When Is A Sales Manager Not A Sales Manager-Part Two

In the last post I was emphatic about the fact that a sales manager’s role is to develop salespeople. However (the most common word used when someone is about to present an alternative way of approaching a problem) there will always be times when the sales manager will have to bail a salesperson out of a sales call that is going  south.

That situation is decidedly different than the one my friend Eve and I discussed. The question I have is why have salespeople at all if the sales manager is supposed to take responsibility for negotiating contracts? Stay in contact with your customers/distributors via blogs, marketing programs or other methods and then send in the negotiator every six months to negotiate new contracts. Hey, way to save overhead without all those pesky salespeople!

I don’t blame Eve for being frustrated. Her issue, though, shouldn’t be with the sales managers as much as it should be with the VP of Sales. The question Eve should ask is why doesn’t the VP  hire more effective salespeople or train the existing ones to be more effective negotiating contracts?

This may sound inane to the casual observer but the majority of companies are clueless about the hiring process. Hey, candidate A has high tech experience and seems to know the tech language-hire him or her. Or, better yet, let’s align ourselves with people who know the industry and the potential customers and we’ll let them demo the product! Come on people!!! Why do you think so many bloggers write about “corporate culture” and finding the right fit for a sales organization? Because they are critical issues when hiring.

Here’s a novel approach. List out the top 5 key characteristics that the sales position requires and then define how those characteristics play out in the sales call or sales process. When you hire a salesperson put their feet to the fire of these 5 characteristics.

I am intrigued by this topic even though it has been written about ad nauseam. More next week on how to identify these characteristics.

I try not to repeat quotes for the final thought but this is too good not to.

The Final Thought: “If you think hiring professional salespeople is expensive, try hiring amateurs.”


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