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Sales Leaders – Cut $5/hour tasks for $500/hour Value Creators

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks
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Time management: it’s either a manager’s strength or Achilles heel.

Weak managers confuse the act of ‘management’ with value creation. Management is “to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control” (Source: Henri Foyal, creator of the original definition).

Focusing on too many administrative or operational tasks will prevent you from realizing your full potential as a value builder.

Value creation comes in 3 forms:
1. Make someone money.
2. Save someone money.
3. Mitigate sizable risk.

In our sales leadership world, your value creation comes in 3 forms:
1. Help your team win. Coach to winning actions.
2. Save your team time. Cut noise, and focus only on winning actions.
3. Mitigate the team from losing. Advise against valueless tasks.

While this sounds simplified, it’s easy for us to drift from value creation to administrative tasks. A study conducted by TOPO found that for 83.4% of sellers who failed to hit sales quota, the single largest determining factor was ineffective time management skills (Source: TOPO Research). Time management is a lead-by-example skill.

As the CEO of your market, understand how the best-in-class CEOs prioritize their time.

There are 2 types of actions:

1. $5/hour Tasks – this is a stand-in for “administrative” tasks. These are operational management tasks. They are called “Tasks” for a reason. While they keep you organized, prepared and allow you to administrate, they DO NOT create value for your team and your customers.

Managing by spreadsheets is the most common fallacy to effective leadership. If the task feels operational and internally focused, it probably is a “$5/hour task”. These tasks are still important for corporate growth, but there is massive risk if they comprise more than 20% of your total weekly time investment.

2. $500/hour Value Creators– this is a stand-in for tasks that yield maximum revenue. World-class CEOs have mastered this concept. They understand where their time is directly contributing to enterprise value. This is now your focus. You are a builder. Again, you will focus the majority of your time on:

a. Helping the team win.
b. Saving the team time.
c. And mitigating the team from losing.

Be relentless with your time. Build a calendar with your team that focuses >80% of your week on $500/hour Value Creators.

Here are three parting things to think about and focus on:

1. Clear, constant communication of goals, objectives, milestones and daily habits.
2. Master resource allocation. How do you acquire the People, Processes and Technology you need to grow? Fight internally for the resources you need to create enterprise value.
3. Skills are a rock that needs constant polishing. Introduce your team to the Japanese method ‘Kaizen’. These are small continuous improvements that become meaningful over time. Your weekly ‘Coaching Moments’ will polish skills that translate into behavioral change and positive habits over time.

Focus on what you can control. You can control your ‘Coaching Moments’. We believe your time spent on coaching is the single biggest contribution you can make to value creation.

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