Here are a few tips to keep in mind when managing sales professionals to keep a healthy work life balance.
Don’t turn a blind eye
It's probably easy for managers with an eye on revenue to miss warning signs exhibited by a salesperson on the brink of burnout. But managers sensitive to such issues should be able to spot the signs easily, says Dale Kaplan, Vice President of Clinical Services for Employee Health Programs in Bethesda, Maryland. Classic signs include salespeople who are late for appointments, miss deadlines, are absent from work, easily prone to mistakes, or those who exhibit a noticeable change in appearance.
Talk it out
Salespeople need to take the first step to regain balance in their lives, but managers have to serve as supportive partners in that endeavor. Mark Miller, Vice President of East Coast sales for Ceridian LifeWorks in Greensboro, North Carolina, says he visits with members of his sales force as often as once a week to address work life balance issues.
Set an Agenda
There’s no reason sales professionals can’t approach their personal lives with the same organization and efficiency they tackle the sales world with, experts suggest. Andy Ayers, Regional Sales Manager for Eli Lilly and Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, says he not only has regular one-on-one discussions with his salespeople, but he also helps them work through specific personal issues. In one case, Ayers encouraged an overworked rep to schedule quality time with his family on his calendar.
Tighten the Load
To-do lists by nature are often overwritten and could be pared down by delegating tasks of reevaluating what objects really need to be accomplished immediately. By reassessing such lists with salespeople, Ayers says his team has managed to cut to-do lists with 20 items down to five crucial tasks.