One of the Most Important Roles for the Sales Manager is to Teach Sales People How to Spend Their Time…Do You Know What’s On The Calendar?”
by Polly Miller, DEI Coach
Experience has shown that the way a salesperson spends his or her time is directly related to their sales level and income. Take a look at your salesperson’s weekly planner or Outlook calendar. Are activities scheduled at least two and a half weeks ahead…all the time?
It is not unusual to find that salespeople have invested their time doing activities that don’t lead to sales. In fact, role discrepancy exercises have shown that salespeople perceive that they spend 58% of their time in non-selling activities and 30% of their time doing data management. That leaves only 12% of their time for sales activities!
Strategic calendar management means spending time on activities that support your goal. 80% of each week should be spent on the following:
1. Finding and qualifying opportunities
2. Securing the initial appointment or scheduled conversation
3. Completing the first appointment
4. Executing follow-up through appointments and telephone work, aiming for setting the next step, date and time
Reports, database management and other administrative duties should only take about 20% of the time each week.
Search out the blank spots in your salesperson’s calendar. If a calendar remains empty or semi-empty, so will the pipeline. Work with them to fill the blank spots. Ask them to start making conscious choices about how they plan to schedule their calendars and use their time. Make sure the activity scheduled has the potential to start a new relationship or to move one forward.
Here are a two more tips:
tip #1. If a spot is blank, chances are the time will be used on non-sales related activities.
tip #2. At your next sales meeting, ask your salesperson to show you the calendar for the coming week and see how many genuine business development activities are scheduled and that scheduled next steps with prospects are noted.
One of the most important roles for the sales manager is to teach salespeople how to spend their time using a long term view of their calendar. Go take a look at your team’s calendar now and see what you discover!
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