We previously discussed how a field rep spends his day. Now, let’s dive into how his field force manager spends his day.
A typical field force manager juggles multiple responsibilities at once, each requiring a certain degree of urgency. Whether he is managing reps, customers, or other internal members of the company, there is no doubt that his job is demanding, dynamic, and complex. There will always be things to get done. And he never has enough time to do it all.
A study conducted by Growth Solutions LLC of more than 300 managers, indicated that time management and prioritizing the right activity is vital to the success of a manager, and consequently the company.
The results showed that the amount of time spent on “core” management activities, such as planning, deploying, performance management, and selling and market development, was positively correlated with the respondent firms’ growth and sales. Managers who spent less than 70% of their time on “core” management possessed below average growth and declining sales. Additionally, spending less than 50% of their time “in the trenches” with customers, partners, and reps, also suggested below average growth and decline in sales.
The study concluded that managers are dissatisfied with how they spent their time through measuring actual time allocation versus ideal time allocation. Across all measures, managers preferred to spend more time on “core” activities and were most dissatisfied with the amount of time spent on administration. While the actual time spent on administrative activity was 31%, their ideal time was 10%. The survey also found that management preferred to spend more time on selling and market development, managing performance, deploying staff, and sales planning.
If it is the case that successful managers spend more time on “core” management and there is more desire to spend time on it, then what is keeping managers from success? The answer seems to be the fact that managers have yet to find the appropriate tools to reduce time spent on administrative activities. A good place to start maximizing your efficiency is by researching tools that will cut down time and opportunity costs.
Mat Brogie is part of the founding team, and CEO of Repsly, the world's leading solution for high performance retail execution teams. Mat has spent the past 15 years of his career focused on bringing technology enabled business solutions to the consumer goods industry, having implemented solutions for tens of thousands of field reps at companies such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Pepperidge Farm and hundreds of others.