The Balancing of Time

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sun, Jul 18, 2010

For years now, I’ve talked, lectured, cajoled and beaten my salesguys into submission with The Derby Law of 3,000. In a nutshell, The Derby Law says that if you work 60 hours a week (I wish that I could find that job!), which is 3,012 hours, you immediately lose 25% due to holiday, vacations, and sick time. Without going into numbing detail, you lose another 40% of the remaining time due to non-sales activities since our data from now thousands of salespeople says that only 57% of thier available time is spent both preparing for and actually making the sales call.  All of this boils down to around 1,300 hours to actually sell…and now my question, as a manager, should be just how effective can I make my time and the time of my salespeople?  It would be great if I could hem 90% effective, which would be perfect, but sadly impossible. If, on the other hand, they’re only 50% effective with the time they have available, then I have a really big problem. 50% would be an impossible situation to resolve.  Might as well resign right away. 

Creating effectivity and optomizing my salesforce is all about my ability as a manager to both manage and balance my time. Managing my time during my 60 or 80 hours a week is critical, and I need to think of everything that I do in measured amounts of my own personal time. Should I travel here or there? Just how much time can I afford to spend with a B- salesperson? How much time do I set aside each quarter for actual customer time in the field? And then there are those other gnawing issues each week which I need to deal with related to my family time and time for me just to decompress (if only for 3-4 hours each week).

For me, with 100 plus hours each week on the calendar, I make sure that some portion of each weekend is carefully guarded as personal downtime. In the winters, it’s Saturday afternoons when I’m off the hill after a morning of snowboarding (Although it sounds “relaxing”, snowboarding mornings for me are typically business time). In the summer, it’s Sunday afternoons when I’m cleaning up work issues and prepping for the week ahead. Whatever the time, my recommendation is to find your own spot, plug it into the calendar and jealously guard that time as your own. You’ll be a much more effective manager if you do.

For me, a good weekend is when I put on my business watch on Monday mornings on my way into the gym and notice that my self-winding mechanism stopped somewhere on Saturday afternoon.  Then I know that it was a great weekend !

However you do it, protect your time…before it runs out.

Let me know what you do in terms of your own time management.

Good Selling !

Head Coach

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Give me a call at 617-504-4222 or email me, and I can go through the details with you.

Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, sales management, sales effectiveness, improved sales management, Sales quota, sales training