I used to love watching “In Living Color”, a sketch comedy show that ran from 1990 to 1994. It’s where Jim Carrey got his start and it starred the Wayans brothers who also wrote for the series (and created it).To this day, it’s one of my favorite shows.

I flashed-back to the show last week after a conversation I had with a sales VP. He described his frustration that, because of the number of responsibilities that fell on his shoulders, he couldn’t be the change-maker he desired.

We talked about the pressures on sales reps as well, and how they’re expected to perform (and be skilled at) a myriad of jobs from researching their target market, to identifying prospects, to knowing how to appeal to different job titles, to monitoring prospects on social networks, to following-up on marketing campaign responses to… well, you get the picture.

So that’s where “In Living Color” and the Hedley family flashed into my brain. The Hedley’s were known as the hardest working family from the West Indies.

Their most frequent line was “hey mon. How many jobs ‘you got?”  The joke is that they judged each other by the number of jobs each held.

Anything short of 12 was considered lazy. Of course, no one can possibly hold down 12 jobs let alone jobs requiring varied skill-sets such as; a wedding photographer, meter-maid, shoe salesman, sushi chef and law student.

Performing the many jobs required to run a successful sales organization or territory can also feel impossible. The best way to handle all the required jobs without sacrificing a personal life is to put processes and tools in place. But discovering exactly what those processes and tools should be is yet another job. Can you say “catch-22?”

I recommend starting with tools that are the fastest to deploy, take the least amount of training or ramp-up effort and have the most potential to make a sizable difference.

Start with these three tools. They’re relatively simple to deploy, fairly easy to use, and they can certainly have an impact on revenue:

  • Web-based scheduling
  • Prospecting and trigger-alert tools
  • eSignatures

This isn’t the mid ‘90’s. With the tools available today, there’s no need to be a Hedley.