Successful sales managers are effective delegators

Lessons for Sales Managers

Lessons for Sales Managers

The Gallup organization is publishing a new book on entrepreneurism – Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder at the end of September. In the book, the author shares several key points about entrepreneurs which we believe surely presents lessons for sales managers.

Here are 4 key points from the book, shared in the Gallup Business Journal:

1. Highly successful entrepreneurs quickly adjust to accommodate the changing needs and new realities of a growing business. If you are a Delegator, you understand that a rapidly growing venture needs capabilities and resources beyond what you alone can provide.

2. Delegators work on the business rather than in it. You recognize that a growing business requires a shift from a do-it-yourself style, which is helpful in the early stages, to a more hands-off approach as the business starts to grow. You are well aware that you cannot possibly accomplish everything yourself, and you are willing to relinquish control and hand off authority for certain tasks to others who are better equipped to handle them. You have mastered the art of delegation. This frees up your time to focus on activities that yield the highest returns for the company and that grow the business.

3. Delegators are great managers and supportive bosses. You set clear expectations about timing, budget, and deliverables; make sure employees have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs; provide opportunities for training and learning; and genuinely care about the growth of each individual. You seek input from your employees and value their opinions and expertise. What’s more, you encourage new ideas and approaches to getting things done, and you are focused on outcomes rather than processes.

4. While you do delegate effectively, do not abdicate your overall responsibility for a project. The buck stops with you. Remember to set milestones to monitor progress, and communicate frequently with the people to whom you are delegating to avoid costly mistakes or surprises. When they complete tasks, provide feedback about what worked and what didn’t. Set up a successful delegation process. In the long run, it will build employee capacity and, more importantly, save you time — time you can use to create new opportunities for your business.

From our observation, these points are particularly important for front-line sales managers. They are the pivotal job for driving sales effectiveness. Without a solid group of front-line sales managers it is not possible to build and sustain a superior sales force.

Let’s close by building on just one of the points in the Gallup Journal – quickly adjust to accommodate changing needs. Today a number of markets, like healthcare, are undergoing transformation changes. These changes require the sales force to adjust and adapt every aspect of what they do. This required level of adjustment simply will not occur unless the front-line sales manager provide a personal model for change and the direction, guidance, and motivation for others to follow their lead.

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©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

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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