Talents: vacation tips for sales leaders.

Talents: vacation tips for sales leaders. 612 408 admin9696

Summertime means well-earned time off for sales leaders. While blogs and posts on well-being recommend disconnecting entirely from work, let’s acknowledge it is neither always possible nor recommended.

Some of us may enjoy a peaceful quarter where deals came in regularly and the remaining ones are on track. No or little contribution is required from them but their electronic stamp on contracts signed by customers once the deal is done and the approval process is triggered. Happy summer holidays to these happy few.

Most of us, however, will leave the office with the biggest deals still at closing stage and their expertise or their personal connections to ultimate decision makers needed to cross the finish line. Or with a leadership meeting to kick off the next quarter scheduled right in the middle of their first week vacation.

Some of us simply can’t disconnect. The mere idea of letting things go entirely would create more anxiety than relief: the brain of always-on managers are never off.

Here are some hints and tips on how to enjoy your time off, whether you still have a lot on your plate, or your brain never rests.

Negotiate with your family : most stress comes from not being able to dedicate 100% of your time to family or being too harsh on oneself. You may have set unreasonable expectations with your dear ones and yourself by committing to a successful transition to your vacation from day one to the end.

Adopt the 2*2 rules: it will take 2 days to put up with your outstanding top priorities and 2 days to prepare your return to the office. Share with your loved ones that you will divide your time between career obligations and quality family time during these 4 days. Share your goal, set clear boundaries, and get their consent. No one, either in private life or in office, loves top-down decisions.

Negotiate with your boss: no leadership meeting comes out of the blue. While some won deals may wait final approval from revenue operations and finance to be booked, raw numbers are available. Negotiate with your boss either to send your business review deck and to discuss whatever points may be unclear when you are back. Should someone represent your region, delegate to your most valuable player, the one that ranks first in your succession plan.

Of course, playing the “manager disappears” game to let the team take charge during forecast calls, meetings and ongoing projects is nothing new to you, isn’t it? So, trusting and empowering them to share with your leadership your detailed numbers and overarching priorities for the fiscal year should be neither a surprise nor a challenge to them.

Be weapon savvy: from your emails to your corporate social network and your back up plan, there should be no doubt you are on vacation. Don’t use “emergency” in your out of office reply as an elusive word to allow anyone to feel entitled to contact you. Emergency definition should be part of your back up plan, so make it clear that any request should be addressed to the one who backs you up.

A back up plan is not a vacation board. To minimize disruption and ensure proper coverage, it should include who is in charge, who makes decisions in your absence on your tasks and absolute priorities from your V2MOM or anything close you may use to share and communicate on your overarching priorities.. No need for a complex project plan. Prepare in advance and complete a solid handover – not only on hot deals that slept from previous quarter – to avoid “I was not quite sure “ phone calls or emails flooding.

Make peace with your mobile: if you want to become a lazy sunbather, not the ones stuck to their mobile phone on their long chair, the ones that really enjoy their time off, get a grip on your emails before vacation. Before leaving, delete every email that is older than one month, every email that you are copied and use the first 2 days to process the ones where your thought, action or contribution are needed. Since the long list of emails is one the most serious sources of stress before returning to the office, schedule a time of the day to process your emails.

Don’t answer. Remember you have a backup plan and a backup resource to rely on. And you are supposed to disconnect. So, productivity is not the point. Just process them. Delete ruthlessly and create simple categories to route the most important to them: one for actions to follow up on when you are back, and one for information and learning. Make a point in always getting your inbox to zero. . If you are an “idea guy”, don’t overload your brain: park your ideas in a master list and resist the temptation to send emails t share how brilliant they are.

Preparing your return to the office: hopefully, the 2*2 days rule and your email discipline will spare you the pain of having to catch up. You should be on top of your game and be able to take over your overarching priorities from your back up. Preparedness is key and implies that, beyond forecast meetings, mandatory business as usual, and leadership meetings, you have done two things before leaving on vacation: prioritizing the takeover meeting and setting up some time for you to concentrate, focus and execute on the most difficult tasks, starting with your current quarter key indicators progress.

Once everyone is back, schedule a meeting to review what challenges each one has faced, what has been done well and what can be improved. Navy seals like After Action Review will probe and improve team vulnerability and cohesiveness.

Don’t forget your fresh ideas: test them and implement them immediately. The ideas you parked in our master list by the swimming pool or while visiting a foreign country are likely to be more creative and impactful than any one you would have at work. Don’t wait to be caught up by the humdrum of your business life. If you wait for too long, you will lose your perspective and motivation to try different management approaches, fix broken sales processes, or set up new systems.


Taking time off is essential for recharging and maintaining long-term productivity. Not everyone can afford or is able to fully disconnect. Hopefully, our recommendations will help you ensure a smooth transition during your absence and learn that time off is a management challenge in itself: from tools, and processes to cultural fixes and direct reports empowerment, there is much to learn. Well beyond your personal wellbeing.

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