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Sales manager time split?

Hey everyone, I'm trying to build a picture of what the day to day of a frontline sales manager looks like in terms of where the time goes and I have a rough idea based on what a few people have told me already.

Does this sound broadly accurate for an average week, as an example based on having 5 reps:

Weekly sales team meeting = 1hr
Daily 10-15 min standup/huddle = 1hr
Some kind of weekly 1 on 1 with each rep (check in, pipeline review, development chats) = 5hrs
Number crunching, metrics/reporting analysis = 5hrs
Other internal meetings (VP/director 1:1, managers' meeting, other teams like product/marketing) = 5hrs
External meetings (escalations or ridealongs on prospect/customer calls) = 5hrs

...and whatever's left, some mix of firefighting, question answering, impromptu rep coaching and support plus strategic planning and personal admin?

Are any of my numbers way off or is there another activity that takes a chunk of time I haven't covered?

If you're hiring, does that shift everything else because you're interviewing or onboarding?

Is there anything about the kind of company you work for that would have a big impact on how that time split works out, like whether you have an enablement team or if you have a culture of team development?

I really appreciate any nuggets of insight anyone feels like sharing 🙂

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    • 2
      Profile picture of Ross Schinik
      @ross-s
      ( 269 POINTS )
      2 weeks, 4 days ago

      I think that’s really good. When I’m making my schedule, I try to emphasize the coaching as much as possible. I try to make the team’s culture based around strong sales fundamentals. So, I block off 6-7 hours per week going over strategy with them: strong question asking, sound objection handling, etc.

      • 1
        Profile picture of Julie Matkin
        @juliematkin
        ( 1.3k POINTS )
        2 weeks, 2 days ago

        It’s great to hear that you’re making your schedule reflect your priorities – with such a reactive role it seems very difficult to keep the focus where you want it when you have so many things pulling you in different directions.

        When you say “coaching”, do you think that always happens within specific interactions where you’ve planned to focus on it or would you say you do snippets of “micro-coaching” every time you’re talking to a rep and helping them out with something, so that even if you’re being reactive, it still contributes to helping them help themselves in the longer term?

        • 0
          Profile picture of Ross Schinik
          @ross-s
          ( 269 POINTS )
          19 hours, 46 minutes ago

          I’m a bit late here so hopefully you end up seeing this.

          In my opinion, yes, both are examples of coaching. Coaching can be:
          1) a formal setting of discussion around strategy, and
          2) in the moment quick tips to improve, typically in relation to a specific demo or meeting.

          I love incorporating both and it’s important to do it right. I find there are a series of traps sales managers fall into that may impede rep development:

          1. Too much feedback from a call.

          When too much feedback is given, it can be difficult for the rep to make any one stick. Better, in my experience, to focus on 1-2 key themes you noticed on a call. Some examples of that are:

          -Rep talked to quickly
          -Rep didn’t ask questions around ROI
          -Rep hesitated on budget*

          Maybe for next time, have them focus on improving budget talk*, and then working on the rest only once they have that down.

          2. Trainings take too long.

          No need to have an hour-long classroom session. Role plays, trainings, and roundtables for 15-20 minutes sprinkled throughout the week is most effective. Improving rep performance can sometimes be a matter of letting them talk amongst themselves about what’s working in their process.

          3. The content isn’t relevant.

          Sales Managers can sometimes forget what it’s like in the trenches, or maybe the products have changed over time. In these instances, try putting aside what you’ve learned, and sit 1 on 1 with the top sales performers today and learn how they’ve been successful. Engagement during coaching is only possible if reps can digest and relate to the information. Somtimes, reps know what it takes to improve, they just need to hear it a certain way.

          Good luck with everything.

          Ross

    • 0
      Profile picture of Vijay P
      @vj_for_community
      ( 1.4k POINTS )
      2 weeks, 3 days ago

      Good point @juliematkin! The list is elaborative enough. I think stakeholder management ( Specially in Startups) & Lost deal analysis can also be added

      • 0
        Profile picture of Julie Matkin
        @juliematkin
        ( 1.3k POINTS )
        2 weeks, 2 days ago

        Thanks for the input Vijay, I can understand how the role would definitely have different focus depending on the maturity of the company and how close you are to the top – although lost deal analysis should be valuable at any stage, even beyond improving sales, for other teams like product and marketing that kind of feedback is always really useful!

