Sometimes it can feel like sales managers are juggling a million projects at once. It is easy get caught up in the bustling, day-to-day drive for sales – but you can and should get time back into your day for high-level productivity!
Try out these 6 productivity hacks to keep you and your sales management efficient.
1) Teach your reps time management skills
When your reps are productive, you are more productive. Coaching your reps to manage their time better can be key to giving you time back in your day. Some people are naturally better at time management than others, but it is a teachable skill. We find these techniques most effective:
Help them plan and prioritize their day. In your next 1:1 meetings, ask your reps how they typically plan out each day – how they prioritize their activities, what they have trouble focusing on. Help them set daily activity goals and find which times of day they should focus on which specific activities.
Teach them to avoid distractions. Most sales teams work in open offices and find each other to be a constant distraction. Teach them how to stop procrastinating so they can boost productivity.
Motivate them with rewards. Contests are a great way to motivate sales reps to get things done. Shorter sales contests take advantage of reps’ innate sense of urgency and help keep them focused.
Pay special attention to less experienced reps who are still developing good working habits.
2) Create a Resource Library for your reps
Do you ever feel like you explain the same concepts over and over to your reps? Make a resource library for them to save you and your reps time. At InsightSquared, we use Box to organize these resources.
Here are our suggestions for folders in your Sales Training library:
Sales process – Your sales process should be formalized and well-defined so you can efficiently manage the sales funnel and sales pipeline. Include a document that clearly defines every stage of the sales process so your reps don’t have to constantly ask you which stage their opportunities are in.
Recordings – Inside this folder, include smaller folders named after each of your Inside Sales Reps (ISRs). In each folder, include call recordings from those reps. This serves as a great resource not just for the sales team, but for the marketing team as well as they try to understand the anatomy of a sales call in your market.
Sales Contests – Each time you hold a sales contest, put a document in this folder that explains the contest rules and expectations for your reps to review as needed. Put a live score sheet in there too so they can check the standings on their own.
Slides/handouts from weekly training sessions – Include PowerPoint slides, handouts, Excel spreadsheets, and other resources from your weekly training sessions so your reps can review them later.
New Employee Resources – Formalize the onboarding process with New Employee resources, including a checklist for their first day and week, things to read, and FAQs.
3) Take advantage of CRM
Wouldn’t it be nice if reviewing daily sales analytics was easy?
We’re all about efficiency at InsightSquared, which is why we built our product to generate automated, perfectly accurate sales reports using Salesforce.com data.
Get your reps on board with the CRM too. If their weekly goal is 300 dials, 3 of the 6 reps represented in the graph below have already hit their goal as of Friday morning. The other 3, and especially Adolphe Menjou, know they need to make a certain number of dials that day to hit their goal.
4) Learn Excel shortcuts
Although Excel isn’t our favorite tool, most sales managers use it for a good portion of their work. We created a 1-page guide for Excel shortcuts that includes useful formulas for sales managers, a 6-step plan for mastering Pipeline analysis in Excel, and keyboard shortcuts. Check it out here.
5) Take a break
Research shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks drives both productivity and creativity. Those nap rooms that have become so trendy in workplaces nowadays? They actually increase employees’ productivity. Nap, take a walk to a nearby coffee shop, read a book in another room, take a leisurely lunch break – recharge to stay sharp.
Managers who want to advance their careers need to do plenty of high-level thinking (as opposed to lower-level tasks), and taking a break to get a coffee will give your brain room to come up with these great ideas.
Make sure, though, that your version of a “break” isn’t checking your email every 10 minutes. The most efficient people allot specific times for reading and responding to emails.
6) Stay positive!
Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., spoke in his TED Talk about how happiness inspires productivity. He argues that when we are more positive, we work harder and are therefore more productive. If you make a conscious effort to be more positive, then your sales team will be more positive and will therefore work harder, faster, and more efficiently! Love how that works.
What productivity hacks do you use to gain time back into your day?