I just marked by 20th anniversary at Nexeed. I didn’t know much about sales management when I began working with the company. Much of what I knew was self-taught. I didn’t give much thought to how I was succeeding in sales.
When I was put in charge of managing a sales team, I finally had to figure out what I was doing right as a salesperson.
In mentoring my team, I realized success came down to one thing: time management.
The key to managing time is to identify your successes and try to repeat them in practical ways.
Here’s what I discovered when I did this.
- Identify your system. Now, we use a customer relationship management (CRM) system where we actually keep track of notes and schedule next activities for every active sales opportunity. Before that I sort of winged it, not realizing I was unconsciously developing an effective system that worked. Developing a sales process and understanding it was a big revelation.
- Get organized. I was always organized, but I had to consciously sit down and develop a formal process based on how I was working. Now, we do a Monday morning meeting where we discuss important goals that we’ve created for ourselves.
- Measure, measure, measure. I was always aware of whether or not I was being effective, but once you begin to determine what exactly leads to your successes, modern tools can help you measure your success and make it easier to repeat. It’s not only about how much we sell, but it’s keeping track of how many calls you make, how many in-person meetings you have, how many Zoom calls you make today. Sometimes, seeing the numbers in front of you can be very enlightening.
- Talk about your successes. This is a big one. Every Monday morning, we gather to talk about what we did the week prior that moved the needle. How did you do it, and what did you learn?
There’s an old Buddhist koan that asks whether or not killing time harms eternity. Just like the sound of one hand clapping, I don’t think anyone has ever figured out the answer. One thing is certain, though. Wasting time — not making effective use of it — will definitely harm your business success.
Sit down and identify what’s working for you and how you can repeat it.