These past couple of weeks we’ve talked about underperformers, sales superstars, talents, and the right words to say at the right time.
All this time I’ve been talking about the techniques and the right ways to manage your sales team. But here is the thing: when is enough enough? When do you get to throw in the towel and say, “Sales isn’t your true calling. I’m afraid I’m going to have to let you go”?
You are a very busy person. While your sales people are out working towards their quota, you’re stuck in the office, behind a desk, figuring out how to work your own quota. So I’m going to tell you the truth right here.
As soon as you figure that you need to micromanage a sales person, that’s when you know you’ve made a hiring error.
A top-performing sales manager knows this very well. Average sales managers are aware of it, too. But they tend to miss the point completely.
As a top-performing sales manager in charge of an elite group of sales men and women, never allow yourself to think that you’re responsible for micro-managing your sales people. I repeat, you are a sales manager. You are NOT a baby sitter. You’ve got more important things to worry about in your day than to spoon-feed an underperformer just so he, or she, could barely meet quota and save his or her job.
I understand that some people need more help than others. Sure, we all get that. I can even sympathize. But a line has to be drawn somewhere, and it’s you, the sales manager, who’s responsible for setting that line. Is the sales person capable of working independently of the help you offer him? Or do you need to check every once in a while to see that he remembers everything he should already know?
If it’s the latter, do yourself a favor and tell the sales person that he needs to find somebody else to work for. It’s harsh, I know, but it’s the truth. The best sales people don’t need to be managed.
Encourage, praise, lead, coach – but never micro-manage.
This is one way to determine the presence of a bad apple in your basket.
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