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March 2021

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Now I can’t say I am a veteran of being a manager. I have only two experiences, one in my last job and at Dell Technologies I only have about 8 months of “Manager experience”. The reason I put it in air quotes is because you don’t always need a job title to lead and help manage people, however it sure does help.

In this blog I will be pulling from my experience leading people and some of the things that I learned becoming a new Manager, whether new to the company or a promotion within the organization.

Tip 1: Prepare before you Get Promoted

Well if you are already a new manager this might be too late, and it may sound counter-intuitive but if you are on the way up to this new role, there are a few things that can help you prep for it. I would suggest reading up on the topic of managing people, defining what type of manager you want to be or what type of manager the role allows you to be. It is very different managing 6 people or 15. Understanding that you can only do so much with the amount of time you have, will give you a lot of grace in the first 6 months of the new role. If it is an internal move, take time to get to know the job, the employees and scheduling in time to learn from others. If you know the hiring manager, ask them if you can participate in some of the meetings as a fly in the wall so you can learn the culture and language.

Tip 2: Be Available & Ask Questions

There is nothing worse than having a boss that is unavailable or hard to get a hold of. While you are taking the time to learn your new role, joining various leadership trainings, take time to lean into your new team. Get more involved, understand what they are going through and ask lots of questions. My favourite question to ask employees is “I have an idea, What do you think?”. Asking employees for their ideas is the ultimate display of respect and typically empowers them to solve their own problems.

Tip 3: Learn to Deal with Performance Issues

If you are not walking into a start-up company, you are most likely walking on to a team built by someone else. With that comes baggage from a previous manager; I don’t believe there is one role I have ever walked into where everything was working well. The previous boss may have been sweeping any poor performance issues under the rug. Part of your job as a new manager is learning a consistent and effective way to deal with employees who are not performing up to company standard. At the end of the day, your teams’ performance is a direct reflection of you. Don’t be surprised if the previous boss left some things to clean up and that you will need to learn how to deal with it in your own way.

Tip 4: Treat Every Employee with Respect and Listen

The organizational chart might show that your “role” is superior than your employees, however this is not to get confused with thinking you are better than them. Every job whether you are leading people or not, should also start with respect. Everyone deserves to come to work everyday and get treated with respect and dignity. A great way to start is be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Tip 5: Get a Mentor on Day 1

I cannot stress this one enough! I feel like in my current role, if I was to have a buddy or a mentor day one who has been in the same role as me relatively recently, I would of had a faster ramp time. Luckily I have a few right now and they make all the difference.

Did I get your attention?

I am not talking about taking a nap during working hours but talking about taking a nap during your lunch break.

Now napping is not for everyone, and most can’t relax enough to do it, but I feel like in the last two years, I have mastered how to take a quick 15-minute powernap at least 2-3 times a week. I am no scientist, but I have searched through the internet for the benefits, and I can feel the benefits.

The reasons I nap and scientific reasons according to sleepfoundation.org:

  • I enjoy it
  • Reduces sleepiness in the afternoon
  • Improves my learning and understanding
  • Aiding memory formation
  • Regulating Emotions

Napping is not for everyone. For some, it can be counterproductive; it can even result in sleeping issues at night. I would suggest not taking a nap anytime after 1:00 pm during work hours. Napping will only work if you are working remotely or have access to a sleeping lounge at work that is private or a car with comfortable seats.

Five Tips on how to take a nap during the day:

1. Plan Ahead

The reason plan ahead is first on my list, is if you don’t plan your naps, you have no business taking extra time during work hours to nap. If you only have 30 minutes for lunch, your nap time needs to be like clockwork. My husband and I once a month, do meal prep for a month of lunches. If you want to nap at lunchtime, you can’t be wasting time thinking about what to cook. I take my lunch out of the freezer in the morning and heat it up in the microwave so that I have enough time to relax.

If interested in the future, comment below and I would be happy to walk you through how we accomplish this meal prep every month.

2. Communicate to your Customers

Whatever industry you work in, you need to communicate your hours of operations to your customers, this includes all your internal customers. If you manage a team, have someone to report to, you need to communicate from 12:00-12:30 you are unavailable and who is covering you. This took months for me to communicate to my team and organization unless something is on fire to not call during lunch. It is important to take this time to rest and relax and step away from work. After months of reinforcing and officially booking it off in my calendar have I have managed to rarely be contacted during this time.

