The Sales Evangelist (Time Management)

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S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

Managing tasks as a leader is difficult because all the tasks are urgent and you have the internal battle of deciding which tasks need your attention. 

You might have a meeting with recruiters about the hiring, or you’ve got to do an interview with some sales reps, or you’ve got to create a report for the VP, and other equally important stuff. The list could go on and on and in the end, you aren’t able to get anything done to bring in more revenue. 

The challenge 

As team leaders, the best thing we can give to the sales rep is our care and utmost concern. Unfortunately, though, things don’t go the way we plan due to minute tasks that bog us down. Team leaders are faced with the challenge of managing their time to do the things that will impact the entire team in a good way. 

The grumpy sales manager syndrome 

The grumpy sales manager syndrome is nothing new and you might have experienced an episode of it once or twice. You are the leader so it’s natural to be bombarded with so many things to do: 

  • make reports 
  • attend meetings with sales reps 
  • meet with recruiters
  • meet with marketing folks

You are swamped with many different tasks and it’s overwhelming you.

Mike Weinberg mentioned this in his book Sales Management Simplified where he discussed all the different sales management myths and challenges. He then explained it in a way that’s both understandable and relatable. In the book, he said that this problem stems from the executive

level. 

Company owners or VPs are usually the reason sales managers have a tough time in juggling all their duties and this has nothing to do with the reports they are asking for. Rather, it has to do with the culture that is set within an organization. Executives, for example, aren’t focused on sales and so they don’t do everything in their power to cater to the sales effort. 

First line of defense

All the departments in a company or organization are important for the entire operation to work successfully. The marketing team, the development team, and all the other departments you can name are imperative for the organization to thrive. But all these other departments won’t be getting any money unless the sales team brings in more revenue. 

The sales team is an organization’s first line of defense since it is bringing business into the company. #SalesRevenue

Sellers are the ones out there who are battling it out against the others. That is a huge amount of weight for the sales team because if it can’t happen, the company may fire the sales leaders for the lack of good results. 

Salespeople are foundations of a successful company and failing to recognize that is a problem.  We need a culture that is built around salespeople. 

Rate the tasks accordingly

Sales managers don’t necessarily have a defined role and instead, they have interconnecting roles within the organization.  For example, if you are helping the team generate revenue, then all your tasks must be related to that. But that’s not always the case. 

To define your goal, try to list the things that you do on a day-to-day basis and rate these activities from 1 to 5. (1 if the task isn’t helping you in fulfilling your goal, 5 if the activity is directly related to accomplishing your goals).  For instance, a one-to-one meeting with your sales rep to help the CS team increase its revenue is a full 5 rating. The meeting is an opportunity for you to give pipeline reviews with the sales rep to help him close more deals.  

Going on key account calls and weekly sales meetings are income-generating tasks and are closely tied to your goals. 

Housekeeping

On the other spectrum, you can have others complete tasks such as cleaning your inbox, creating spreadsheets to track sales and metrics, and attending meetings not related to your role. Or, if you prefer, do these tasks in your downtime. If you want to clean your inbox, then do it in your downtime. If you want a spreadsheet, then use CRM. If you want to attend the meetings unrelated to your task, you can jump in for a few minutes to check how it’s going instead of sitting down the whole two hours. 

Assess the tasks and if it’s possible to get an assistant to help you, then hire one. There are several platforms like Upwork where you can find somebody who can do something for you on a project basis.  Rating your tasks will make your work more efficient and will give you time for the more important things. 

Focus on the important ones

Ask yourself a series of questions before proceeding to every task. 

  • Am I needed at the meeting? 
  • Will it run effectively if I am not there? 
  • Will this task help my goal in increasing revenue? 
  • Rate the tasks and pick the ones that are most important by focusing on threes, fours, and fives. 

Fives are the obvious things that must happen. Set down the time for your meetings: time for the one-on-one, time for talking to your sellers, and all the other activities that are immediate. You might want to do the interviewing for new hires on a weekly basis or you might want to review resumes on a monthly basis. 

You must decide the schedules for the different activities and follow through. 

In this way, you can focus on the things that you need to and not be around for things that you don’t need to be a part of. You can also set a time to motivate your team and raise their morale by going to weekly or monthly lunch. 

Time is important 

Time is important and your sales reps need your time in closing deals and making sure that they’re overcoming challenges and working effectively. 

You are the coach and the sales reps are the players, and the only way for the team to work out is if both the coach and the players work hand-in-hand. If you are bogged down, hiding behind paperwork, and locked up in an office without a chance to connect with your reps, then you are never going to reach your goals. 

Applying this to The Sales Evangelist team helped me set the right culture as a leader of an organization. 

Money comes through the door when you are focused only on the things that you need to do.

“Managing Tasks as a Leader” episode resources 

Sales managers and leaders have different strategies in managing their tasks. If you have a story, don’t hesitate to drop me a message or tag me on LinkedIn, Donald C. Kelly. 

Check out Mike Weinberg’s book, Sales Management Simplified

 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program which aims to help sales reps and sales team improve their skills in finding the right customers and knowing the strategies and activities that work. The program also teaches you the right questions to ask in order to build strong values and close huge deals. Go to thesalesevangelists.com/freecourse to get the first two episodes for free.

