Micromanagement is one of the most common challenges organizational leaders face and try to overcome.
If you’ve been told you’re prone to micromanaging, don’t worry – some of the world’s most well-known leaders have been there and worked to outgrow the habit (including Steve Jobs!).
Overcoming micromanagement is especially difficult in a high-pressure sales environment, for sales managers, equipped with a know-all CRM.
This is especially true for growing businesses, where you can find yourself leading a 4–5-member team one year and a rapidly-grown 10-member team the next.
As is common in business, scaling and scaling fast brings with it its own set of challenges in team management.
Let’s dig a little deeper into micromanagement before we move into the intricacies of leveraging a robust sales CRM.
Reasons Why You Could Be Micromanaging Your Team Without Knowing
As we mentioned earlier, the sales environment is very high pressure and as a sales manager, you need to deal with a lot of expectations and responsibilities.
That, among other reasons, can lead to unintentional micromanaging. If you’ve been told you tend to micromanage the team but aren’t sure where to start introspecting, allow us to lend some perspective:
1. Sales Managers Are Responsible for Meeting the Sales Targets
While targets are set on every individual in the team and each team member feels the pressure of meeting it, no one feels the pressure quite like a sales manager.
As a sales manager, the direct act of selling is not in your hands as it is for the sales representative as you’re not the one doing the actual selling, pitching to all the leads.
However, you are the one responsible for ensuring that each representative’s targets are met. This can lead to an overly enthusiastic and frequent analysis of each team member’s sales numbers, eyeing everyone’s sales CRM dashboards every day, etc.
Are representatives getting in touch with leads within 24 hours for an incoming enquiry, or are leads getting left behind? Do leads get segregated and added to corresponding mailing lists? Are lead information and pipeline stages updated regularly?
It isn’t a far jump from needing to know the answers to such questions to micromanaging the team’s lead lists.
2. Sales Managers Need to Keep Sales Activities True to the Brand
Sales activities such as pitching, calling etiquette, communication processes and more are required to be true to the brand. And it is just as important for small businesses as it is to enterprises.
Ensuring protocols are in place to keep sales activities in line with the brand, and that every sales representative is conducting sales activities while staying true to the brand is one of the Sales Manager’s responsibilities.
This exactly is what often causes Sales Managers to ‘hover’ around representatives through the day, or obsessively listen to call recordings from the sales CRM.
3. Sales Managers Are Responsible and Answerable to the Company Leadership
Did we meet our sales targets last month? Why aren’t we able to churn through more leads faster? Which marketing channels are working best for us in terms of conversions? What do you need to be able to meet our sales targets faster?
Sales Managers are expected to have all the answers on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.
Needing to know everything and having all the answers all the time is trigger enough for anyone to micromanage their team and constantly request reports.
Why Is a Micromanaging Leader Bad for the Company?
You might be thinking “these are perfectly legitimate reasons for micromanagement, so why the big fuss?”.
Most micromanagers don’t realize that they’re micromanaging, and usually because they aren’t aware of its detrimental effect on their leadership skills as well as the company.
You Lose Your Comparative Advantage in the Company
In an organization, the law of comparative advantage is applied to identify what you can do the best while leaving the rest to others who can do it to their best.
For example, the leader of a design firm is most certainly more adept at product design than a design executive.
But, if she/he spent all their time looking over the shoulder of the executive, they couldn’t execute the different aspects of being a leader (looking into sales, revenue, client satisfaction, etc.) that they are most needed and suited for.
The idea is that as you climb the rungs and lend your expertise to leadership roles, the company needs you to be doing justice to the requirements of that role.
Your Team Culture Takes a Hit
No strong sales representative likes a manager that’s always looking over their shoulders – it feels like being second-guessed at every turn. Teams like to feel trusted and usually enjoy the responsibility of working towards and meeting goals.
When you constantly look into an aspect of their daily work, it eventually leads to resentment and demotivates the team.
If you have a team that relies on your micromanagement, you need to reassess the training and development they need to be able to handle their roles!
Your Personal Targets Take a Hit
It’s a simple matter of time allocation and opportunity cost – time spent looking into detailed aspects of your team’s work can be better spent looking at sales strategies, pipeline health, conversion reports, and team building and growth.
As a micromanager, you’ll find your own targets and goals slipping.
How to Leverage a Sales Crm Without Micromanaging Your Sales Team?
So how do you leverage a tool like the sales CRM that’s designed to do all, see all, and know all, without micromanaging your sales team? We have a few suggestions.
Build Efficiencies into Your Sales CRM
Is your team especially inefficient at maintaining lead communication?
One of our clients – a real estate company with multiple properties – liked to ensure that clients visiting any of their locations were sent location details with map links well in advance, along with an SMS on the day.
