Sales Managers have a lot to do. They have to listen to people go on and on about the deals that never closed.
They have to engage in conversations about compensation with people who would make more money if they spent as much energy and time talking to prospects as they did squawking about the inequities of the most recent comp plan.
They must report to VP’s or CEOs as to why 20% of their folks consistently outperform quota, and why some folks who appear to have it all together never quite get beyond “newbie” performance.
Sales Managers also must understand their people, find a way to inspire ALL of them, and keep an eye open for people that are prepped and ready to be promoted.
AND… Sales Managers must temper their understanding of their people with their expectations.
If you are still reading, you’re probably a Sales Manager (don’t let the title throw you -if you lead, manage, direct, inspire, hire sales people – regardless of what your business card or profile says – you are a Sales Manager!)
If this is the case, our “For /From” exercise can save you time, conversations, and best of all: Heartache.
No one becomes (or remains) as a Sales Manager who does not love developing and guiding others. Yet the sticking point for many of the people I have worked with over the past several years is the delta between what a Sales Manager expects from their people, and what they want for them.
Big difference between the two prepositional positions.
What you want FOR your people may look, sound and feel very different from what you want (or expect) FROM them.
What you want FOR your folks is aspirational, hopeful, visionary… and potentially transformative territory for you.
Driving a team is very different from leading one. In my previous blog post for Treeline, you will see that “It is all about the language!” Also in that piece, we explored the difference between Inspiration and Motivation.
As you embrace the thought and action process around viewing your people as your Precious Inventory, you now elevate your thoughts and intentions beyond Quota (although never leaving that component and commitment behind) and you start thinking about how you can improve the life condition of the people who report to you.
Think about your most challenging teacher, coach or professor.
They wanted great things FOR you,
so, they made sure that they got the best FROM you.
So, what if you were to sit down with a nice beverage, and a list of the names of the people on your current team?
What if you were to put “For” at the left on the top of that page, and “From” on the right?
What if you were to (as objectively as possible) write out 2 – 3 things you really want FROM your people (hit quota, limit churn, no drama, for example) and then set the sheet aside for a few minutes.
After some thought, (and without examining what you have already written) cover the right side, and write some ideas under “For”.
Now, compare the lists. How often do the same ideas / concepts show up? Does “being on time more often” qualify as a “For” or a “From”?
Does “get promoted next” qualify as a “For” or a “From”?
When you can clearly and objectively walk someone through your list with your comments, you will immediately start to develop a plan in our head for the next round of interactions with every person on your team.
Your precious inventory looks to you for guidance; not chapter-and-verse directions. They look to you for inspiration; not motivation.
They look to you and wonder if you have any idea of what they really want.
When you are clear and consistent with what you want FOR your folks, you will be much more effective at getting what you want FROM them.
John Klymshyn coaches and elevates Sales Managers, Sales VP’s and other folks who lead and care for Sales Teams. He has assisted companies in multiple markets and industries, and his “Ultimate Sales Management” techniques and training helped turn a funded startup into a $1Billion / year sales org. How can what he does be useful to you? He is also the author of The Ultimate Sales Managers' Guide.