5 Tips to Find More Time (and Productivity) in Your Day

February 14, 2018  |  Posted by in Leadership Development, Sales Planning

For sales leaders, it seems there is a universal shortage between the demands on our time and the hours in a day. One of the biggest challenges is getting consumed with individual sales rep needs or customer issues that jettison us into problem-solving or crisis management mode. There’s no denying that these issues are important and warrant our attention, but we can’t ignore the fact that every minute we spend on solving the problems of a single customer or sales professional is time we are not spending on strategic planning and improvement that would have broader, more significant long-term impact.

Consider these tips to find some additional time in your day:

  1. Make time for strategic thinking and planning. Set aside at least 45 minutes to an hour each day in which you ignore your email, phone and ongoing “to-do” list to consider long-term needs, goals and opportunities for improvement.
  2. Look for patterns in the issues you hear from sales reps and customers. Stepping back to consider whether problems are actually systemic issues, and then problem solving with global process or policy changes could significantly reduce the volume of problems and stress for you and your entire sales organization.
  3. Delegate. There’s a long-held business premise that if someone at a lower management level could be doing a task, then they should be doing the task. It’s more efficient and certainly more cost effective. Continually consider the tasks on your plate and whether any could be placed with an administrative or other team member.
  4. Are you solving when you should be coaching? You know the adage… “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” When a member of your team comes to you with a problem, pause long enough to consider whether your time is best spent solving the problem or coaching your team member on how to solve the problem him/herself. Even better, coach the team member on how to avoid the problem in the future.
  5. Empower team members. Do you have issues that could be solved by empowering your sales team? Sometimes policies exist simply as a result of habit and history. Consider the issues or tasks that sales team members engage you to approve, resolve or complete. Do they all make sense? Look for opportunities to remove yourself as a bottle neck and empower the sales team with appropriate decisions and actions. Not only will it reduce your work load, it will likely be a welcome change that results in a more efficient process for sales team members as well.

Reducing our load of daily brush fires will not only make our lives less stressful, it will improve our effectiveness and that of the entire sales organization.

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