Effective sales management requires the manager to have his nose in other people’s business.

The effective sales manager has his nose in his sales team’s personal business. “Do not bring your personal problems to work” is an oft-quoted admonition that rings sour to successful sales management. And personal problems could range from the mild, “My boy, Juma, is unwell” to the grave, “I had an unprotected one-night stand, and I think I ‘caught’ something.” Selling is a people (emotion) business. It’s also different from a desk job.

Sales is not a desk job

With a desk job you can (comparatively) afford to mechanically go through the motions at work despite having personal problems; not so selling. The desk job is passive, in the sense that work coming to the holder. Selling is active. You look for the work. And the fruits come after days, even months, of consistent labour.

Further, success comes after iterating several steps. None of these steps is ‘passive’ and all are intertwined with emotion. You need to look for someone to sell to; meet and present to them; validate your product by showing why it is suited for the buyer and also face rejection. Even your non-sales colleagues tolerate you as a necessary evil. That your fiancé has just dumped you after a steady five year relationship will destabilise you; and this is not something to be ignored by the manager, but explored through discussion. And this calls for building trust.

Build trust

Unfortunately, personal problems are not freely shared; the more when it’s with the boss. The seller must feel sufficiently close to him to do so. And it is the manager’s responsibility to create that enabling environment. Perhaps the fastest and most effective way to break barriers is to visit the seller at his house to understand how he lives; having invited him to your place first.

But building trust is not an event but a never ending journey. I know of an effective sales manager who can be found in a pub on a Wednesday morning with a salesperson whose performance has suddenly inexplicably slumped. Sacrilege? Not at all. This sales manager knows that this salesperson is freest in this environment. But what about corporate image?

Corporate Image

In case you are thinking ethics and corporate image, then you are not in Sales. Most high-performing sellers have quirks and oddities that would make the desk job holder shudder. For instance, there’s one who takes pride that he sweats profusely and insisting that he uses deodorant could impede his performance.  The effective sales manager seeks to understand these habits, wisely correcting them when necessary with the intention of growing the seller and his performance.  And, like a priest with confession, effective sales managers jealously guard these idiosyncrasies from prying eyes, defending them whenever necessary. This adds to their credibility.

Desk job sales management

There are no (corporate) systems and structures in the field. Not even (corporate) rules and regulations. The sales manager that expects to manage like a desk job manager deludes himself. And his team quickly disconnects from and disrespects him.

Check out our short courses and other services here. If you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 519

About Author

Related posts

Mr. Branch Manager, is your branch an operations or sales centre?

Dear Branch Manager, do you run your branch focused or costs and operations or sales and profit? Perhaps yours is a service centre focused purely on the former and that’s what’s required of you. And if that’s the case, that’s okay. Just know that, that’s the exception, not the norm. Still, don’t sit too pretty

Read More

Read this before you think you can manage a sales team remotely

You will struggle to successfully run a sales team by remote. I’ll explain why shortly. But first, what do I mean by managing a sales team remotely? Well. Think of how effective, though detached, a remote control is from the TV, and the comfort it offers the user. Now then, there are sales managers and

Read More

Recruit and retain good sales people now. Here’s how.

Recruiting and retaining good sales people is no walk in the park. It’s a challenge that many organizations face, and it requires careful consideration and strategic planning to overcome. This may surprise many nascent business owners but is something seasoned ones learned the hard way. The budding ones naively imagine, “I’ll just focus on building,

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.