Transcript: As a sales leader, can you or should you, expect your sales reps to be “always on”? YES. YES. And YES. Within reason.
Hi! I’m Anna Talerico with Married2Growth and this is a topic I see a lot of sales manager’s struggle with—how to manage different work ethics or expectations for when work “should” happen.
I am a big believer in work/life balance. We can push through massive spurts of effort at work, but very few of us can sustain 110% effort over extended periods of time. Of course, some can. But most mortals can’t. I value the importance of vacations. I want to work with people who value hard work but compartmentalize in order to make time for themselves and family.
That said, I also expect my sales people to be available 24/7 for their prospects and customers. I expect sales people to be willing to give out their cell phone number to a prospect and say “Call or text me anytime” and mean it. I expect that because it’s what I have lived and I know it’s possible to have incredible work/life balance and still take the call from the prospect.
I know it sounds like an oxymoron. It’s not. Go home and check out when you need to. But if your prospect calls, take the call. Or text them and tell them when you can call them back. When your prospect emails you after hours, reply. Even a short reply with “I’ll get this to you first thing tomorrow morning” is better than no acknowledgment at all (but it may slow your deal to a halt if you do that too much). Responsiveness shows your commitment to them. It’s working when they are working. It shows you are a human. It shows your drive and desire to serve them and win their business. It builds strong relationships between seller and buyer.
In the words of our good friend Zane, “Time kills deals”. Responsiveness wins deals. LET ME REPEAT THAT: RESPONSIVENESS WINS DEALS.
Make sure your team knows this, agrees with this and is willing to live this. Yes, have work/life balance and expect your team to as well. Take time for family, for yourself, for your community. Take vacations. Unplug (just make sure your team is backing each other up during unplugged periods). But when the prospect calls or emails—respond. That’s part of the responsibility of being in sales. Sales doesn’t end when you walk out the door at 5 pm, or at 7 pm, or whenever your workday ends. If that’s a burden your reps don’t want, then sales might not be for them.
I know modern managers struggle with how to balance this with their teams, and in sales, I think it’s just a non-starter. You have to be willing to be available. Responsiveness wins deals. And that is it. Thank you for watching, and I hope you will join me over on the Married2Growth blog where we discuss lots of stuff like this.