Question: I have a sales quota and sales management responsibilities for three other salespeople at my company. Sometimes I feel out of balance. Any suggestions?
Answer: Your question reminds me of many entrepreneurs I work with. It can feel like you are attempting to spin multiple plates on a stick – all at the same time.
I would suggest you use the “Ben Franklin” method of drawing a line down the middle of a piece of paper and on one side list all the key performance indicators (KPIs) in your role as a sales manager and on the other side list your sales producer role KPIs.
Next prioritize the top 3 KPIs on each side. For example, your top three as Sales Manager might be: group sales meeting, individual coaching, and ride-alongs with your sales folks.
Your top three KPI’s as a sales producer might be: prospecting attempts, qualified quotes, and structured sales meetings with prospects,
Based on your six new KPI’s, begin scheduling time each week or possibly each day to work on these areas. For example: as a sales manager you may want to schedule a weekly group sales meeting and rotate each person facilitating the weekly group meeting. That way you are only facilitating once a month and you are developing facilitation skills with each of your sale producers.
On the coaching side, you could hold two one-hour “office hours” per week at a defined time. This allows you to schedule your coaching at specific times per week and also have fewer interruptions from sales producers knowing when you are available.
Lastly, at the weekly group sales meeting, you could rotate scheduling ride-alongs with meetings already scheduled with your sales producers that week.
Now let’s transition to the sales producer scheduling of KPI’s. You’ll want to have a quantity per day of how many outbound attempts to make your sales goal. Let’s pretend it’s 13 per day. I would suggest scheduling this prospecting time possibly at the beginning of you day (8 before 8 AM) and then (5 after 5 PM). This will allow you to schedule your structured sales meetings with prospects during normal business hours and allow you prep time before each meeting.
We have also discovered decision makers are more accessible before 8 and after 5 because they typically work those types of hours. Gatekeepers are typically not in yet and tend to leave right at 5 PM.
When qualifying your structured sales meetings, the posture you are attempting to have is to qualify one another. In other words, not everyone is a qualified prospect, nor do they deserve a proposal from you. Doing fewer proposals to unqualified prospects will be a great time management tool. To put things in perspective, if it took you personally 16 hours to provide a proposal, what would you be asking that you are not asking now?
Lastly, when scheduling structured sales meetings, a minimum of the following are needed:
- Prospect’s goals to accomplish at the meeting
- Amount of time agreed upon
- A calendar invite with an agenda, place, homework etc. listed
The old adage holds true here. You can tell what’s important to someone by what’s in their calendar and in their checkbook. By being a better scheduler, you’ll be modeling this behavior to your sales producers. They too, will be more effective in their sales efforts by scheduling time for their KPIs.
Dan Stalp is president of Sandler Training, a sales and professional development firm. He works with CEOs, presidents, business owners who sell, and peak performers who are tired of walking by their salespeople’s offices to see them on their computers instead of on their phones — and sick of having a superior product and losing out on price. firstname.lastname@example.org • (913) 451-1760 • DanStalp.com