calendar-timeIn Ineffective Sales Management Part One we talked about the fact that a sales manager could be so much more effective growing their salespeople if they would just spend a significant amount of time actually engaged with their salespeople coaching, motivating and holding them accountable to appropriate behaviors.

Easier said than done. Also, I have found that sales managers probably don’t know exactly where they spend their time so they may think they are spending enough time, but in reality are not.

So here is a suggestion for CEO’s and business owners out there: 

First, sit down with your sales managers and communicate where you want his time spent.  Focus on the people side of the business. Ideally your sales managers should be spending 75% of their time coaching, motivating and holding their salespeople accountable.

Second, ask the manager to now color code his calendar and keep track of where he is actually spending his time.

Breakdown the activities into groups: 

  • Coaching/Motivating (pre-briefing and debriefing calls and helping inspire better performance from a salesperson based on individual motivators and goals)
  • Accountability (inspecting their activity level, and movement in their pipeline, and their actual behaviors)
  • Recruiting (networking to find the next “A” player, etc)
  • Mentoring (developing people on your team beyond just their sales skills)
  • Strategy (work associated with attacking the market)
  • Marketing (should he be responsible for that?)
  • Crisis Management and Internal Issues (you know what that is)
  • Compensation planning and management (ugh)
  • Anything else that sucks time away from the actual beneficial activities of coaching motivating and holding salespeople accountable

The third step in the process is the hardest, but is critical to actually improving the impact the sales manager has on sales results. You must inspect his calendar and hold him accountable to spending time in the areas of coaching, motivating and holding his people accountable.

Sales managers have the biggest impact on the sales team’s success.  Get them to spend the time doing the right things to have positive impact.