Sales managers, how should you be spending your time, and what should be your priorities? Here are how and where your priorities should lie.
1. Planning: (20%) The average manager spends too little time thinking about the future. You should have weekly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual strategic planning sessions with your sales reps. Plan exact increases to come from each account. Attrition should be calculated at 30 percent. Targeted new-business lists should be updated monthly. Inventory, packaging, new-biz telephone blitzes and incentive programs should be ready as needed.
2. Organizing: (20%) Sales meetings, training agenda, recognition programs and NBD/Internet departments all fall in this function.
3. Leading: (40%) Since consolidation, the average Radio sales manager is spending only 10 percent of time in the field. How can you address skill attainment of your staff? Good sales reps are leaving because they want leaders, and they want to know how they are performing.
4. Control: (10%) How many managers reading this article have a solid account management system in which nothing falls through the cracks? You need - not just a database - but an account-by-account, systematic analysis of your station's accounts.
5. Staffing: (10%) The highest cost of running a Radio sales department is having an account list go barren for 90 days while you look for someone to fill the list. You should interview constantly, and your extra rep should be on staff - an action that will pay for itself during the first "unexpected resignation."