Sales reps are…well…different.
Managers need to understand that. They think they do, but they don’t.
On a call with a company president last week, I heard something unique:
“I appreciate my sales reps. I just don’t understand them enough to lead them properly.”
This. Was. Huge.
Admitting you know what you don’t know is a far cry from believing you know but you really don’t.
Managers need to ask their reps 4 questions in order to best support them:
- What do you need from me?
- What do you need from the company?
- What are your top priorities for the week?
- What is the best time for us to meet on a regular basis?
These four questions get to the heart of effective sales management. Asked weekly, they keep the focus where it should be as opposed to this, the worst question a manager can ask:
“Did you sell anything today?”
Mark Twain once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to talk and remove all doubt.”
In other words, managers/presidents/owners who don’t ask the right questions should ask none at all, stay in their lane, and leave the sales force alone.