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Ditch The Paperwork!

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One of the biggest innovations in sales in the last 50 years is the invention of the sales operations team. Sales Ops does lots of different things in different organization — but the main thing, the one key point, is that they protect the time of the sales team.

Protecting the time of your sales team is critical. They’re only doing their job when they’re talking to customers. When they’re doing anything else, it’s almost certainly a waste of time. Generating leads? That’s marketing’s job. Filling out expense reports? That’s the job of an admin. Selling is the job of the sales team, and as a sales leader, you need to enable your team to do it.

This is particularly true in the mortgage business, where “too much paperwork” is the number one complaint by loan officers about why they can’t do more business.

Of course, if your organization suffers from these challenges, they can’t be solved over night. Sometimes, you might not be able to directly change them at all. But as a sales team leader, it’s your job to try.

You probably can’t afford an admin for each loan officer — but you can probably afford one for the team. Put one in your next budget request, and let the admin take over as much as possible that’s keeping your loan officers from talking to customers.

Advocate for systems overhaul. If you don’t yet have a sales operations team, or if the amount of paperwork your loan officers are handling — or worse, if both of those things are true — it’s time to start advocating with senior management about the benefits of fixing those problems. It’s your job to lead, and part of that is managing upwards. Get your boss to get you the tools that you need.

Going a step beyond that (or maybe a step before that), it’s all about time management. Every sales manager must be an expert at managing his or her time — and once you are, you need to help your team become experts at managing theirs. Everyone has their system preferences — Daytimer, Franklin-Covey, etc…. The specific system doesn’t matter. Find a system that works for you, and use it. Encourage your team to do the same. Send them to training if you have to. Once you have your and their time under control, you can go back and start focusing on fixing the organizational issues.