Okay, okay - before you disagree with me, hear me out. Last week I was battling with a horrible thought – I questioned whether or not my team thought of me as a micromanager. We weren’t trending in the right direction as a team to reach goal, so I honed in on some details much more than usual. Historically, micromanagement has been known as a “bad word” but sometimes there is a time and a place for it, especially when managing an inside sales team. What I’ve found is that it’s okay to point out areas of improvement for your teleprospecting team and guide their behavior in the direction you are looking for. After all, you are in a management role for a reason. The key is to lead and coach your team while reassuring them you aren’t tracking their activities and looking over their shoulder because you want to make them miserable; you are doing it to help them grow as a sales person.
When it comes to any sales role, micromanagement is warranted if a team is not hitting their opportunity goals and not increasing their pipeline. At the end of the day, your job is to make sure you are managing a team of “A” players that are producing results to increase revenue at your company. Taking a deeper dive into the outbound activities to prospects is necessary to determine what’s not working and what can be tweaked. What’s not OK from a micromanagement standpoint is to discourage the members on your team. If you are going to manage closely, stay positive and explain why and how optimal results can be achieved.
If you are anything like me, as long as the results are there and you can truly trust the teleprospectors on your team, you back off and let them do their thing while offering ways to help them improve. But for the teleprospectors doing an average or below average job, what are the appropriate areas to focus on from a “micromanagement” standpoint? It all comes down to bringing your teleprospecting reps back to the basics and managing based on your sales metrics.
For those who are struggling, it’s important to bring them back to the fundamentals and sales metrics your company established from the beginning. This all comes down to activities and conversations. If calling efforts aren’t leading to opportunities, then have your teleprospectors go back to the basic metrics your company instilled during the training process. For example, if opportunities aren’t there, establish that members of the team must have a certain number of conversations with decision makers in one day, and make upwards of 100 dials per day. To take it a step further, you can implement a process where they email you their daily conversations at the end of every day. Sure, you could check on this in your CRM, but by having your team email you their conversations, they are held more accountable. If someone is struggling, you owe it to them to do what you need to do to coach/train them, even if it may appear to be micromanagement.
After really thinking about it, I’ve accepted that, while I may have been paying more attention to activity details across my team last week, I’m not seeing my micromanagement as a bad thing. It’s not something I enjoy doing and not something I practice every day; however, there is a time and a place for diving into some of the details in order to help your team grow. Inside sales managers, what do you think – is micromanagement acceptable when necessary?
Laney Dowling is the Director of Customer Success at AG Salesworks. Laney's responsibilities include managing daily client engagements, inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, and ongoing contact list development and refinement. To read more of Laney's articles, click here.