Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a great many salespeople and to hear their opinions of their sales managers. While some recounted the positive impact they had on them and others the negative, the best managers always seemed to strike a balance in their style.
One notable manager believed that, to be an effective salesperson, you needed to be more paranoid. This meant thinking of everything that could go wrong with a sales opportunity. Had you identified the need for your solution? Did you know how you could meet the need? Had you met with all the stakeholders? Was there a compelling business case? The list of questions went on and on.
Another’s positive, yet realistic, outlook helped deal with the inevitable changes a salesperson encounters and to which they must adapt such as changes in product or service offerings, in the management team, in pricing, in competitors, in quota, compensation and territory assignment.
I’ve heard of a manager who stretched (I’m being kind) the truth when setting expectations with prospective customers. Despite the obvious downside, it drove some salespeople to learn so much about their business that they no longer needed to have him interact with their prospects.
And, then there are managers with the uncanny knack of being able to tailor their style to the individual, providing just the right amount of motivation, accountability, transparency and recognition suited to each salesperson.
Is your sales management style “just right?” If you can use some help managing your salespeople, please contact me and let’s determine the best way to provide what’s missing.