By Dave Brock
I sit with management teams discussing Sales Execution Discipline and the importance of a regular coaching and review cadence. Inevitably, during the discussion, one manager has the courage to say what everyone else is thinking:
“How do I find the time to do this? I’m just so busy, I don’t have the time to sit down with my people to do these reviews and coach them!”
I hear the frustration in their voices, they know they should be doing this, most want to do it, but they are so busy, finding the time to do these on a consistent basis seems impossible. At best, they have short forecast discussion interspersed through their work week, they may take a quick look at a pipeline, or ask what’s happening with an account or opportunity. But they struggle to find the time to do reviews.
Some of you may be asking, “Why is a consistent review/coaching cadence important?” It’s a great question, hold it for a moment, I’ll work my way to answering it. But let’s focus on the issue of “How do we find the time?”
When manager tell me they are just too busy to do reviews, I generally ask, “Tell me how you are spending your time.”
They go through the litany–it’s the same in each conversation–they are not in control of their own schedules and how they allocate their time. They are reacting/responding, firefighting. The discussions go something like:
“My boss is on my back asking me for a forecast update!”
“I’m consumed with diving into all these customers situations and deals, bailing my people out!”
“My boss is asking me for a another report.”
“I’m spending all this time in meetings about how we’re going to recover this quarter.”
“There are just so many crises with these deals, my people need me helping them.”
“There is so much going on, I have to get involved in everything to make sure we are going to hit our numbers.”
“I’ve got to spend time recruiting and hiring people to back fill my open territories.”
“My boss is asking me for another report.”
And the list goes on. In some ways, they are excuses, but often, it’s their reality, it’s what they feel forced to do because things are out of control and they feel their job is to get them back into control.
In one recent conversation, a manager was deeply frustrated. “I have 8 people, each is working roughly 100 deals a quarter (not closing that many), I feel I have to know what’s going on with at least the most important ones and get updated every week! Things are moving too fast, there’s just too much volume, and we are way behind plan…..”
I feel for these managers, I know they are working 50,60, 70 hour weeks. I know they are incredibly busy. I sometimes feel guilty for taking their time to have these conversations.
But then, I suggest, “The purpose of a consistent review/coaching discipline is to eliminate as much of that firefighting as possible.”
We get caught in these vicious cycles. Our time gets …read more
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