Your front-line managers can be one of the most valuable assets for any sales organization. Top sales leaders should always be looking for ways to support and enable these critical team players. Our own Paddy Mac (In official terms, Force Management’s Senior Director of Consulting and Facilitation Patrick McLoughlin) is loud and proud when it comes to enabling managers. You may have caught his “Manager Thought of the Day” on his LinkedIn. It’s a great list so we’re sharing it with you here.
Here are 20 tips to help front-line managers effectively equip their teams:
- Convert training into an experience as quickly as possible.
- Leadership is more about communication and credibility than it is about policy and performance.
- Being good is important. Being trusted is essential.
- Sales is a CONTACT sport. Yes, Covid has changed the boundaries, but the rules are the same. Stay connected to your salespeople every day.
- Close to customers is a relative term. If you can't see them or talk to them, you are NOT CLOSE.
- Not using the skills of employees and tapping into the knowledge and viewpoints within your organization is the worst crime of management.
- It is better to sweat in practice than to bleed in battle. (Yes, it is an old saying, but how many times do we forget it or don't take it seriously?)
- Do the most common things UNCOMMONLY WELL.
- When told you don't understand the big picture, ask someone to paint it for you.
- Be impatient and intolerant about mediocrity. When I was at my best, I would rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.
- The only thing the Economic Buyer reads in most reports or proposals is the Executive Summary. Make sure that section really tells the story. Make sure the Positive Business Outcomes are included in a way that is CLEAR.
- When the pandemic started my mantra was; find a better version of myself; being a dad, friend, sibling, facilitator amongst other things. I realized growth comes in many forms. So BE IMPATIENT AND INTOLERANT ABOUT A LACK OF GROWTH! You will do wonders for yourself and your people.
- Establish high standards for work ethics.
- Show commitment and passion.
- Expect & Inspect.
- Recognize SUCCESS frequently. For my skill/will friends, what are your Level IIIs and IVs thinking this morning?
- Do the right thing and do things right.
- Err on the side of spending time with your PEOPLE. Remember PEOPLE quit managers before they quit companies. Meet your employees where they are, teach them, take them to a place they cannot get to on their own.
- Be Crystal Clear when setting expectations and making commitments. For my CoM families, think about the four steps in Manager Coaching Day; Tell, Show, Inspect and Feedback. Be UnCommon.
- Get Rid of "Ya, But" Attitudes. Don't demonstrate or accept them. Your people will raise their game.
More Manager Coaching Resources:
As a sales leader, you have the opportunity to build your managers into great sales coaches. Your front-line managers will likely welcome any support, tools, and resources you can provide them to help them make an impact. Here is a comprehensive guide you can use to define what your sales managers may need to better support their sales teams.