I bet you tell the salespeople you train to spend more time in front of clients and prospects.
When you discover there are organizational obstacles that get in the way of that, you do what any good consultant would do: You go straight to management and tell them how costly it is when they keep their salespeople away from selling.
The same notion applies to you: consultants should consult. Yes, that’s a blinding flash of the obvious. You know it. But have you jumped out of your skin for a while to watch yourself in action? Have you observed how you actually spend your time? Have you listed all the things you do that aren’t actual consulting or training activities with the client in real time?
Here are a few of the activities that we’ve seen become expensive, even destructive, time-sinks for consultants:
- Administration: invoicing, bookkeeping, banking, payroll, etc.
- Marketing: blog posting, blog metrics analysis, website upkeep, lead nurturing, etc.
- Content creation: sales training resources, workshops, webinars, distance meetings, online learning, etc.
You can probably add a few more items to that list, based on your own situation.
Time spent in those activities is time not spent doing what you get paid to do:
- Helping clients diagnose their sales, marketing, and management challenges.
- Working shoulder to shoulder with clients to devise and implement solutions.
- Engaged with salespeople in a wide range of activities designed to build their skills.
- Immersed in the kinds of conversations that evoke new needs or new information about existing needs—the raw material that results in new assignments and extended engagements.
More hours devoted to things you don’t get paid for and fewer hours doing things you can actually invoice for is a recipe for failure. Not only is your revenue down, but you spend more time on activities that don’t even play to your strengths—so you’re not as happy, not as self-actualized, not as energized, and frankly, not as effective as you can be.
But those other tasks like developing B2B sales training workshops still need to get done—by someone other than you. Your calendar should be jammed with consulting, training, and personal selling, not with admin details, the marketing back-end, and development of new training materials. Just as your clients outsourced the sales performance improvement work to you, you need to find someone else to handle those things best done by someone else… whether that’s delegation inside your organization or outsourcing beyond.
What? You say you can’t afford to pay someone else? Not until your revenue increases? That’s probably not what you’d be telling your client if the roles were reversed, right? The truth is your revenue will stay mired where it is so long as you stay mired where you are. Delegating or outsourcing is something you can’t afford not to do.
There are lots of directions you can turn for help, and all of them are less expensive than assigning the work to yourself. There are accounting freelancers, payroll companies, marketing service providers, and sources for outstanding sales training content and process. You’ll quickly discover that these providers aren’t merely as good as you were when you did that work. Choose well, and they’ll be better!