    • 0
      Profile picture of Anna BritnorGuest
      @annabg
      ( 414 POINTS )
      2 weeks, 2 days ago

      Hi Julie
      I’d just add that it’s important to align time to goals. It’s easy for all of the above to become reactive, box-ticking rather than proactive. Sales managers have a lot of pressure on their time, and they get dragged into a lot, so they need to allocate time wisely. It’s what they do in sales meetings, 1:1s, how they act on their number-crunching etc to move the team towards their goals that is crucial. For instance, many sales meetings have become very formulaic and not particularly useful so think about how to change things up so every hour has more impact on results.
      Hope that helps give a slightly different perspective and happy to continue the conversation.
      Best wishes, Anna

      • 0
        Profile picture of Julie Matkin
        @juliematkin
        ( 1.3k POINTS )
        2 weeks, 2 days ago

        Thanks Anna, that is a really interesting and nuanced point – I mostly hear from VPs and others who are managing managers that they are looking for more consistency so they want to bring in more structure! It’d be great to see that level of engagement from managers who are really able to make the most of their time…

    • 1
      Profile picture of Mike Leader
      @docfuzion
      ( 434 POINTS )
      1 week, 6 days ago

      Why an hour and 15 minutes of daily kickoff meetings? Do those really work? As a salesperson I found them generally a waste of time (they’re good for newbies), and as a manager, I hated wasting time they could be on the phone. My weekly teem meetings were never more than 20 minutes, because again, they should be on the phones selling. You’re better served having a 5-10 meeting weekly with each rep to review their pipeline…scheduled when they are not supposed to be on the phone.

      The bulk of a manager’s time needs to be in the trenches with reps, listening to calls, coaching them, putting out fires, and calling their reps’ clients after successful sales to introduce themselves.

      And…if higher ups and marketing want to suck up a manager’s time…they better make it very short, because that’s taking them away from encouraging more sales (paying for marketing and the VPs salaries).

      #1 rule of sales: “A Lack Of Boundaries Invites A Lack Of Respect” – don’t let upper management waste your time (5 hours a week is ridiculous), set your boundaries with them, so they know you’re out there making money for the company and not wasting your time sitting in meetings that never help your team.

      • 0
        Profile picture of Julie Matkin
        @juliematkin
        ( 1.3k POINTS )
        1 week, 5 days ago

        Funny you should bring that up, I was surprised to see more and more people talk about having that daily team huddle/standup and wondered if it was something adopted in sales after spreading from development teams to elsewhere in the company. Or, if it’s come in as a quick way to connect the team when everyone’s remote and missing that organic, spontaneous check in first thing that they’d have in the office…?

        • 0
          Profile picture of Mike Leader
          @docfuzion
          ( 434 POINTS )
          1 week, 2 days ago

          I was speaking from an “everyone is in the office every day” perspective. When you have remote workers, it might be more necessary. However, the point I make about it pulling your sales reps out of calling and doing sales work is a valid one.

          Sales teams have had huddles as long as there’s been sales floors. I didn’t start seeing it until the mid 00s for other departments…but that I think spread from a retail mindset that I saw at Target and other big box retailers.

          In every management case, find out what’s best for your employees…you might need 15 min of their time daily to go over new things…I just find that in sales you might need to do that 1-2 days a week. Team meetings can be pretty worthless as that’s an hour off the sales floor. Keep that data for one on ones if possible.

          • 0
            Profile picture of Julie Matkin
            @juliematkin
            ( 1.3k POINTS )
            1 week, 1 day ago

            Ah yes I get you now. I can imagine it’d vary depending on things like how transactional your deals are, how experienced your team is, and the culture in general of the company and the sales org…

            • 0
              Profile picture of Mike Leader
              @docfuzion
              ( 434 POINTS )
              1 week, 1 day ago

              Exactly! that’s why there’s never really a model to follow. You have to know your team, and know the company’s business. Do these things on the fly, keep them lively and don’t waste the time of your reps.

              Also make sure that management is soliciting feedback from your salespeople about those meetings…you’ll be better informed in the long run as to how they are loved/hated. 🙂

    • 0
      Profile picture of Dave23238
      @dave23238
      ( 190 POINTS )
      1 week, 3 days ago

      What worked for me was keeping coaching and support as my number 1 & 2 priorities. In my B2B role I was riding with a SR daily, 3-4 days a week. We would pre game for 15 minutes and review their daily plan, review items we previously discussed. During the ride I would be getting in coming calls, emails, texts from other reps needing support, advice, etc about deals. I took the approach that my SRs were my customers and they were buying my time to help them be successful. It was a lot of work but generated solid results and trust. As far reports, I would do that first thing in the morning before the rides. That should only take at most 30-60 minutes daily.

      • 0
        Profile picture of Julie Matkin
        @juliematkin
        ( 1.3k POINTS )
        1 week, 2 days ago

        I really like that “they were my customers” way of putting it – did you have to do a lot of work to figure out that’s what worked best for you, or was that approach something you were taught by a mentor or manager previously?

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