Audible is also a great avenue for sales learning. It has thousands of books that you can read

and audiobooks to listen that can help you to grow as a savvy salesperson. 

 

Give it a go to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. Just type in audibletrial.com/tse. If you enjoyed this episode and learned from it, please do give us a review 5-star rating on Apple podcast. You can also share this podcast with your friends and colleagues who are using other platforms such as Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1152.mp3
Category:Time Management -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sellers must work to effectively plan their activities in order to accomplish the important tasks in their days, and since I’ve struggled with the same challenges, I’ve developed a new planning tool to help with that effort. 

 

For most of us, it isn’t unreasonable to find that we have more tasks due in a day than we can possibly accomplish, and we can end up feeling like we’ve failed when we come up short. Unless we change how we do things, our days will feel like Groundhog Day, and we’ll repeat the same ineffective patterns every day. 

 

Falling short

If we fail to complete our to-do list every single day, we’ll end the day feeling like we’ve failed. Worse yet, our list will grow every day because it will include tasks from the previous day that we didn’t finish. Eventually, we’ll feel emotionally drained by our ineffectiveness. 

Now, while you’re trying to find new leads, get new deals, and close new opportunities, you’ll likely be preoccupied with your looming to-do list. 

You’ll never completely escape the stressful moments and days in sales, but if you learn to effectively manage the time you have, you’ll better manage that stress. Whether you’re selling cars or selling services, you’re at risk of being frustrated by the to-do list. 

 

Identifying the process

I discovered in my own process of organizing tasks I was spending as much time planning the tasks as I did accomplishing them. The result was that I was going in circles. I had read a book by Kevin Cruz called 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management that prompted me to take control of my schedule. (I recommend you read it, too. It’s available on Audible.)

I started by writing down all the tasks I needed to do each day, keeping in mind that I function best when I keep my days broken up. Kevin recommended breaking your day into 15-minute increments, which was a great idea, but honestly 30-minute increments worked best for me. I planned my entire day, including tasks like reading a sales book, listening to a podcast, prospecting, LinkedIn outreach, follow-up with clients, or proposal preparation. 

 

Creating a planner

I decided to create my own planner that specifically addresses my unique tasks. One side of the planner allows me to list all the different tasks I do and divide them into different categories. In my case, as a business owner, I have certain categories that other sellers may not have. 

The top of each page has my KPIs which will help me generate sales and move the needle. They include new prospects, new opportunities, deals, progress. I list my top three goals or priorities for the day and things that I know I must get done. Some of them will be sales related and some will be beyond sales. 

For example, Mondays are podcast interview days. Other tasks on other days might include working with a team member to accomplish an internal task or meeting with a bookkeeper. Some days I’m writing a guest blog post for Hubspot or some other publication or creating content for social media. I also include personal tasks like appointments. 

At the bottom of the page, because I’m also a consultant, I track my clients and the consultations I have with them. 

 

Devoting time

On the second side of the page, I allocate time for each of the different tasks, in either 15- or 30-minute increments. I order the tasks according to importance because I have them divided by category. 

Over time, I can track the categories and tasks that are taking a lot of my time. In some cases, I can push some of those tasks to other team members to free time in my own schedule. 

As an example, I realized I was spending a lot of time handling emails and I wasn’t able to efficiently get back to people when I needed to. I trained my executive assistant to help manage my email account and invested a couple of days into helping her establish a process. Now she helps me distinguish between junk emails and those that require an answer. As a result, my admin tasks have diminished a bit. 

If you’re thinking you don’t have the luxury of an executive assistant, it’s possible to find trustworthy people on platforms like Upwork.

 

Maximizing time

Some tasks can be shared by other team members through the use of templates. If I need a presentation created, I can use a template from PandaDoc to have someone else create it for me. This frees up my time to focus on things that matter the most. 

At the end of the day, I can note my actual accomplishments for the day and how much I was able to achieve. Based on those numbers, I can judge how efficient I was. Did I get to 70 percent? Strive to get A’s, but know that B’s are ok. C’s are no good. 

I’m going to create a video to share on LinkedIn that will show you how you can build a planner of your own, and ultimately we’ll create a planner for sellers, though our current one targets entrepreneurs.

Work to identify the tasks that only you can do and make sure those are the tasks that land on your calendar. Then judge your success based upon your ability to accomplish those things. 

 

“New Planning Tool” episode resources

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump. If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. 

 

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

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Direct download: TSE_1132.mp3
Category:Time Management -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Are you making sure you’re casting your net to your target? Otherwise, you may just be wasting your time doing all things that you could have delegated to others. Today’s guest is Jason Avery. He has been part of the contracting world and he has helped many contractors to become effective in their business amidst […]

The post 604: Sales From The Street-“Time Is Money” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_604.mp3
Category:Time Management -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

Are you really selling as a sales rep? How much of your time do you really spend on actual selling? A study done showed that sales professionals spend an average of only about 39% of their time on actual selling. Today, I’m going to share snippets from two of our sessions over at TSE Hustler’s […]

The post TSE 345: TSE Hustler’s League-“This Calendar Thing Worked” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_345.mp3
Category:Time Management -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

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