Identifying and Avoiding Common Management Missteps

May 10, 2012

Leadership Lessons from the Top... by Floyd Wickman

Even the best or most experienced sales managers can fall victim to common hurdles or business mistakes if they’re not careful to keep their eyes on the “road” in terms of their management plan.  To help you keep from tripping up, I’ve outlined four of the most common business foundation “cracks” that can topple an organization:

  1. Over-extended sales manager: I’ve seen it over and over.  Those managers who seemingly take on the work of the world and keep piling more on each day, wondering why they can’t get anything done.  In reality a sales manager has five jobs:  recruit, train, direct, motivate and upgrade their sales team.  If they’re doing more than that and overextending themselves then their effectiveness as a leader (and their team’s productivity) will come to a screeching halt.  Learn to focus on those five tasks and embrace the power of delegation for the rest.
  2. Half of a job description: The number one reason sales managers resign is that they are given the RESPONSIBILITY for recruiting, training, directing, motivating and upgrading their teams but NOT the AUTHORITY.   Business owners need to ensure that their managers have BOTH in order to build a strong, producing, effective and happy team.  If not, you can be sure that they will eventually turn to one of your competitors or leave the industry all together.
  3. Trying to pull the organization up from the top: Too often sales managers try to pull their sales staff’s production up to the level of the top producer.  Instead they should be continually replacing their worst producers.  In a sales organization, it’s imperative to build from the bottom.  After all, who cares if the top producer is making six figures if the rest of your sales team is producing at a poverty level?  Keep this in mind:  If your worst producers are continually getting better and better because you’re replacing them with better and better salespeople, then your organization can’t HELP but to GROW as a result!
  4. Inconsistent management: Nothing kills a sales team’s respect for a manager faster than inconsistency.  You can’t be a leader part of the time.  Setting high standards and following through on expectations ALL of the time will allow you to earn their respect and keep it.

I hope this helps keep you and your team of sales professionals on track (and out of the cracks!)  To read all eight ways to avoid common cracks in your business foundation – grab a copy of my book Successful Strategies for Sales Managers.  It’s an easy read and a terrific turn-to resource to help any manager keep his “eyes on the road.”

And if you need help bringing that bottom 50% of your organization UP to averaging a transaction per week - that's what we do best! Give us a call at 800.910.5351.  We're always here to help!

Good luck and have a great week!

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