Early in my sales career, I made two critical mistakes when it came to taking time off:
1. Not planning for the impact, and
2. Not taking it at all.
Sales may be one of the simplest job functions to measure, but it is one of the most challenging to perform. By the very nature of the role, sales people are risk takers and overachievers. And while we all know we should take a break, there's one major barrier that towers over all else: quota doesn't take a vacation.
Early in our careers we learned that 'inputs drive outputs' and that metrics were important. The loss of a single week's worth of activity can cost several weeks of lost productivity, and place not only the current month, but also the remainder of the quarter in jeopardy.
Let's say you're going to be out of the office for 5 days.
During an average day, let's assume you conduct 40 outreaches and schedule 2 new appointments per day, So, over the course of 5 days, you'll be down 200 outreaches and missing 10 appointments for the month ahead. If you’re closing ratio is 1:5, then you’re down two sales. That's real money!
The good news is that with a little planning and some incremental effort, summer vacation can be a truly relaxing experience. Follow the steps outlined in the guide below and you'll soon find yourself unplugged from your computer and standing on the beach rather than plugged in to your computer and watching the beach.
Vacation Planning 101 for Sales People
So, now that I've got your attention, let's focus on setting you up for success. Follow the checklist below to gather the necessary data and then (spoiler alert) use the downloadable calculator I've attached to make it simpler.
Here are the steps.
1. Determine the amount of days you'll be out of the office.
2. Add one more day to account for the last day before going on vacation.
Ex. 5 Days out +1 additional days = 6
3. Calculate the amount of outbound activity that you perform per day.
Ex. 40 calls/2 appointments
4. Multiply that by the number of days that you will be out of the office.
Ex. 6 days/240 calls/12 appointments
This is the amount of "lost activity" you'll need to make up.
5. Determine how many days you will allocate for incremental effort.
Ex. 12 days
6. Divide missed activity by number of allocated "incremental" days.
Ex. 240/12 = 20 additional calls. AND 12/12 = 1 appointment/day
This provides the incremental daily activity that you will need in order for you to maintain your current level of productivity. In this case, 20 calls per day and 1 new appointment per day.
Alternately, if you're an equation person:
a. (#days vacation) x (activity) = (gap in activity)
b. (gap in activity) / (#days remaining) = (incremental activity required per day)
"Wait! I was told there would be no math!"
Wheeler-Wilkins to the rescue! Download this simple calculator here, add in your own numbers and you'll be able to determine how much incremental will be required to continue to drive exponential results.
1. Designate a colleague to handle any incoming requests. Debrief them on any key correspondence and/or accounts at least 2 days prior to leaving.
2. Create and set your out of office reminder. Let your contacts know that you are out of the office and you have designated a representative to assist with their needs.
3. Schedule appointments for the week you are returning, the week prior to you leaving. That way you come back to the office with a full calendar of meetings, ready to hit the ground running.
4. Take advantage of automation software. If your company has access or availability, make sure that you are sending reminders to your upcoming appointments and that you have a trusted colleague as a contact point on your out of office.
Feel free to share additional tips in the comments section below!
Best Regards and Much Success!