What It Doesn’t Mean That Your Sales Manager Helps Close an Opportunity

From time to time, you may need some help pushing an opportunity over the line. You may come across an opportunity that requires attention from someone a little higher up the organizational chart for your dream client to give you a commitment.

But needing help doesn’t mean what you might think it means.

It Doesn’t Mean That You Aren’t a Good Salesperson

You can still be an excellent salesperson and need help from your sales manager to close an opportunity. Sometimes their experience working within the company is necessary to put together a real understanding of what a solution will require. Sometimes you are meeting with people at higher levels within your dream client’s organization and you need to bring people at their level from your organization to demonstrate your commitment.

This doesn’t mean that you aren’t a good salesperson. Bringing whomever you need to bring from within your organization means that you are smart enough to know what you need to do to win the opportunity. That means you are a good salesperson—even if you need your sales manager to gain a commitment to move forward.

You can be a great salesperson and still need help from within your own company.

It Doesn’t Mean You Didn’t Earn the Opportunity

Bringing your sales manager doesn’t mean you didn’t earn the opportunity—should it be won.

More often than not, if you have an appointment that requires your sales manager, it means you did a great job opening a real opportunity. It means you positioned the opportunity well enough that your sales manager can at this point be valuable to your dream client (This is the test as to whether or not your sales manager should attend as sales call: can they add value?”).

If you need them to push it over the line, it is still your opportunity. You will still be responsible for making certain that they achieve the outcome that you sold.

It Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Deserve Your Commission

Lately, I have come across stories of salespeople losing their commission when their sales manager attends the sales call or helps them close the opportunity. This is indicative of serious and complex problems, not the least of which is that it discourages the right behavior from both the salesperson and their manager. The salesperson will avoid bringing their sales manager in when they need them for fear of losing their opportunity and their commission. The manager will create ill will and destroy the trust he needs to effectively lead. The worst sales managers will do even more harm.

Even if you only scheduled the appointment and you need your sales manager from the first call to the close, it is your sale and you should earn the commission. One point, though: if you are going to earn the commission, you should earn the commission by being an active participant and working your tail off for your dream client. This means that you have to be more than a spectator and that you  find a way to be valuable through the whole process.

Sometimes your sales manager needs to bring the Vice President of Sales. Sometimes the Vice President of Sales brings the CEO. It doesn’t mean anything except they are smart enough to know what they need to win and they act accordingly.

It means the same thing when you need your sales manager.


What makes it necessary for you to bring your sales manager on a sales call to obtain a commitment?

As a sales manager, why is it important for you to accompany your salespeople on calls where you can create value?

As a good salesperson, why is it important for you to ask for help when you need it?

What are the signs that your opportunity would benefit from your sales manager’s participation?

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Filed under: Sales

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