When you step into a sales management role your working day changes for a whole host of reasons – but there’s one incredibly subtle change that most managers miss.
So, what would your reaction be if I told you that the responsibility for every member of your sales team is to make your job as easy as possible?
Whenever I write that down in an article – and sometimes when I present it at a keynote – it brings out incredibly strong / emotional reactions in certain people.
But before I go on, let’s be straight about the most significant change to your working day when you move from salesperson to sales manager – when you become a sales manager:
Your job is no longer to hit target,
it’s to make sure the target gets hit!
Subtle difference in words, incredibly important difference in meaning and results.
And it makes even more sense when you realise that a sales target is just a business problem that needs solving.
For instance, if the business needed things printing, it would buy a printer – if it needed a new office block building, it would call a builder – and because we need a guaranteed way for customers to engage with us in ways that can’t be automated – we hire salespeople.
Problem: The business needs a certain amount of profit to operate and continue growing
Solution: Exchange money for the services of professional salespeople to find those customers and bring back the profitable orders
But whereas the salespeople are hired to solve the problem – the sales manager is employed to manage the project – make sure it happens – create and implement the strategy for success.
When you become a sales manager your job is no longer to hit target – it’s to make sure the target gets hit by the people you have given that job to.
If you needed a new office block building – you wouldn’t hire a builder and then start laying bricks yourself.
If you needed to peel potatoes – you wouldn’t buy a potato peeling machine and then peel them yourself.
You’d pay for something that would make the task at hand as easy as possible – and you certainly wouldn’t make excuses for things that cost money and made it more difficult!
On top of that, your time is extremely expensive – and so the value you need to deliver back to the business must equate to £1K hours, £10K hours, £100K hours – stuff that makes huge amounts of difference.
And you can’t do that by filling up your time with jobs here and there for a group of people who are already being paid to do it.
So, the questions to ask yourself today are;
1. How much do you earn an hour? When you have that figure, take a look at all the jobs you’ve got to do this month and ask yourself this;
If you had to hire someone to do any of those jobs for you – which tasks on your list would be grossly overpaid if the person earned your hourly rate for doing them?
Circle those jobs – delegate accordingly
2. Which jobs could you be doing – with regards to coaching, recruiting, strategizing, creating, planning – that would eventually pay the business back £10K, £100K or even £1M if you put aside an hour for them?
And that’s just one of the shorter exercises we run through during my FAME Management Workshops – and each exercise that I take you through has a specific purpose and delivers instant results.
People who fully understand the ACCOUBTABLITY quadrant of sales management have an incredible advantage over everyone else in their industry – they get more done, in less time – and continuously achieve outstanding results.
So, let’s assume for the sake of conversation, that you have worked out exactly what you’re accountable for – and exactly what the team should be focusing on to make your job as easy as possible.
Tomorrow, I’m going to share a couple of insights into Motivating a 21st Century sales team – something that will help you create the kind of team culture and work ethic that makes your competition ask you for your secret every time they meet you at an industry event.
To your success
PS: If you missed Part 1 you can find it at this link here:
Interested in finding out more?
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Our Sales Management Open Workshops show you how to piece together the four main elements of successfully managing a team – Focus; Accountability; Motivation; Education – and show you how to get the best out of everyone involved.
At the end of this workshop delegates will be able to:
- Work out how to focus on the real tasks that need to be achieved – and find a way to ensure every member of their team is doing that too.
- Create a culture where every member of the team understands that they are accountable and responsible for their own success – and recognise exactly what that makes them accountable for.
- Genuinely motivate people to over deliver -and even more importantly – learn how to make sure you don’t demotivate them.
- Coach the entire team to greater things – learn how to give them a net of their own rather than continuously feeding them individual fish.
- Feel competent and confident enough to conduct staff discipline in a professional (and legal) manner.
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