Running multiple sales teams and managing customers across a geographically dispersed area means one thing: everything is a priority. It’s a proposal that needs to be reviewed, it’s a crucial presentation to deliver or maybe it’s that discount to approve in order to close the deal.
As a sales manager, having worked and run sales teams for nearly 10 years now, I know the importance of creating a sense of urgency in sales and over-delivering on what you promise. So making sure your sales execs do the same with their prospects and customers is crucial. But that’s difficult to do when you’re drowning in emails, meetings and customer requests. It’s all too easy to miss that email asking for your insights on an important proposal or miss an outstanding action from one of those dreaded cc email loops on which half your company is copied.
What does this all add up to? Missed sales opportunities, mismanaging customer expectations and frustrated sales reps that want a slice of your busy schedule. Never mind a PA. I need three PAs, 6 pairs of hands and the ability to be in two places at once. It’s a challenge that all the sales leaders face. How can I best manage my time, collaborate with my team and focus on what’s important but make sure I still know everything that’s going on?
One approach is keep a tight grip on what your team is up to every day. Calls every morning for objective setting and calls at the end of the day to ensure objectives are met. It’s a true time killer. Inevitably you miss the calls, reps miss the calls and it becomes a routine that doesn’t deliver either party any value. To save time, sales managers may try the more hands off approach, asking for regular updates on deals via email. Sales execs spend precious sales time sending admin emails to you cursing they have to do it, and you work 24/7. Sound familiar?
A personal assistant in my pocket
In 2008, I was saved from this nightmare when I joined Huddle. Suddenly I had a personal assistant that every morning organized my tasks for me. “Neil this proposal needs to be approved and the deck for your presentation next week needs to be updated today. Oh, and by the way here is what your team have been up too over the last few hours, if you need any more information on any of these points it’s all here too for you”. Best of all this personal assistant popped up on my mobile, and then on my iPad and if anything changed it let me know immediately. This little personal assistant was ‘Huddle’. It transformed the way I work, manage my team and ensures that I meet my targets every day.
Going from reactive to proactive
Suddenly I wasn’t being reactive as a sales leader, I was being proactive. I was able to track my team’s progress on deals without wasting their time, and jump in with advice where required to drive that sense of urgency. I work from my iPad between meetings enabling me to quickly approve proposals so my team can produce them faster and truly impress our clients. This new way of working also means that my team are proactively sharing best practices with each other and their sales manager. Fewer questions for me, faster response times for our clients and no more late night approvals.
Even better, my personal assistant is a psychic! Huddle intelligently selects the files I need and pushes them to the top of my agenda, without me even having to ask. This recommendation engine works both when I am online and offline, so now when I need the latest forecast sheet or budget numbers I can work while I’m travelling by plane, train or automobile.
It’s become so simple; being organized, supporting my team and prioritizing my workload to hit target. My work life has never been easier thanks to Huddle. Oh, and not forgetting my amazing sales team that love using Huddle too.
If you want to find out more about how Huddle helps to manage valuable content and drive effective collaboration with your sales teams, customers, and business, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neil Ryland, EMEA Sales Director, Huddle
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