Business scorecards are useful to improve performance. These scorecards set the criteria that are important to determine success in business. You may intuitively know that you work for a great sales manager. Here’s what you can evaluate if you want to be sure that you do.
- You’re paid fairly.
Your manager has a big role in determining your compensation. Even straight commission salaries are set by management. There are some sales managers who manipulate the compensation structure when salespeople make “too much money.” As a very successful sales manager once told me, “When my salespeople make 18% commission, I’m making 82%.” His top salespeople were making in excess of $300,000. He never wanted to change the compensation structure so they made less money. Great sales managers want their salespeople to make a lot of money. After all, their companies make more when their salespeople succeed.
- They add value to your selling
Great sales managers add value. Together with your manager, you are more than the sum of the parts. One way to add value is to have your manager with you when you make sales calls. It’s not enough just to make the sales call. Great sales managers help you close business, get a higher sales price, or shorten your sales cycle. In short, they add value to your selling. Together you make a great team.
- They set reasonable expectations.
I worked for one manager who demanded that a sales report be written in 1 page. I understand that he wanted a concise report. Yet, I was making more sales calls than the other salespeople so my report was 2 pages. I guess my threshold for things that make no sense is pretty low, so I told him why my report was two pages. His reply, asserting his positional power, was, “I want one page.” My intolerance got me and I replied, “Well, then just rip off the 2ndpage.” Needless to say, I didn’t think much of him as a manager.
- They help make you a better salesperson.
You may consistently make or exceed your sales goals. Do you think that makes it optional for you to improve your selling skills? It does not. You are a sales professional and like other professionals you do need to maintain and improve your skills. Does your manager encourage your professional development? That’s what a great sales manager does. Great sales managers pay for your skills improvement. They don’t just simply encourage you to improve your skills.
- They make it easier for you to sell.
Your sales manager can manage as either a sieve or a bypass filter. Sieves filter out some particles. Bypass filters allow all the material to go by. Information overload is a real problem today. You do not need to see every communication that comes across your desk. Great sales managers filter out the information from upper management and other sources that you don’t need to see. Think of how much more time you would have if you received fewer emails from your sales manager. That time could be spent on more sales development work or taking the time off. Yes, take time off. You are taking care of yourself, aren’t you?
You may already work for a great sales manager. Show this article to your manager if you do and let your manager know he’s a great sales manager. What can you do if you don’t work for a great sales manager? Show this column to your manager’s administrative assistant. Suggest that the admin forward it to your sales manager for his review. You just might see an improvement in your sales manager.