How Your Sales Manager Knows That You Are Working

You may not know it, but your sales manager knows when you are working and when you aren’t. And, she doesn’t even need to look at your activity reports, your pipeline reports, or your sales force automation.

The one sure way your sales manager knows whether or not you are working is by the volume and the quality of the problems you are running into.

“They Want”

As soon as you say the words “they want,” your sales manager can be confident that you are out doing your job and pursuing your dream clients. Your dream clients want to produce better results, they want modifications to what you are proposing, they want another demonstration for some members of their buying committee, or they want a reference. The list goes on and on.

Your dream clients want things.

Some of the things your dream clients want are difficult to give them. They want to modify your solution, but making those changes will require all kinds of complications with the way that you normally do things, so it’s hard to give them what they want.

Your dream client wants a reference in their segment of your market, but you don’t have a reference that looks very much like them, and you wish you had something better to give them. That complicates matters.

They want a price concession. They have told you that you are their first choice, but that one of your competitors has proposed a much lower price. Giving them a lower price is difficult to provide them because it will mean you can’t afford to implement and execute on the solution you are proposing or produce the necessary results.

When you are working hard pursuing your big deal dream clients, you are always in front of your sales manager working through how to give your dream client exactly what they want.

You need help and you need support. You need exceptions and you need adjustments.

When you are a constant and never ending source of problems that are caused by trying to get your dream clients exactly what they want, you are undoubtedly working.

When You Have Gone Dark

Your sales manager knows that you aren’t working when you go dark.

You may think that your sales manager assumes the best of you and your efforts. You may think that he believes that you are out working, that you are generating the activity that generates results, and that you are doing a great job. You may believe that your absence isn’t felt or noticed. But it is noticed, and what it says isn’t good.

Not hearing from you means that nobody wants anything.

When you are deeply engaged in targeting, prospecting, and nurturing your dream clients, you have lots to talk about with your sales manager. When you have nothing going on, there isn’t anything to talk about, so you go dark. You disappear. You hide.

Your disappearance is a warning sign: the future looks bleak.

Great activity and great progress means equally great challenges. Make sure your sales manager knows how hard you are working by making her work just as hard helping you with all things you need to do for your dream client.


When you are selling hard and pursuing deals, how much more time do you have to spend getting exceptions, changes, modifications, and adjustments for your dream clients?

What does it mean when you don’t need anything? What should your sales manager assume it means?

What are the activities that you need to take to generate the “they wants” that always precede won opportunities?

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4729.

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Filed under: Sales

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