In a previous post, I discussed how little training I had when taking a management position for the first time. However, throughout my career, I received a lot of training and coaching and rely on it often to guide the sales managers and leaders I coach today. When people ask me the number one factor I attribute to becoming a successful sales manager, my answer is always “fairness.”
As a manager and a coach, I always felt that everyone benefits from being treated fairly and receiving honest feedback. I positioned myself as a key resource to the team and worked hard to make it easier for my customers to buy and my sales teams to sell. I also worked diligently to ensure my team had the skill sets they needed to perform at the top of their game. The most important thing to me was ensuring everyone had the opportunity to meet or exceed their goals.
But while many sales managers out there have the same good intentions, they fall short on execution.
I remember a manager I worked for who was brilliant in front of customers. If I was able to bring him in to meet with customer executives early in the deal, I had a high-percentage shot to win that deal. If anything went awry, he had established a relationship such that he could make a call to the customer executive to find out what was happening.
But with all the good came some bad. Here are two examples:
These moments helped define the successful sales manager I became – one that is fair and passionate about my team’s success. But I still think about those managers I worked for, worked with or coached and, unfortunately, recall some of their questionable attributes. Think about what makes you a successful sales manager, or is keeping you from becoming one.
How are you perceived as a manager? What qualities do you admire in a manager? I’d love to hear your thoughts.