So, we built that as a template right into the email marketing funnel.
When you create turn such requirements into processes and build templates into the sales CRM system, all your team needs to do is click and send.
You can also delegate tasks to your team, automate repetitive tasks and reminders for your team (and allow them to share tasks and reminders with each other), and so on to create an efficient team environment that doesn’t need your constant intervention.
The Kylas Growth Engine, for example, also offers meeting integrations, direct communication from the app, notes & comments, notifications & reminders, and so on that help you create efficiency.
Automate Timely Reports
Need to know whether your team is being time-sensitive in getting in touch with leads? Want to analyze the reasons for leads dropping off from the pipeline?
These are insights that answer specific concerns about the efficiency and competency of your team, so you can set the reports for these to an auto-download schedule of once a week.
Need an update on the number of leads in each stage of the pipeline? That might be a number you need to be able to give your superior at any time, on any day. Why not automate a daily report that drops into your inbox?
By staggering the insights you receive over different intervals of time, you avoid micromanaging your team daily.
And if there are any performance problems, this allows you to observe, take note of and address them over time without looking like you’re breathing down their necks.
Staggering the reports also forces you to schedule time in between checking in on your team, so you can dedicate that time to other aspects of your role.
Getting started: The Kylas Growth Engine creates automated visual, interactive reports that give you one-click access to lead or sales data, complete with filters for you to find the information you need.
Use The Sales CRM to Create Repetition
One of the biggest advantages of technology is being able to use it to duplicate and standardize everything that can be – this benefit is common across industries.
When it comes to your sales team, you can use a sales CRM to create repetition in processes: things that are repeatedly done the same way every single time, so the team can get it right every single time.
Consider standardized pipeline stages customized to your business, with standardized actions taken at each stage of the pipeline, and templatized pre-requisites for lead qualification.
This in itself creates repetition in the sales process that leaves little to the imagination of a sales representative.
The more standardized the sales process (while allowing sales reps to use their skills in the actual selling), the more you can sit back and observe any discrepancies, easily addressing any that come up without having to micromanage the team.
Create Systems Within the System
A sales CRM allows you to create a collaborative, efficient ecosystem among your sales representatives. Doing so means you have to be an observant third party on most days, and an involved team head when you need.
Amongst other things, you can set rules that define how leads are allocated, allow certain levels of the team to assign/share tasks and action items, and set restrictions in data access for different levels of the team.
The Kylas Growth Engine, for example, allows you to create User Roles and Profiles that allow you to restrict access and decide who gets permission to view specific data or take certain actions.
Once these workflows and permissions are set in place (with a bit of a teething period to be considered), the team can fall into its own patterns of working within the framework you have created, ensuring that work is getting done without needing your constant overlooking.
Set Up the Insights You Need
Running a sales team should be all about using data from the sales CRM to make observations and decisions – right from whether the sales process is well optimized to whether you need more resources to be able to scale.
The reporting functionalities aren’t the only part of the sales CRM that bring you these insights.
Most sales CRM software also comes with a call recording feature, for example, that allows you to listen back on a sales call when an important deal suddenly falls through or when a sales representative consistently underperforms.
CRMs are built to streamline sales for every level: for you, that means insights to make better & faster decisions on the sales process, team competencies, and resource planning.
The idea is that if you’re able to leverage the sales CRM to bring you the insights you need without needing to constantly hover around your sales team, you can spend less time micromanaging and more time building better results for the company.
Say Goodbye to Micromanaging Your Team
Whether you suspect that you tend to be a micromanager or whether you’ve gotten feedback telling you as such, it helps them understand the reasons and triggers for your bad habit.
It’s usually a mind over matter approach that’s needed: micromanagers tend to stem from needing complete control, wanting things done an exact certain way, or thinking that they – and only they – know the best way to get something done.
It helps to focus on the end goal instead: your responsibilities as a Sales Manager, your goals for the next month or quarter, how your team morale is and whether performance is up to scratch, and so on.
Then, work out how to best utilize the sales CRM features to achieve those KRAs and KPIs.
While your management won’t appreciate all your time scrutinizing the team (they will only wonder why you have an inefficient sales team that needs babysitting), they will certainly appreciate the use of technology to save your time, increase efficiencies, and improve efficiency results.
Take the Kylas Growth Engine for a Spin!
The Kylas Growth Engine is a sales CRM that’s designed for growing businesses dealing with the challenges of scaling.
It offers every functionality right from pipeline management to lead management, reporting, and everything in between that you need to be able to lead your sales team as a confident, trusting manager.
If you’re ready to take it for a spin, feel free to schedule a demo!
As always, if you have any questions – about Kylas or leveraging a sales CRM – we’d be happy to have them answered for you. Simply drop a line in the comments section below.