The New Sales Manager – Part 3

posted: Friday, November 9, 2018

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When a new sales manager takes over, almost all the focus is on what they are going to do and what changes they are going to make. It seems that his/her success rests solely on their shoulders. While they are the leader, the team of salespeople they are now leading have a vital role as well and it is just as important.

The first thing the team must do, both collectively and individually, is be open to change and willing to give their new sales manager a chance. Change is hard and too often people decide they are not going to like someone or the ideas they bring just because it is different. That makes no sense! If the sales manager fails, doesn’t that also mean the salesperson failed?

That doesn’t mean a salesperson accepts everything and never questions anything, but it does mean that they must be willing to try the things that the new boss wants to implement. Nothing kills a team faster than the one person who refuses to buy in just because it is something new.

A salesperson must also be willing to communicate with their new sales manager assuming the new manager is open to listening, and if they are good at their jobs then they will be. Don’t be afraid to talk to your sales manager about what has worked in the past and express your opinions on areas that need improvement.

The sales manager may be the boss, but they are also the new person. The salespeople who have been there in the trenches have the information that the new manager needs to succeed. Yes, it is vital that the sales manager go in with an open mind, willing to listen and looking to unite his/her team. However, it is just as important for members of that sales team be accepting of new ideas, and willing to try new things.

A sales team is just that, a team and while the new leader has a lot of responsibility in making sure that team is successful; the team itself must do their part as well. A football team can hire as many head coaches as they want but unless the players buy in, it won’t matter how great the coach is.

The Five Criteria for Change are:

  1. Policy – This is what needs to be done
  2. Training – This is how to do it
  3. Justification – This is WHY it needs to be done
  4. Rewards or incentives – This is what you get for doing it
  5. Consequences – This is what will happen if you don’t do it

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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