34+ Better Ideas Than Managing Sales People.
Leading is a tough job.
Leading sales dudes is one of the hardest responsibilities on the planet.
It beats out being POTUS “hands down”.
Security guard. Elephant bather. Mosquito hunter. You name the job — being a leader of sales people is worse.
Nothing will drive you to insanity faster than being assigned a handful of half-tamed head hunters who can’t sit still long enough to hear your 12-month rolling plan for hitting quota.
And if you think your opinion about the situation is rough, take a peek from the other side of the side,
It's down right icy.
Sales people are absolutely convinced that their manager is a vengeful, “can’t take a joke” moron, who doesn’t know how to sell product.
In fact, not only is their manager an idiot, he has a plot against their future success. He wants them to fail — to not hit their stupid quota.
It’s a complete nightmare.
And it’s your job. You have to lead standing right on the edge of insanity.
Here’s a gentle lesson that might help you
“If you try to manage, you'll mangle…”
You can't manage your way to a better sales team.
You'll just tear apart relationships, destroy talented team members, and drive away thought-leadership.
The days of being a “manager” are through.
They are over.
It doesn’t work.
You have to start coaching.
What does that even mean?
Here are a few ways to get started on that:
- Admit your screw-ups.
- Assume the best for your team.
- Listen to resistance.
- Expect bad behavior.
- Take some blame.
- Practice public kindness.
- Apply private “ass kicking”.
- Demand honesty.
- Stop referencing yourself.
- Forget the “old days”.
- Take your team’s side.
- Ask for help.
- Be proactive upstream.
- Maintain candid relationships.
- Push for momentum.
- Celebrate breakthroughs.
- Recruit based on desire.
- Fire any bad attitudes.
- Stop looking for experience.
- Make metrics fair.
- Teach strategy not tactics.
- Have a strategy (in the first place).
- Keep refining your strategy.
- Spark leadership.
- Denounce mediocre wins.
- Use loss to drive future success.
- Be accountable.
- Be respectful. Pay Attention.
- Answer your phone.
- Communicate more.
- Always be kind. Be firm.
- Build team careers.
- Have a plan for failing.
- Leave if you can’t help.
- Get therapy (seriously).
There are probably one hundred more things to consider. But this should get you started.
And as a side-note: You might never convince everyone in your team that you’re not out to hurt them.
But that’s not what you were hired to do in the first place anyway.
Stop managing. Start inspiring.