Are you a sales manager that's spread too thin from trying to be in 100 places at once? Well, I hate to break it to you, but this is not possible.
If this sounds like you, you're going to have to learn how to be more hands off with your managing style.
Don’t attend an overwhelming amount of internal company meetings. Also, avoid firefights that others could do instead. Don’t spend too much time away from executing your primary responsibility which is to make your sales team successful.
Being a sales manager is even harder if you also carry a sales quota. I’ve rarely seen the “player-coach” model work long term, especially if you’re managing a sales team of ten salespeople or more. It’s just not a sustainable model.
So, here are five remedies for you if you’re a sales manager who is spread too thin.
1) Ask for Help
Request help from your supervisor. He or she can reset expectations for the level of your involvement in activities that are unrelated to sales.
This might include restructuring the roles and responsibilities of others to give you extra time to manage more effectively.
2) Utilize Behavioral Assessments
Consider performing a skills assessment, such as a DISC behavioral assessment. These assessments help you get an objective view of your own strengths and weaknesses as well as team members.
Review the results with team members so you can together determine where to better allocate your time. I like DISC because its quick, insightful, and easy to understand. Luckily, DISC plays no part in company politics or hidden agendas and provides an objective view on behavior and communication skills.
Also, use the report as a discussion guide with your supervisor to improve your own performance and identify areas for training and development.
3) Audit Your Time
Do a time audit. Track where you’re spending your time for three to four weeks.
The majority of your time, say 70%, should be spent interacting with your team. For example, you should be setting expectations, making sure goals are created and published, and providing coaching.
You will need to audit your time every once and awhile when you feel like you're getting spread too thing again.
4) Never Stop Learning
Participate in sales management training as often as possible. Very few sales managers that I’ve come across invest the time to develop best management practices for themselves.
Focus on something other than the sales numbers for once! You're learning and development is just as important.
If you’re putting time aside for yourself for training, you’re more likely to do the same for your salespeople. Additionally, check to see that team members aren’t spreading themselves too thin!
5) Time Block
Want to really make sure you don't spread yourself too thing? Time block the events listed below in your calendar.
Moreover, make your calendar viewable by people who need to request additional time slots. This way, you don't have to waste time going back and forth with team members on scheduling meetings. They will be able to see your availability!
Here are a few examples of things that you should add to your calendar:
- Attending weekly sales staff meetings
- Meeting to review new product and service offerings
- Participating in strategic sales calls
- Mentoring, motivating, and coaching salespeople
- Developing and managing compensation plans
- Dealing with internal issues, including emergencies
- Identifying and tracking Key Performance Indicators
- Conducting formal and informal performance reviews
- Recruiting new sales talent