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Cover Their Six (A Note to the Sales Manager)

You ask your salespeople to accomplish a lot. What you ask of them requires much of them personally and professionally. Sometimes you ask them to walk through walls for you, for the company, and for your clients. Fair enough. With all of its challenges, the job of sales is what it is.

But if you want your salespeople to deliver for you, you have to cover their six.

Protection From the Company

It’s not enough to be a filter between management and the sales force. You have to do more than that. You have to protect the sales force from the organization.

You have to protect the sales force’s time so they can do the work you ask of them. You have to protect them by ensuring they have the tools, the training, and the technology to do what you ask of them. You have to help them maneuver the politics within your company, getting them special treatment and favors when it means the difference between winning and losing.

If you want your sales force to deliver for you, you have to cover their six and protect them from the sales organization.

Shooting Donkeys

You also have to cover your sales force’s six by shooting donkeys.

If there are obstacles that stand between the sales force and it’s objectives, you have to personally remove those obstacles for them. The more you do to remove the obstacles, the faster your sales force can move, and the sooner that can achieve the results that you have asked of them.

You have to use your authority, your relationships with upper management, and your own sales skills to help ensure that the obstacles the sales force faces are shot and thrown over the bridge. You need them to cross the bridge and get moving. The sales force can’t do this alone. This is how you cover their six.

Protect the sales force, cover their six, and they will accomplish what you ask of them. They’ve got your back; make sure you have theirs.

Questions

How do you protect your sales force so they can succeed?

How and why does your sales force need protection from the sales organization?

What are the obstacles that your sales force faces that only you can help remove?

What else do you do to cover your team’s six?


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