Well we all make mistakes and so rather than focus on what makes a “bad” sales manager I’d rather list out the five (5) things that in my opinion make a great one…
What Makes a Great Sales Manager:
- Communicates well
- Seeks to catch you doing something right
- Praises you in front of peers and corrects you behind closed doors
- Willing to give leeway (or as I call it “get creative”)
You know where you stand, holds you accountable, treats you with respect and makes sure you know that you are part of the team.
Clearly states goals, boundaries and does everything possible to eliminate surprises. When issues arise, they are addressed appropriately and timely.
They seek to catch you doing something right, rather than making you feel like they are watching your every step, waiting to pounce on you when you do something wrong.
Often points out in front of your peers something well done. Could be how you saved an account, handled an objection or didn’t allow a bad sales call to ruin your day. And when mistakes are made or when a sales rep and sales management aren’t on the same page, its handled behind closed doors.
I’ve been known to “bend the rules” in my time as a sales rep as any of my past managers will tell you. I prefer to call it “getting creative”. When a sales manager has the power to give leeway to that creativity and does so, it creates even more motivation on behalf of the sales rep. It also has a reciprocal effect in the sense that when “no” is really “no”, the sales person will understand and not have any ill will feelings.
There’s one more that should be added to the list…
Great managers know when to give a little extra appreciation. It could be something as simple as a “pat on the back” when no one is looking, to giving an unexpected day off. Sales managers need to be taskmasters but the great ones also know when to pull back and give or allow for something unexpected.
CSS: Chief Sales Scientist
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