Multi-Tusking or Multi-Failiure
At the risk of stating the obvious, there are more demands now on sales professionals than ever before. Not only do the have to thrive in a competitive environment, with the lay offs in 2009, fewer of them are expected to deliver more than as a group they had to before. To be fair to companies, many have put tools and processes into place to help sales professionals be more productive. The rise in Sales 2.0 is a reflection of the latest iteration of the age old quest for sales to leverage every innovation available to deliver in more and more demanding times.
Along with the tools, there is also the actions and behaviours of sales people, some right some wrong; some self imposed, some driven by demands of managers or companies. Some of these have taken on a life of their own, where just saying you are doing it, just using the word, implies you are doing the right thing, and after a time, the assumption is never second guessed, everyone just buys into the fact that it is good”, and people stop doing reality checks to confirm if it was a fact or not.
One of these things is the notion and practice of “multi-tasking”. The notion that someone can successfully execute multiple tasks, each requiring skill – attention – quality, all at the same, all to their best capabilities is both absurd and accepted at the same time. Trying to juggle all these “multi” things with only two hands, especially when one is on the phone or BlackBerry is really a great concept, perhaps a noble objective, but in reality impractical. In most cases, multi-tasking is just an opportunity to mess up or not complete a whole bunch of things all at once rather than ably deliver on key tasks related to sales.
Now I know that some of you will tell me that this is where technology can step up and help deliver, after all if they did not invent the phrase, they have spent time and money promoting it, basing aspects of heir ROI arguments on it. There is no doubt that there some mechanical things that can indeed be more efficiently achieved with automation and technology, but those are not usually the crucial factors to sales success. The danger or fallacy of that argument, carried to its logical extreme is that sales eventually can be fully automated. While this is the case with some transactional sales, it does not apply to sales, most sales people I work, and they sales they execute, require human ingenuity, and therefore full concentration to successfully complete.
So despite the temptation, plan to do one thing at a time, plan it do it and move on to the next things. Done right at the end, when you finish important tasks, finish them well, one at a time, you will find that it will not take you much longer, and you will have done them better. As we have discussed in the past, allocate the time to the activity, and then manage you activities in the time allocated.
What’s in Your Pipeline?