Have you worked for a great sales manager who has brought out the best in you?
Have you also worked for a sales manager for whom nothing is good enough and you feel like pulling your hair out?
I’m sure you’ve encountered both of these phenomenons and it’s not a situation that is unique to you.
Sales management is a profession that can drive many people insane, mainly because there are so many things that are out of your control.
You may set everything up and think all in the garden is blooming, but then the market, the industry, the competition or the products make you feel like jacking it all in.
But there are some things that sales managers do that actually they can help, but they decide to still continue to do, and it causes many of their talented salespeople to decide they’ve had enough and move on.
Here are just nine mistakes that can cause good people to seek pastures new:
1) They set targets and objectives and then micro-manage
This mistake really is resented by many good salespeople.
What they want is for the manager to guide them and lead them to achieve the targets, not sit on their shoulder and manage every call they make
2) They spend no time on coaching and mentoring their team members
Instead, they keep directing them and shouting the orders, not bothering to see if their team need some help or assistance in maintaining their skillsets
3) They don’t offer any personal development
We’re not talking about sending them on training courses every month; that wouldn’t be productive.
This involves discussing their growth opportunities and analysing their overall development needs
4) Not building a team ethos, but concentrating on individual responsibilities
If a sales manager spends too much time on an individual and doesn’t highlight the abilities of the team, he or she will endanger the overall relationship that can create synergistic results
5) Leaving recruiting talent to chance or another department
The results a sales manager achieves should always be within their control.
If the overall job of recruiting new people is left to HR or another department, they don’t have the ability to build the team in the way they want to
6) They don’t build a culture of professionalism
The team culture has to be built. It doesn’t evolve on its own.
The professionalism a good sales manager builds has to be generated deliberately and has a metabolism all of its own.
7) They don’t take their own development seriously
It’s possible that a sales manager is in position because they were the best salesperson and it was the inevitable promotion that they were seeking.
But they still need developing in various management skills.
You can’t grow and be nurtured if you forget to advance your skills regularly and effectively
8) They don’t lead; they manage
Managing the team means micromanaging at every opportunity.
A leader of a team allows people to make mistakes, take risks, be delegated to and build their own abilities.
This mistake means the salespeople have little incentive to grow.
They rely wholeheartedly on the knowledge of the manager to assist them in getting more sales.
9) Not recognising the real reasons for poor performance
Too many times, the real issues behind not hitting targets are left uncovered or not dealt with effectively.
They could be personal issues or not covering their prospecting very well.
Whatever the reasons, poor sales managers have little effect if they don’t cover the real reasons for their teams not building good performance.
Of course, there are many more reasons why bad managers force good people to leave, but these often are raised as motives and explanations for good sales people leaving.
Analyse them to see if any could apply to you, and maybe you could stop a talented team member jumping ship.