How to Multitask as a Small Business Owner

4 steps for small business owners doing more with less.


Small business sales teams are masters at multitasking. But, they’re often challenged to do more with less. If your sales people need a little extra guidance to get better at multitasking while increasing profit margins, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are some great ideas from Alice Katwan, vice president of sales for Genesys, a contact center solution provider in Daly City, Calif.

Inspire collaboration. While your employees need to be self-directed, a “go it alone” mentality will not work for a small sales team. Instead, an “us is more” collaborative approach, especially when making sales calls, creates a scenario where the entire sales staff sits down, works together, and troubleshoots what works best with a selling strategy. That helps to ensure a successful sale.

To inspire collaboration, hold weekly and quarterly reviews, facilitate positive discussions, and offer guidance that encourages your sales team to test new ideas. Meetings also facilitate effective multitasking within small groups.

Ask:

  • What deals are on the table?
  • What is the most relevant information you can present about the project?
  • How will you hit your goals and what assumptions drive your approach?
  • Invite debate, and stay neutral so that the conversation flows. When sales team members focus together, results can be striking, says Katwan.

Reward and endorse success. Motivation is key for sales reps that wear multiple hats. Dig into your bag of rewards for incentives such as a spa day, gift cards, bonuses, and commissions to motivate your team to hit their weekly quotas and quarterly goals.

“Doing the same amount of work with less people impacts morale,” says Katwan. “If they are going to take on more, there should be an additional incentive to motivate them to do that.”

Also, the old adage holds true: praise in public and criticize in private. “When you reward someone they feel good about their job and that leads to employee satisfaction and dedication,” says Katwan.

Communicate effectively and offer tools that streamline the work process. Effective managers clearly define expectations and set goals with achievable deadlines so that their team understands what is required in order to hit the high bar. Check in frequently to measure results and provide tools to help reps self-evaluate and win clients.

For example, CommercialTribe is a solution that helps sales reps refine presentations and develop targeted messaging. As the manager, you review their presentation and offer immediate feedback.

Provide a strong customer retention model. Time is money, and a lean sales team must stay focused. Define the sales process and consider your customer relationship management approach from your rep’s vantage point. Does it provide a map to strategize leads and opportunities? Do you encourage creativity and a “thinking-outside-of-the-box” strategy while championing a task-based approach? As you evaluate your business processes, take into account what works in terms of productivity, and eliminate process that clearly don’t contribute to sales.

Creating an efficient and collaborative environment is key to giving a small sales team the support it needs. “If your employees don’t have a process or methodology to follow, it will take them twice as long to do the work,” says Katwan.


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