What Your Sales Manager Should Never Have to Manage

What Your Sales Manager Should Never Have to Manage

Your sales manager should never have to manage your activity. Your self-discipline, your goals, and your personal ambition should provide the motivation for your activity. If your sales manager has to look at your activity then you are doing something wrong.

You sales manager must never have to manage attitude. Your healthy beliefs and your great sense of optimism underlie all of the results that you produce in sales—and in life. Your sales manager should never be concerned that you are negative, pessimistic, or cynical. And they should never have to worry about you being a carrier of the disease that can quickly infect the entire sales force.

Your sales manager should never have to manage your commitments. Your word should be your bond, and your system should keep track of those commitments. If your sales manager has to follow up on your commitments you aren’t long for the world of sales.

Your sales manager should never have to manage the timeliness or accuracy of your data in your sales force automation software. There is nothing more important to you than your relationships, and you should be managing the records of your relationships.

Your sales manager should never have to concern themselves with either the quality or the amount of opportunities in your pipeline. Your pipeline is the key to your personal results; you should be managing your pipeline yourself. Your sales manager should never have to do more than check the box here.

You want your sales manager to coach, train, teach, and develop your skills. You want them to do their part to help you make your number, including leading some calls where you need them and marshaling internal resources for you when necessary. You want your sales manager to work on notching you up a level, but not from a level beneath a level you should attain by managing yourself.


What areas of your performance does your sales manager need to manage?

Why shouldn’t your discipline when it comes to activity or your attitude ever be your sales manager’s concern?

How much should your sales manager have to concern herself with your pipeline?

What do you really want your sales manager to help you with? Where should they make a contribution?



  • Daniel Marrazzo


    I like this blog post. As a sales manager I have focused my time on some of the things you suggest. My goal has always been to help sales people become better at their job. Unfortunately, the focus of other sales managers has been on activity, pipelines and accuracy of data. How do you suggest we go about getting them to change?

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Maybe it’s not the manager? Maybe it’s their team. Or maybe their teams don’t have the right expectations?

  • http://www.prosalesguy.ca/ David Warawa – PROSALESGUY

    Great post Anthony. Essentially, Sales Managers are looking to find professionals that view their their employment as an opportunity to run a franchise within the company. We have all spent too much time helping salespeople who don’t seem to have this philosophy vs. the achievers who just naturally “get it.” By focusing on the right people, we increase their revenues and personal incomes and lead the company to overachievement. Help those who help themselves.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, David. Much would be solved with this mindset.

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    We read this in our little sales lunch group today. Our organization is at a point where the consistent activities and commitments have been lost for farming and fielding referrals (great options, but often not very profitable). The person filling the sales manager role is actually backing up with veteran producers to set activity goals and production goals. And we also are duct-taping our office’s management system to act as a sort of sales force automation
    The conclusion was that we have to start at the things that should already be happening so that we can start seeing where people need training. If nobody has been making calls or there is a dearth of ‘dream client’ proposing, then there’s little baseline for training on those things. Our first goal is to get action and then let the training needs float to the service.

    • http://www.www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      You don’t learn to swim sitting in a classroom. You don’t learn to sell that way either. I think you’re right. Get moving. Make course corrections. Inform the theory with real practice.

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