I’m not a sales manager. Well, technically, I am…at least that’s what is says on my business card. I don’t like to think of myself that way, though. I’ve got a bad connotation with the title, so I don’t go by it. I think of someone who’s barking demands with a fear-inducing leadership style. Never knowing if a job is secure or not, just yelling at people to do more.
People have different personalities, and that shows up in sales reps just like it does anywhere else. I need to know what makes one person tick over another. I need to know whether someone needs me to set the bar higher for them, or get down in the trenches with them and help them get out of a hole they dug. Monday’s come around like clockwork, and I want to start the week off with a word to my team that is both a kick in the ass and a pick me up. I need to know if it’s money, material items, or more time out of the office that gets my peoples engines revving. When I figure those out, I need to be able to put goals in front of them that make them stretch for their betterment. I guess you can call that being a sales manager, but I think of myself more of a motivator.
My reps time is really valuable to them, and it has to be even more valuable to me. Invites to internal meetings, issues of customer service that they’re not as equipped to handle as our customer service team may be, and requests from colleagues that take them away from their sales efforts – all of these things are distractions, and it’s really my job to keep my reps free from them. You’re in sales, you understand the necessity of hitting your goals, whether you need to hit monthly or quarterly sales goals, you know that any time off of the phone building relationships and prospecting affects you financially. If I’m not able to help keep my reps from these types of diversions, they’re going to feel it, and ultimately, so will the business. You see, I don’t really think of myself as a sales manager, but rather a guardian. I need to guard my team’s time so that they can focus on their goals.
There’s so much more that I need to do that isn’t necessarily encompassed by my title, but like I said, technically, I’m a sales manager. It even says so on my business card.