By Bob Urichuck
Organizations often promote the best salespeople into management whether they desire to be there or not—it is seen as a promotion or reward for the results they achieved. However, being a great salesperson does not make someone a great sales manager.
The toughest job of being a sales manager is demonstrating appropriate sales behavior—behavior you would like to see your sales team follow. Because you demonstrated successful behaviors with your buyers to get sales, does not mean the same behaviors will increase your sales team’s results.
So, what would be the appropriate sales discipline (behavior) for sales managers to demonstrate?
• Always makeyourself available to your team members or spend time with management?
• Assign targets to each, or engage each to come up with their own target and draft sales plan?
• Monitor their numbers or their behaviors?
• Tell your salespeople what to do, or are you engaging them?
• Lead salespeople or empower them to obtain commitment?
• Demonstrate the behaviors you are training and coaching them on, or you are too busy kissing butt upwards to do that.
These are just a few questions you need to answer for yourself, and there are a lot more.
• How can you expect results if you follow traditional sales management ways?
• How do you think telling people what to do makes them feel?
• Do you like to be told what to do by your boss?
• How does it make you feel when you are told what to do?
• How does it make buyers feel when your sales team demonstrates the same telling behavior?
Ownership generates commitment
Most salespeople don’t like to be told what to do. Neither do customers. Andyet that is usually what selling is all about—telling. When you are telling it indicates lack of engagement, trust and empowerment. Is that what you want?
It is no longer about you or top management—it is about the buyer. And the buyer in your case is your sales team. Do they buy into your sales management ways? If not, you will not lead results. If they do, the results will flow easily!
Who knows their market or territory best— top management, you (the sales manager) or the sales rep?
What if you engaged the sales rep into setting the revenue target for their market or territory? Do you think it would be lower or higher?
The chances are that it will be higher, and in some cases lower. Either way you may have to do some negotiations up or down, but the point is, in the end, who owns the number— top management, sales management or the sales rep?
When someone has ownership, there is commitment. Commitment is what sales managers and salespeople have to obtain to lead results.
Next, what would happen if you got each member of your sales team to draft a sales plan and present it back to the team for feedback before finalizing? Once they finalize it and sign it off, who owns it?
Finally, as a sales manager should you manage the numbers or each salesperson’s behavior according to the sales plan? Is it not the behavior that people demonstrate that gets the numbers? Also, would it not be easier to managetheir behaviors instead?
Sales professionals, buyers and probably you, too, like to be engaged. To be engaged means to be involved. Being involved is the second biggest motivating factor in the workplace. Everyone wants to contribute to the success of their organization. When you are involved, you feel empowered, trusted and become more motivated and committed because you own the idea.
Are you involving your salespeople, or are you telling them what to do? Are your salespeople asking questions of their buyers or are they telling them about their company and its products and services. The chances are they are doing exactly what you are doing— monkey see, monkey do.
Be aware. What monkey do you see, and what are you doing?
Bob Urichuck is an internationally sought after speaker, trainer—founder of the ““Buyer Focused” Velocity Selling System—and best-selling author in six languages. His latest books, Velocity Selling: How to Attract, Engage and Empower Buyers to Buy, and How to Motivate Your Team in 30 Days are new in 2014.
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