There is a factor that makes sales people successful and dooms sales managers. In this episode of the Sales Management Minute, sales managers learn how to avoid this fate.
Joan is a rock star seller! She works the phone from dawn until dusk. Rejections are no cause for concern with Joan. She may get knocked down, but she quickly gets back-up, brushes herself off, picks up the phone and is on to her next call. She knows she has the talent and nothing gets in her way as she blasts through her quota.
A few months ago, Joan was promoted to sales manager. She received no training or mentoring…just a few words of wisdom from her boss. “Get your sales team doing what you were doing and we’ll be minting money!”
Off Joan went with that thought in mind. Yet, she quickly hit the wall. Joan was tasked with hiring sales people, but had never evaluated sales talent before. She needed to develop a new sales compensation plan, but had no clue where to start. Management issues were everywhere, but she didn’t know what to do. Within a few months, her sales team was a disaster. Joan was getting knocked to the mat, but this time she couldn’t get back up. The same executive who promoted her also escorted her to the door saying, “I’m surprised you couldn’t cut it as a sales manager.”
The same factor that makes sales people successful also causes sales managers to fail. That grab the bull by the horns, run through walls, never give up mentality is what makes sales people strong. Yet, when these strong sellers are put in sales management roles, this approach backfires. Being successful in sales doesn’t prepare you for hiring, onboarding, managing or compensating sales people. And many business executives are blind to that and put their top sales person in an untenable position.
Where sales managers go wrong is they don’t seek help. Interestingly, sales leaders are the only ones in the corporate setting who view help as a sign of weakness. CFOs bring in consultants to review the books. CIOs hire experts to make recommendations on new technology. HR leaders seek outside guidance on employee benefits and health insurance. Yet, few sales leaders follow the same path. Hubris was the fatal flaw of Greek mythological heroes. Don’t let pride doom your sales management career.
Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning, best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at lsalz@SalesArchitects.net or 763.416.4321.