and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.
 

What we’re going to cover:

  • Current reality
  • How you should be spending your time
  • Release the hounds
  • Build around best practices

 

 

Current reality

 

60 to 70 hour week

“The current reality for most sales managers is 60-70 hours a week. Evenings and weekends are spent checking emails, doing projects, or having your boss call you at home, getting up early on Saturday morning before the day hits and doing stuff late into the night. Your inbox is constantly overflowing with just about every kind of email possible, from every facet of the business. You’re stuck in mindless pointless meetings almost every day of the week.”
 

Selling & Closing

“Now if your role is a selling manager it is what it is, but maybe you’re out selling in lieu of your sales reps. Maybe you lost a rep and you have an open territory so you’re out there trying to keep the ship from sinking and selling in that territory.  It may even be that you have a weak rep on your team and you have to do a lot of the selling and the closing. In other words, you’re spending your time closing other people’s business.”
 

Preaching vs Coaching 

“Preaching is when you’re talking at them on the things that they need to do but you’re not really coaching. You’re telling them what to do without teaching them how to do it.”
 

Why am I doing this?

“If this sounds like your current reality or some portion of your current reality then you need to ask yourself: Why am I doing this? You’re doing it because you like to do it, you have a passion for being a manager,  you want to help other people succeed, and you want to develop and evolve in your career. But unfortunately, you can’t do that in this reality because you’re never going to get where you need to go behaving like this.”
 

How you should be spending your time

 

1. Coaching

Coaching should take up a majority of your time. I’m not going to tell you all the reasons why coaching is great if you want to know that check out our other blogs on coaching. But I will tell you, it’s going to help in maintaining full territories by giving you insight into your people. Insight into where they are mental, where they are from a skill set perspective, or if they’re going to grow and develop with you.”
 

2. Recruiting

“You should be recruiting new people all the time. Because here’s the dirty little secret nobody really cares about you but you. So, if you have 3 sales teams in your company and you need salespeople, guess what? They’re not bending over backward to provide you with sales rep candidates to help fulfill your need.”

“You need to make sure that you maintain a full territory. In other words, you need to be actively recruiting. Whether it is through friends, Facebook, LinkedIn, tennis club, golf club, always ask ‘do you know any good sales reps?'”

“Then you need to put a recruiting plan together that you as the manager will be in charge of. Part of that plan might be working with HR and laying out exactly what you’re looking for in terms of candidates. You can also have ‘bench players’ or people that you’ve hired, trained, and developed for future opportunities.”
 

3. Sales rep development

“Development is really about trying to find a career path for your sales reps, what do you want to do and how do you want to do it, exploring those opportunities, and training them on it at some point. Bringing in different folks to talk to them, different training mechanisms, whatever methodology it is that your company uses, but developing them to be a well-rounded employee. Creating good sales reps that hit their target, hit the numbers, understand the business, and have a path for their career that you’re trying to help them reach, that’s development.”
 

4. KPI’s

“Managing the key performance indicators. In other words, you need to determine what’s important and focus on that. Not the stuff that makes the people up the food chain look good. But really the accountability and reporting standards that help them achieve their targeted objectives.”
 

5. Motivating

“You don’t have the luxury of having a down day or being a down person, it’s not your job. But what does happy have to do with it? Well, you’re passionate, excited about your job and understanding what it means to motivate salespeople, and how to motivate them. That’s part of your role and how you should be spending your time.”
 

Release the hounds

 

Examine how you spend your day

“The best way to do it is to take a couple of weeks and in a spiral notepad track every minute of your day. Do it for a couple of weeks because there are going to be some outliers in there, things that don’t happen week to week, and then break it down.”
 

Get rid of the nonsensical stuff

“How much time do I spend putting out fires? How much time do I spend on email? How much time do I spend on stupid meetings? How many times a week do I meet with my boss? Write it all down. Then get rid of the things that are not a  priority.”
 

Meet with your boss

“Why would you track it like this? Because you’re going to meet with your boss and you’re going to say this is how my day goes, this is what its set up to be. Now don’t expect them to feel guilty or sorry for you, but I think what this is going to do is show glaringly where the issues lie.” “Then you’re going to explain to them how you’re going to change the current layout, what you’re going to change and you’re going to ask for things that need to change with it. For example, meetings in the middle of the day.”
 

Ask for what you need.

“You’re asking to be relieved of some of these things that are not a priority because you’re going to make some changes and you need your boss to be aware of it. But what you’re going to give in return is higher numbers. If you can spend more time in the field coaching your reps rather than doing these nonsensical things the numbers are going to go up. And who can argue with growth?”
 

Build around best practices

 

Prioritize best practices

“Prioritize what is important. For example, if coaching is important to schedule that first and build your schedule out with coaching blocked off. Then slowly fill in the other stuff with everything else you need to do.”
 

Drop unimportant tasks

“Drop the unimportant tasks and begin to change your habits. Build your entire schedule around what’s important and then you let everything else fill in the blanks.”
 

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.   sales candidate assessment free trial

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