Don’t Do Me Like That…

We’ve all seen this happen before and maybe it even happened to you.

You knew you were uncomfortable and felt completely out of place. After all, the other side of the desk is not what you expected and now you don’t know why what worked for you doesn’t work for your team.

I’m talking about when the Top Sales Person of an organization is made the sales manager. If you’re a business Owner or Sr. Management, note this is one sure fire way to see sales slide downward, productivity decline as well as morale in the sales department.

So often, Top Sales performers are promoted with the greatest intentions and hopes that they will build the entire sales team to function and close transaction just as the “Rock Star” had in the past. Proto-type, mold, shape, and clone go ahead and call it whatever you want to, but the fact of the matter is, it rarely if ever is a productive move. All you’ve done is lost your best sales person and in return – a micro manager.

But wait there’s more…Often times that new sales manager is also expected to close business too. So now your sales team has a part-time manager available to guide, train, counsel and assist sales people with their new business. This is a complete disservice to the sales team!

If you’re the new sales manager, you’re now tasked with continuing to close a book of business and manage a sales team that is not producing the way you had, ultimately leaving you considerably frustrated.

The only JOB of any good sales manager is to help grow sales people into income producers in both quality and quantity…Period! And that is going to be a difficult task while trying to manage a sales team and support them if you’re still closing business yourself.

Building a talented and successful sales team doesn’t happen overnight and requires much patience along with trial and error mixed with a bit of luck.

Several key factors can go into the making of such a sales team and here are just a few examples:

  • Having the ability to NOT micro-manage is first and foremost. Nobody responds well under that management style and it leaves a company crippled from creativity and learning new ideas in which to build business.
  • There is more to measure than just pipeline goals and new business closed. Sales people have different styles of selling and with that are different behaviors. Don’t try and place everyone in the same box. Understand how each person is unique and different. Work with them to set their own goal. Yes, I said set their own goals. When we set our own, we are more committed and accountable along with a higher probability of hitting that goal, rather than a goal someone else has placed upon us.
  • When you hire a new sales person, encourage them to spend a week with each of the top three sales people on your team. Allow them the fourth week to review what they’ve learned. Do not expect any sales from them that first month. Get them to see how the top producers do it and prepare their own strategies from that to bring in and close new business.
  • Model a behavior yourself that is confident, respected, empowered, approachable and be a guide/teacher and you’ll see your sales team working right along with you to close all the business they can.

If you want a team full of Rock Star sales performers, you’ll need to foster the behavior of a great sales manager, not one of a mediocre tyrant. All things measureable on sales people are no different than that of a sales manager. We are all responsible for our actions and choices.

Remember: How you lead is the results you will get in return.

For more information on Sales Management and Building a Rock Star team, visit SBD at www.strategicbusinessdevelopment.