Bad Management Habit to Break: Coasting

July 6, 2017
Bad Management Habit to Break: Coasting

It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Right? Unfortunately, summertime is also a great time for some bad management habits to creep in. Coasting is one of the worst.

It can be easy to remember to monitor your poor performers, but even top performing sales reps tend to experience slumps and can fall into bad behaviors. And if you’ve developed the bad management habit of coasting, you may be enabling poor habits in your team.

3 Ways Bad Management Coasts in the Summer

Succumbing to a Summer Slump

Prospects are on vacation. Clients aren’t answering their phones. Your reps are looking out the window and wishing they were on the beach. These are all prime ingredients for a summer slump!

This can actually be a bigger problem for your higher performing sales reps than your poor performers. If a sales rep has hit their Q1 and Q2 targets, they might be tempted to take their foot off the gas.

While relaxation is important for maintaining focus and energy, it can easily turn into a longer-lasting slump if bad management is letting employees coast.

As a manager, work to keep your salespeople focused. It can be helpful to identify specific summer goals and celebrate small wins.

Making clear distinctions between vacation time and work time can also help. Let your salespeople relax when they’re out of the office so they can come back refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.

Missing Meetings

You’re on vacation for a week, and your rep leaves just a couple of days after you’re back. Bad management would let you miss meeting in the few days you overlap.

It’s tempting to blow off sales team meetings and one-on-one coaching sessions when summer schedules get busy. But with a little flexibility and determination, you can stay on track.

Identify your key meetings and work at least a few weeks in advance to make sure you’ve found a workable time. Your Monday morning sales meeting might need to move to Friday if a significant part of the team will be on vacation on Monday. Your one-on-one might need to happen on the phone instead of in person. Listen to Tim Gunn and make it work!

This is also a good time to consider what you’re including in your sales meetings. If they’re boring, it’s even more tempting to cancel. Click here for 5 strategies to make your sales team meetings less boring.

Letting Vacations Drag

Have you ever experienced a vacation hangover? I’m not talking about the headache and nausea from indulging, but the exhaustion and distraction that can happen after a vacation.

The problem can be physical – an exciting adventure hiking or diving might take a few days to recover. And the red-eye flights that worked in your 20s might be harder to handle over time.

The drag also be mental or emotional. If you were looking forward to a trip, knowing that it’s over can be disappointing. And spending time with family and friends, though fun, isn’t always relaxing. (If you doubt that, let me introduce you to my 11 wonderful – and loud – nieces and nephews!)

In sales, this vacation hangover can be even more harmful. A little less focus before vacation, and a little drag after vacation, can turn a 2-week trip into a 4-week slump. Bad management and coasting enable vacation hangovers.

The best way to avoid vacation hangover is planning before the trip. Make sure your salespeople set up meetings and phone calls for their first days back in the office. If prospects aren’t available, they can set up meetings with referral sources and centers of influence.

It shouldn’t take more than a day to get caught up in the office, so make sure your reps have meetings scheduled for their second day back. Your pipeline will thank you!

I hope these tips are helpful as you work to avoid the bad management habit of coasting. If you have any more advice, I’d love to read it in the comments!

And if you want to stay focused during the summer as a sales manager, check out our eBook with sales management checklists to drive your management process.
Free eBook: Sales Management Planning - Sales & Sales Management Checklists to Transform the Way You Work

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