Sales Managers = Coaches!

posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012

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The holidays are now in our rear view mirror and most of us are back to the grind, but there are one or two more things that I wanted to share with you that I was reminded of during that time. As many of you probably know, there are a ton of football games on in the month of December, both college and pro. In watching these games and the coaches of the teams, I was reminded of how important the job of a good sales manager is to the salespeople around them.

A sales manager has a lot of jobs and all are important, but the most important one is the support and motivation that they provide to their teams. As I listened to coach’s talk, there was one constant message that kept coming through and I think that message is very applicable to a sales team as well. The best quote I heard was from former Dallas Cowboy Head Coach, Jimmy Johnson. He was on one of the pregame shows and was asked did he treat all of his players the same? His response, and I’m paraphrasing, was no because the players are not the same. He went onto say that what motivates one player, may not motivate another or that some players respond to yelling while others go into a shell. The last thing he said was, "You have to know your players."

As a sales manager, you have to know your salespeople. What motivates each of them and how to get the best out of them? There are going to be salespeople who are motivated by simply making money and that’s ok. There are going to be others who are motivated by the relationships they establish with co-workers and customers. The sales manager needs to understand that motivating the salesperson who is interested in the relationships with more money probably is not going to work, and vice versa. Knowing what drives each and every salesperson is vital for a sales manager, and will lead to increased sales from everyone.

Every salesperson is different and is going to respond differently to motivational techniques. The most important job of a sales manager is understanding what makes everyone on their staff tick, and then using that knowledge to motivate each of them. Tracking inventory is important but if there’s no one to sell that inventory, then what is there to track? Your salespeople are your biggest asset!

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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