How do your peers tackle their roles? Structure their days? Overcome their challenges?
Do they even struggle with the same challenges?
These are the questions we set out to answer in this series. Here, you’ll get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes of top salespeople’s typical day and week.
Today, we’re looking at the VP of Strategic Accounts role, and for that, we talked to Ryan Staley.
About Ryan Staley
Company Name: FlexTg
Title: VP of Strategic Accounts
City/Country: Chicago, Illinois
What You Sell: Managed print services for large geographically distributed Fortune 500 and Fortune 1,000 organizations. We are the nation’s largest privately-held provider and have grown from $50 million to $300 million in annual revenue over the past 3 years.
Sales Cycle Timeline: 6 months – 2 years
Number of people reporting to you: 5
A Day in the Life of a VP of Strategic Accounts
I wake up at 4:20am three days a week, meditate, hit a 5:00–5:45 work-out class, and then do something to sharpen my skills (ie., read, take a training course, or record a podcast). I then get ready for work and take the train to the office.
On non-workout days I have a similar schedule; however, I wake up between 5:00–5:30.
If I am traveling, I usually take a flight between 6:00am–7:30am. As you can imagine my routine changes with travel.
I typically work remote one day a week and for the other 4 days (if not traveling) I arrive in the office at 8:15.
I will highlight the key recurring meetings; however, the bulk of the white space on my calendar gets utilized for client-facing meetings, calls, or specific deal strategy.
8:30–9:30am: Planning for the week.
9:30am–1:00pm: I have meetings with my team and with the sales group of my business unit. These meetings are focused on learning new skills or product knowledge, or having an operations leader highlight the top focus areas for their group.
After the group meetings are done, I update my forecasting KPI’s, then review/strategize top new customer opportunities with the sales leadership team.
1:00–5:00pm: I grab a quick lunch, eat in the office, and then have one-on-one account planning sessions with my team.
8:15am–12:00pm: This is my strategic thinking time to focus on longer-term forecasting, pipeline, and the needs of each individual on my team.
12:30–5:00pm: More one-on-one account planning sessions and customer-facing meetings.
8:15–10:00am: Focused time spent on strategy and tactics that help my team either move net new opportunities into the pipeline, move deals faster through the pipeline, or close active deals.
10:00am–12:00pm: Interview new candidates.
12:00–1:30pm: Active Project review or networking/customer lunches.
1:30–5:00pm: Time with my team in net new customer meetings, calls, or existing enterprise customer meetings.
Thursday: Travel Day
My team has key vertical responsibility for strategic accounts in the Midwest and East Coast, so travel is usually a day trip.
When I travel, I like to take an early flight (6:00–7:30am), which is great from a productivity perspective. I skip the workout because my wake-up time is earlier than normal; however, I always still meditate so I start the day off right.
In order to travel with a high level of efficiency, I have to be really disciplined in the meetings I participate in. Therefore, I am usually only involved in the strategic meetings in the sales cycle, key relationship building meetings, or top new opportunity meetings.
We will typically have a key customer anchor meeting for the trip and then build 2 or 3 additional customer/prospect meetings around this travel.
Between calls, I spend the bulk of my time on one-on-one Sales Executive development and key meeting preparation. If it is a day trip, I get home on average around 7:00–7:30pm.
8:15am–12:00pm: Meetings with non-direct reports who I mentor, or mentoring time with my CEO. In addition, there is typically a monthly meeting for the enterprise-wide sales leadership on best practices and monthly training for our Sales, CRM, and Support teams.
12:00–1:30pm: A customer or networking lunch.
1:30–5:00pm: Weekly administration tasks, a meeting on requirements for large revenue bookings, and weekly evaluation/time blocking for next week’s goals.
I get home from the train at 6:00 pm, have dinner with my family, play with the kids and get them in bed by 8. From there I clean up email or hot tasks, spend time with my wife and go to bed in between 9:30–10:00pm.
Unique Details About Your Routine
I really value the quiet time in the morning after my workouts or on my train ride to the office. I reserve my most mentally challenging or most mission-critical thinking for early in the morning because I am my sharpest mentally at that point in time.
Inside My Head
Name one unsung hero to your day to day and why.
My Customer Relationship Director, Colleen Collins. She does an amazing job of always stepping up to take care of our largest customers, and by constantly looking at how we can improve processes to make our company the best solution partner.
What is the one thing you can’t do your day without?
My meditation/morning coffee combo! I love starting off the day focusing my mind on the right things, and coffee is a no brainer when it comes to that extra mental kick in the AM.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you were 22?
You can do, achieve, and become whatever you want to be as long as you are willing to pay the price to make it happen.
You have one communication channel to sell through that you can use for the rest of your life, and nothing else. What do you pick?
Face-to-face, because it enables you to develop the strongest connection and pick up the most nonverbal queues of any channel.
If you were starting your career over right now, what would you do to kickstart success?
Create value for someone that already is living the life I want to live in exchange for their mentorship.