Sales managers must not forget to forgive – A sales tip

Sales Tip

According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, “Leaders must be firm and foster accountability, but they also must know when to forgive past mistakes in the service of building a brighter future.”  She goes on to note that, “Anger and blame are unproductive emotions that tie up energy.”

Although Dr. Kanter was writing about leadership in general, we thought her message held merit for front-line sales managers.  Most sales managers work in a highly demanding and challenging environment.  They learn early on that accountability driven by constant measurement is an on-going backdrop for everything they do.

But when is the last time you participated in a sales manager training program and the subjects of “handling past mistakes’ or “avoiding blame” came up?

Clearly it is important to help sales managers learn how to create an environment where accountability is valued and taken seriously.  However, it is also important to help sales managers learn how to create a culture where trust, experimentation, and thoughtful risk taking are encouraged.

Successful sales managers skillfully set a tone that enables them to build receptivity and trust with their sales team.  In such cases, the feedback they provide is more likely to be heard, accepted, and actioned. This all helps create an environment where a sales team can move beyond their comfort zone.

Some other posts on sales management and sales coaching you also might find interesting are:

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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