3. Find a sleep-friendly environment

To fall asleep quickly, you need to have a space that should be conducive to napping. Depending on where you are, you might not always have a luxury mattress and pillow. Ensure where ever you are it is dark, cool and quiet. After years of practice of napping, I can even fall asleep in the busiest rooms, however if you are a junior sleeper, you might want to go in a room with the door closed with zero disturbances.

4. Practice Meditation and set aside your worries

Thinking about work stresses will not help you fall asleep faster, if there is anything urgent or pressing you will not be able to nap. These stresses will keep you awake thinking of solutions, if the problem can’t be solved prior to lunch and it can’t be solved that day, you shouldn’t worry about things that can’t be fixed within the hours. These problems will always be around. Try practicing some relaxation exercises, there are so many apps with assisted breathing or yoga techniques. I typically, take the most basic practice of breathing with my apple watch or focusing on every part of my body starting with my toes and allowing them to relax.

**Disclaimer** I practice personal development on a weekly basis and set aside time to focus on the things I control and letting go of the things that I can’t. This includes therapy, church, writing and communicating with my partner. It can be hard to set aside your worries.

5. Set an Alarm

Most of my close peers say it is impossible for them to just nap 10-20 minutes, they need two hours. I believe everyone can use an extra two hours to nap but from my experience, it is when we don’t sleep well at night. When you are napping on your lunch break you absolutely need to set an alarm. When you nap for a short time it will provide a restorative sleep without drowsiness. If you want to feel alert and productive after your nap, don’t sleep past 20 minutes.

Inside sales, what is it? Who can do it? How do I know if I can move to a sales role? Depending on what type of organization you join, inside sales can be a slightly different role. I will save that for another blog post in the future of the difference between working for a start-up vs a Fortune 500 company.

I started my career after taking marketing in college, and I had no desire to go into sales. When I saw the salary for marketing vs sales, that is what caught my attention. Also, back in early 2012, it was tough to land an entry-level marketing gig. I feel like I didn’t choose to go into sales, but it just happened that way. I do want to tell you, if you have a marketing background or business you can 100% do sales. Also, if you love listening to people or helping people, this role is the most satisfying, as I get to help people every single day.

If you are a student or thinking of doing a career change, there are a few things you should know about inside sales. The last thing I would want you to do is take a job for inside sales and don’t like it!

What is Inside sales?

The most pragmatic definition of inside sales is: Selling remotely. I have heard of many definitions, from virtual selling, professionals selling done remotely, selling phone to phone, etc.

Well, you might be asking what the difference is between Outside Sales vs Inside Sales. Right now, not much: due to the pandemic. The easiest way I can explain it to you is inside sales is the act of identifying, nurturing and turning leads into long-term customers through phone, video, or email or through social selling.

What do Inside Sales Reps Do?

Here are some examples of daily tasks you will have to do at any company for an inside sales job:

  • Build and nurture relationships with customers to establish trust with you and the organization
  • Demonstrating understanding of full product line, able to pitch, propose and quote a solution for the customer
  • Resourceful in finding the correct people within their organization if the customer has additional questions.
  • Work together with marketing, operations and whatever other department may come in contact with your role. (there could be a lot)
  • Working towards their monthly, quarterly goals, including quota, sales calls and other KPIs. Typically in this role, there are several KPIs.
  • Utilize your companies CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) Entering all sales activities in the tool every time you have a touchpoint with the client
  • Forecasting on a weekly basis to your manager

What do the best Inside Sales reps do? In my Opinion.

All of the above and more!

  • The best inside sales reps are those that never get comfortable. They are consistently coming to their peers, mentors and/or manager asking how to get better.
  • Understand how forecasting works, and able to forecast their business by 70%+
  • Have a positive attitude; content with their role
  • Customers love them, and you hear about it.
  • Helping their peers

I have only been in sales for just over 10 years, I know I have a lot of experts that read/watch my videos. I am wondering what your opinion is on what makes the best inside sales reps? Feel free to comment below and thank you for reading/stopping by!

-Jess