Salespeople are susceptible to being consumed by their careers. The payoffs can be high, but the costs can be higher.
Maybe you went into sales guns a-blazing. If you worked hard in the beginning and dug deep, all your blood sweat and jeers (we’ve all sold to a “tough crowd”) would eventually pay off. Room for your “real life” would one day magically appear.
Or maybe you swore to yourself that getting lost in the rat race was not an option, and you would hold on to balance with a white-knuckled grip, no matter what.
Or maybe you went in with no plan at all, because you see “balance” as a myth and “all work-no life” as the brutal truth.
Whatever your perspective, it’s probably no surprise that HubSpot Research (need link to this) has found when it comes to work-life balance, half of all salespeople still end up somewhat screwed. A third of them feel that all balance has eluded them completely.
How did we get here?
Salespeople are susceptible to being consumed by their careers. The competitive field encourages long hours, frequent travel, and obligation to answering to the constant demands of customers and sales cycles. Like an overpriced anti-wrinkle cream or getting the last word when arguing with a loved one, the payoffs can be high, but the costs can be higher.
Clearly, the path to balance is extremely cluttered, and so far we’ve only discussed the sales-focused parts. What about the non-essential items that fill your day? The constant following up on email, chasing deliverables, organizing meetings, building agendas, tracking team actions, and so on and so on? How do these items contribute to the disparity between time spent on the clock and time spent with your flock? The answer is: more than you think.
How do we get out?
By making a few deliberate and effective changes, you can tip the scales to what matters, save your sanity and reclaim your evenings and weekends.
Unless your team is working on the sale of rocket science, fixing this isn’t rocket science. The key lies recognizing critical actions vs. time-sucks, and how you manage the latter.
It has been reported that salespeople spend, on average, one-third of their time on non-selling tasks, but by making a few deliberate and effective changes, you can tip the scales to what matters, save your sanity and reclaim your evenings and weekends. It’s just a matter of streamlining.
Step 1: Identifying What Work Needs You and What Work Doesn’t
A lot of daily items require your personal attention, but more than likely, there are just as many that don’t. Remember the stats: More than half of all salespeople feel they are missing balance in their lives. When you break down your day, your week, your short-term goals and long-term goals, where are you really needed? Is your time well spent when you are scrambling to assemble five agendas for Monday meetings? What about when you’re chasing team members for updates? Which items are moving the needle, and which are making your head spin?
Step 2: Leveraging Reliable Resources and Trusted Support Systems
Practice offloading. Start with the people on your team. Are you providing an opportunity for everyone to operate at their full potential? Many AMs get stuck in a pattern where delegation goes out the window and every action ends up on their own to-do list. Maybe the need to keep “control”, or maybe they’re trying to simply “make things easier”. Relentless self-assignment achieves neither outcome. Sales teams work best when they can fulfil their individual roles. It builds trust, and eventually a machine that is well-oiled, not one-sided.
More than half of all salespeople feel they are missing balance in their lives. Work-life balance is not a myth.
Some things can be lifted from the team agenda completely. Forbes Magazine reports non-revenue generating activities are killing productivity and devouring two thirds of the salesperson’s workday. Many account teams now use Virtual Sales Productivity Solutions to manage these items, putting an end into unnecessary overtime. No more giving up your personal life to catch up or get ahead. Now there are ways to keep things moving that don’t require a constant, guided hand! Are you taking advantage of them?
Help You Help You! Work-life balance is not a myth. In fact, it’s not even that hard to achieve if you know your where to turn. Finding ways to offload can have transformative effects, so what are you waiting for? Throw away that stress ball and explore your options today. You deserve it.
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