Managing a Team


Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“I lead a team of ten. It’s a sales team, and I have never managed a group before. I have always been a do it myself person. I began adding people to my team a year ago and now I fear I have created a monster. I spend more time managing personalities and solving problems than I do selling and building our sales funnels. Two questions, first, how do I know if it’s worth it, and secondly, if I keep it, how do you suggest I learn to manage it better.”

Well, here’s how you know if it’s worth it. If the net revenue to you, not gross, not the volume number at the top. So if you’re doing $1,00,000 a year in sales, and you were doing $900,000 a year before the team, then you think “I made an extra hundred thousand dollars!” but not necessarily.

So you want to measure the bottom, you want to measure the net operating gain. So if you were at $900,000 and now you’re at $1,000,000, but let’s say you had 10% net profit. You were at $100,000 and now you’re still at $100,000 or even worse, less than that, then you don’t have 10% net operating profit anymore and it’s not worth it then. Unless you’re growing it over time. That’s how I measure it. Is my net, the thing I hold back at the end of the day, growing as I grow my team, that’s first. Then the second thing I learned, because remember, top line growth can drown you. I have clients who significantly increased their sales volume and couldn’t hardly pay their bills because they had big high demand clients and weren’t really profitable.

The second question you have is if it is worth it, how do you learn to manage it better? You’ve got to get a coach. Of course you know I was going to say that. Go get a coach. Take every leadership class you possibly can. I think if you can take a situational leadership seminar near you, take that, because it will help you understand the dynamic of what you as a leader have to do to be able to implement good management skills and various elements of the business. That’s the second thing I would do.

The third thing I would do is ask yourself if you are adequately delegating the things you aren’t very good at. Because some of your things you’re not good at you’re obviously a salesperson. You obviously love sales. You’re probably not that great at some things. I know I’m not very good at the organizing detail stuff, so I delegate that or I outsource it to somebody who can do it better than me. The day I knew my limitations was the day everything got better.

So measure revenue profit, measure energy, right? How much energy is it taking you? Is the juice worth the squeeze? And if the juice is worth the squeeze, then do it. And then delegate or evaluate whether you’re doing the things that really do help the business go forward. And if you’re not, are you delegating those or outsourcing those?

I’d give it about a year or six months to really know on a sales organization, especially if you’re selling high ticket items, it takes a long time to build your pipeline. You might need to take a little bit more time, so I usually give it about a year before I make that decision. Now, if I’m in a quick hit thing, let’s say that I own a franchise of something, a carpet cleaning franchise as an example, and I’m building a big team, I should know right away whether my salespeople are doing well, because that’s a quick hit, relatively low revenue model that you can measure right away.

Hope that’s helpful, take care.

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