Singapore has lost some of its competitiveness over the past decade as the country’s pace of economic growth has stagnated. One of the main reasons for the slowdown is a decline in productivity, according to a new Oliver Wyman report.
Since the sales function is a key engine that drives most businesses, productivity losses within the department not only impact the organisation in question, but also Singapore’s wider economy. That’s why it’s imperative that Singapore’s sales managers focus on improving their own productivity and that of their teams.
Here are five essential time management skills every sales manager can use to boost productivity and put more runs on the board.
Schedule your core functions
Whether you’re dealing with a last-minute request from management or putting out fires within your sales team, sales managers must frequently contend with tasks that fall outside of your core responsibilities. While you should never ignore these tasks, you can stop them from dominating your day by scheduling time for your core functions. Focus on completing your most important tasks within these scheduled periods, then move on to handling non-core issues.
Take it easy on the email
While email is an important communication tool, it can become a significant drain on your time. Rather than responding to each email as soon you receive it, check your email at a few scheduled times per day – and keep it closed at other times. This will help you maintain focus on other tasks without the interruption of new email messages constantly popping up on your screen.
Predict your boss’s needs
An urgent request handed down from your boss can send your carefully planned day hurtling out of control. Take a proactive approach and learn exactly what your superiors need from you in advance. That way you’ll be able to deliver relevant reports and other items before your managers come looking for them. That will in turn allow you to plan for them in advance and avoid preventable disruptions to your schedule.
Make your staff accountable
While it’s important to support your sales team when required, creating a culture of accountability will empower them to solve some problems on their own without the need to come running into your office. Also, learning to delegate non-core tasks where appropriate will free up more time to focus on higher-value projects.
Put technology to work
Technology can be a sales manager’s best friend. Apps such as Todoist help you to track and visualise your productivity, and meeting planners such as HubSpot's Meetings can automate appointment bookings and eliminate time-consuming email chains. Likewise, a business card management tool such as Sansan puts an end to the need to manually enter business card details for new contacts and consolidates all your clients’ information in a central database.
As a busy sales manager, you must learn to manage your time better in order to boost your productivity. This will give you more time for your core responsibilities, resulting in better business for your company.