Thanks to your CRM, marketing automation software and whatever additional apps or technology your company offers, your sales reps constantly have the option to take on more. But that doesn’t mean they should. After all, too much work in several areas can mean too little productivity in any one.
Does your team know that? Do they understand which work to take on versus pass up? As their leader, you should ensure they do.
Following are a few sales coaching tips that can help. Introduce each as a simple starting point, to get your team thinking about the value of their time – and then realizing its potential. [Note: These tips are shared in more detail in our new eBooks on preventing burnout for sales and marketing teams.]
1. Looking at internal meetings.
It’s too easy to add another name to a meeting invitation, especially when that “another” might not really offer value at that meeting. Talk to your team about this. Encourage them to wonder if everyone they’re inviting to meetings needs to be there and if they themselves need to take on so many meetings in the first place.
In his book The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, Chris Brogan talks about how meetings are a huge time consumer, especially when email often offers a quicker substitution. “A principle I’m setting for myself is ‘No meetings for more than 20 minutes’ and another is ‘No phone meetings when email will resolve the issue,’ ” he says.
2. Getting comfortable with saying “no.”
Coach your team members on understanding their roles and priorities. They might not be saying no to enough prospects who don’t fit your solution, or to those extra meetings they don’t really need to attend.
Forbes contributor Eric Wagner put together some great words on this one, in a post called “Why ‘No’ is the Most Powerful Word You Can Use in 2013”:
“Listen – you and I have exactly 24 hours in a day. And guess what? So does Bill Gates, Tom Cruise and President Obama. Yes – we’re on equal ground with these guys in this category.
So at the end of the day (literally), the most important thing any of us can be doing is effectively managing our time. Which in essence is nothing more than knowing when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no.’ ”
3. Learning to quit.
A lot of us were raised to believe that quitting anything isn’t good. That’s entirely untrue when it comes to work. (And many other things, actually.) For example, if one of your sales reps is prospecting off of a list that’s not returning strong opportunities – and clearly not going to –his or her valuable time could be spent elsewhere.
Forbes contributor Cheryl Conner sums it up in a few words: “Sometimes ‘quitters’ are actually just choosers.”
Just teach your sales team to choose wisely.