How many decisions does a sales manager make in day? 10? 25? 50? That number probably varies, but most people would agree sales managers make a lot of decisions each day as they navigate changing conditions, corporate demands, and plenty of persuasion from their salespeople about doing what they want them to do. Better sales managers make good decisions more often than mediocre sales managers. So, how do they do that?
If you observe effective sales managers (which I have had the privilege of doing for the last 26 years), you will see they have a “strategic cheat sheet” of sorts either on paper or in their heads that reminds them of the strategic objectives that govern a good sales operation, and they use it as a filter for making good decisions. For example, their “strategic cheat sheet” might look like this:
Target to Key Conversion - Will this help us spend more time with the right target prospects that can grow into key accounts? Will this help us bring better solutions to these target accounts so we get a renewal?
Retaining and Selecting Strong Talent - If we invest time or money here, will it help retain our best players? Does this activity help me find the most talented salespeople out there to build my talent bank?
One-on-One Meetings with Salespeople - Are these meetings as helpful as they could be? Would making this decision help me help my people to grow their key and target accounts?
Developing Sales Talent - Would doing this help me spend quality coaching time in the field to build the sales skills of my team, or would it detract from that?
You might have your own list of items for a strategic cheat sheet, which is fine. Just make sure it’s not too lengthy, and use it as a guide when making the many decisions you make each day. It’s amazing how much easier decisions are when you hold them up against strategic objectives. You won’t be right 100% of the time, but your batting average on good vs. bad decisions will go way up.