Manager, If You’re Doing Deals, You’re Not Doing Your Job
All sales professionals revel in doing deals. There’s an adrenaline rush working on a complex deal and making it happen. There’s the sense of attainment and accomplishment in winning a hard fought competition. There’s that momentary celebration, high-five’s, before we move on to the next.
But as managers, as great as that feeling is, if we are spending the majority of our time doing deals, then we aren’t doing our jobs. (The corollary, is if your sales people aren’t doing deals, then they aren’t doing their jobs.)
When we moved from being individual contributors to being leaders and managers, our jobs changed profoundly.
Our job is no longer to get things done through our customers, but to get things done through our people.
As managers, our jobs are to enable our people to execute our company’s growth strategy–and to do so at the highest levels of performance possible.
We do this by organizing the team to engage customers effectively and efficiently.
We do this by translating company strategy into sales plans, programs, and strategies to effectively and efficiently reach our target customers.
We do this by making sure we have the right people on board–people with the skills, competencies, attitudes, and behaviors to execute our sales plans, programs, and strategies.
We do this by making sure we have the right processes, systems, and tools in place, and that our sales teams are leveraging them for maximum impact in engaging customers.
We do this by constantly training, teaching, and improving our people’s capabilities to perform. We obsess about building the capability and capacity of the organization and each individual in the organization.
We do this by identifying roadblocks and barriers to the success of each person in the organization and removing them.
We do this by managing for performance, by putting in place the right metrics and incentives. By tracking performance, identifying deviations, working to understand them and correct them.
We do this by coaching and teaching our people, one on one and in groups. Understanding each person and their potential, helping them achieve it–because if they do, then they enable us to fulfill our goals and reach our potential.
We do this by making sure our people understand how to and are creating superior value for our customers, both in the short term and long term. This means acquiring new customers, and retaining those we acquire.
We support our people in maximizing their abilities to win deals, but doing that by leaving the accountability with them, not taking it away from them. It is they who lead the effort in winning deals and we are a resource to them.
We are accountable for maximizing the growth of our company, our teams, each individual in the organization, and ourselves.
We are accountable for avoiding complacency, enabling the organization to constantly improve, change, and drive change in our customers, markets and within our own organizations.
We are accountable for advocating for our teams and our customers, internally. Making sure the rest of the organization is aligned and executing their own responsibilities in maximizing our value to our customers and our growth within our industry.
We make sure we celebrate our success, recognizing the people who make it happen. At the same time, we know we can’t be satisfied with current success but must grow and innovate–so we spend time figuring that out.
We are accountable for setting personal examples of high performance, growth, and leadership, because we know our people are watching us. We know what we do, and how we perform has more impact than what we say.
Being a manager and leader requires our full attention and full time, so we must commit that, if we are to be top performers in our own roles.
If we are consumed in doing deals, it robs us of the time to do the things we must be doing, if we are to be top performers in our jobs and our people are going to be top performers in their jobs.
If we are consumed in doing deals, it robs our people of the opportunity to learn and grow themselves, as well as relieving them of the responsibility of doing deals, relieving them of the responsibility to do their jobs.
If you are consumed in doing deals, then your management needs to find someone who is driven to doing what you are supposed to be doing, and we can let you be a great sales person.
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