How leaders get the most out of their folks

What is your top concern in managing a sales team?

Brent Mellow (Helping businesses improve their results with salesforce.com and the Force.com cloud platform.) asked the following question on LinkedIn:

What is your top concern in managing a sales team?

Here is my response:

Hi Brent,

My top concern in managing a sales team is always getting the team to  effectively maximize their selling time.

By spending more time in front of the right customers. (Those “A” clients who are most likely to buy our solution) Instead of wasting valuable selling time on administrivia and unproductive (and unprofitable) prospecting.

Also Paul Green (Member at UK Business Advisors Limited) added the following information on how salespeople spend their time.

A recent survey indicated that a poor salesperson spend their time as follows:

Active Selling 10%
Prospecting 10%
Problem Solving 14%
Downtime 17%
Travel Time 18%
Administration 31%

A good salesperson should ideally be allocating their time as per below:

Active Selling 35%
Prospecting 25%
Problem Solving 15%
Downtime 10%
Travel Time 10%
Administration 5%

If you would like to discover how to effectively maximize your sales team’s valuable selling time.

Call me @ 519-820-6207 and ask about my full-day training program titled: Prospecting Profitably

Motivational Quote: Will vs. Imagination

“When the will comes in conflict with the imagination, the imagination invariably carries the day.” – Emile Coue

Should managers/leaders apologize?

The following question was posted on LinkedIn by Doyle  Slayton http://www.SalesBlogcast.com who is a trainer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Should managers/leaders apologize?

I’ve worked for bosses who hold polar opposite views on the issue of whether or not a manager should apologize. One believes that a manager should never apologize to their employees. The other makes it a practice to apologize regularly for wrongdoings.

During the last few months, I’ve begun to solidify my views on the subject. Before I share my opinion…

What do you think… should leaders/managers apologize?

Here is my response.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Doyle,

Everyone messes up at times. And because Managers often have to make decisions with incomplete information, the opportunity to mess up increases.

I believe that if a Manager doesn’t apologize and humble him/herself when this happens they will lose respect from their employees.

However, if the Manager does humble him/herself then they will gain respect in the eyes of their employees. They will be perceived as real. And their employees will work that much harder for them in the future.

So, if the situation warrents it, swallow that pride and apologize, because not only is it the right thing to do from a people perspective, but from a business perspective as well.

Great question.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP
“The Sales Dating Guy”
http://www.RichardElmes.com

How to avoid feeling Overloaded and Overwhelmed

This past week the focus of my Professional Selling class was Goal Setting and Time Management.

Interesting enough, I found myself overwhelmed with a workload that has me working 7 days this week at three jobs, along with volunteering at church, driving my son to hockey practice and a birthday party for my neice.

What a killer week!!! And I admit that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I often take on too much and become overloaded.

Not a habit I would suggest.

Right now my life is travelling in Racing Speed. Which is O.K. for short stints, but I prefer not to travel at this pace for long.

We all travel at one of 4 speeds

  • Idling speed
  • Cruising Speed
  • Racing Speed
  • Danger Zone

Idling Speed: This is when we are doing activities that are not urgent and not important. My friend and fellow blogger Jim Estill http://www.jimestill.com/ calls the television “The biggest time waster known to man.” I have also heard it also referred to it as the idiot box because people plunk themselves down in fron of the tube and flick from channel to channel for hours on end. Have you ever started watching a show and all the way through it you kept saying to yourself, “It has got to get better”, but it didn’t. Just think of what you could have done with those 2 hours of your life that you just wasted.

When we spend too much time in Idling speed , we are wasting one of our most valuable resources. Your Time.

“Wasting time is just killing opportunities”

Cruising Speed: This is when you are doing things that are important, but not necessarily urgent. This would involve planning and working on things for the future. This is the area where you are the most productive, because you don’t use as much fuel and put as much stress on yourself when you are going at your own pace.

Racing Speed: We travel at this speed when we are doing things that are both urgent and important. We are moving fast and we can see what benefits completing this task will bring. This is when we are dealing with crisis, pressing challenges or deadline driven projects. Many people spend a significant amount of time traveling at this speed, which will eventually cause them to lose efficiency. A car travelling at increasing speeds does not maximize its fuel mileage. If you find you are spending the majority of your time racing through life, you may want to spend more time planning.

Danger Zone: This is when you are spending time doing things that seem urgent, but are not important. This would involve dealing with interruptions and mail that does not apply to you. Have you ever spent time in a meeting and said afterward, “Why was I there?” This is when you are working hard, but not getting anywhere. When an automobile is pushed too far with the break on it can “Red Line”, which can blow the engine. In our life when we spend too much time in the danger zone, we are putting unnecessary stress on ourselves and we too can break down.

You want to spend less time in the Danger Zone and more time at crusing speed that way you can maximize your productivity and reduce your stress. Just like I plan on doing.