How Sales Managers SHOULD Spend Their Time?


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If sales managers could just put in an order for more time and have it arrive at their office door, all would be well in sales management. But that’s not reality. The reality is, sales managers are pulled in multiple directions every day, which often results in more reactive than proactive efforts. So if you aren’t going to be given more hours during the day any time soon, how should you spend the hours you do have?

According to a recent study by Dr. Adam Rapp of The University of Alabama, sales managers typically spend their time on four types of activities: managing sellers (32%), managing information (26%), direct customer interaction (23%) and administrative activities (15%).
Categories of Management Effort

Which of these activities do you think has the most impact on sales force performance? According to Dr. Rapp, time spent managing the sales team has the most significant positive impact on team performance. In fact, managing the sales team is the most important activity you can do as a sales manager.

While managing the sales team is the most important activity, it can also be one of the most challenging to fit into your busy schedule. Even if you can’t increase the amount of time you spend managing your sales team, you may be able to increase the effectiveness of the time you are able to spend managing your team.

Adam Rapp GraphFortunately, adding a small amount of formality and process to the equation can have a huge impact on your effectiveness as a sales manager. In fact, a 2011 Sales Performance Optimization Report by CSO Insights shows that companies with established formal processes experienced a 10% increase in forecasted deals won, a 9% increase in reps making quota, and a 10% increase in companies reaching their goals. Turns out formality does matter. By adding structure and timeframes to key activities and interactions, you are better able to control how your time is spent and what your priorities are. And who better to be in control of your schedule than YOU?


Source: Rapp, Adam (2012): A question of productivity and performance: The selling sales manager or the managing sales manager. Presented at the Thought Leadership Conference on the Sales Profession. Harvard Business School. July 5-6.


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