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What makes a sales manager a real pro

Here is a blurb from my up coming New York Times Best Seller. What do you think? What am I missing?

His or her high standards make the statement that this is a real pro. These are not only high standards for the sales team but also for themselves. A good sales manager knows that practicing what you preach will always leads to better results, and the results are what really matters. A pro can step into the sales person role and do the job as well or better than anyone on their team. They should be awesome closers because if you want to be a leader it is your role to go into the difficult sales situation and make it happen. The pro knows how to manage you and his or her boss. He or she will protect you from the office politics if you listen to the advice given.
As a sales manager, it is my job to position you to succeed. This does not mean that I will fulfill your every request. I am not your secretary. On the contrary, most of the time it is saying “no” which will get the sales person back on track.
This takes me to my next point; managing a sales team is like teaching a class of 5 year olds because you need to treat them equally and at the same time each one has his or her individual needs. Some may be cuter or more likeable, but they all need your guidance to live up to their potential. It is the same with sales people. They all have different needs but all deserve the same chance to succeed. I must say that the 5 years olds do listen better.
The pro has a methodology to bring along to manage members of their sales team. We all do thing differently, but we do have a reason for what we do. The pro always focuses on results and treats the members fairly. Finally, there is no question about who is in charge. - by gregmedia
Greg, imagine I was having a beer with a friend and the following conversation took place:
Me: I just read a very informative chapter on sales management in a book by a guy named Greg Media.

Friend: Really? What did he have to say?

Me: He said a sales manager's job is to position his sales people to succeed.

Friend: Wow. That says it all, doesn't it? I'll have to read that book.
I give you that as answers to both the topic's question--and--to your question "What do you think?"

Almost all bestselling books on business or personal help have ONE definitive message. The same applies to individual chapters.

The most referred to book on personal/business development was and is Think and Grow Rich. It had ONE message and it was literally contained on EVERY page. The author even said in the beginning that you would find that message on every page.

In Stephen Covey's classic, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, the message isn't "seven" it's "habits". The list of seven only serves to support that message.

In your text above, you buried the central answer among all the other good stuff that should have merely SUPPORTED your answer. You wrote: "As a sales manager, it is my job to position you to succeed."

One other important point that, if you don't correct, the editor will throw your manuscript into the scrap pile. In the first paragraph you went from Third Person to Second Person, and back again. Then in the second paragraph, you went to First Person. That's a no-no.

Hope this helps because it's an ambitous and admirable effort on your part. Good luck! - by Ace Coldiron
Again, Ace has brought forward another important resource (Stephan Covey) that should be a part of every sales consultant's and sales manager's repertoire.

Understanding the relationship between dependence, independence, interdependence is important. Encircling these facets with continuous improvement or "Sharpening the Saw" makes you better at what you do, every single day.

Knowing that achieving independence requires 110% effort in both establishing values, productivity, & proactivity. Without it there is no way you can be an effective sales manager or should be considered for it.

As a sales manager & exuding interdependence for some is a lot of work, why......because they haven't built a solid foundation on independence. In short they haven't fully developed themselves & now they are in a position to influence / mentor others. A losing proposition at best. In turn, if you haven't positioned yourself to succed how can you position others to succed.

Superimposing Stephen Coveys strategies as a method of imprinting Neurolistic Programming (this book isen't marketed as such) best strategizes how we should 1st seek self improvement, maximize self development, exude that development on others and in turn continiously improve ourselves & others to realize either our personal goals & team goals. - by DIAMONDSTAR
A pro can step into the sales person role and do the job as well or better than anyone on their team.
Is that really the case all or most of the time?

They should be awesome closers because if you want to be a leader it is your role to go into the difficult sales situation and make it happen.
Doesn't that put too much emphasis on closing? - by Thomas
One who coaches the gap... what the salesperson does today vs what they probably should be doing to get the results they want.. by asking questions that lead to the salesreps self discovery of what to fix.

Or one that has read and implements the strategies in Keith Rosen's - Coaching Salespeople Into Champions. - by jdedwa11
Defining Pro in the first place is what I think I would want to understand when discussing a manager or trainer.

To me you have two needs in a sales force, and it could be the same guy, but in my opinion, that isn't as effective as having different people do different things.

A flight school has instructors and a Chief Pilot. The Chief Pilots job is to do overall evaluation and on occasion, examine students for pilots licenses. He is the "Chief Trainer" responsible for the professionalism of his instructors. He is what I would cross reference as a sales "trainer".

A Flight Department Manager is who I would cross reference to a Sales Manager, in my opinion, one who manages the flight (sales) department. This guy in marketing and sales would "manage" territories, quota's, the shipping department, and oversees the "sales trainer".

I personally see sales training as being a very specialized professional endeavor focused on sales and delivery. Personally I see this as being crucial to a sales forces success. Can this be the same guy as a sales manager, of course. In my opinion, though, it wouldn't be as effective but certainly is probably the norm in many businesses and most agencies like ours.

Professional(ism) in my opinion is defined as one who is "prepared" and who teaches preparation. We could spend pages on this, but again, I think we all know someone who is prepared when we meet them.

Aloha.... cl2; - by rattus58
Hi Greg and welcome to SP. Can I ask, is "What makes a sales manager a real pro" just a question or the title to your upcoming book?

And is this 'blurb' as you say a concentric part of the book?

If it's just a 'blurb' within many pages of a book on sales then it's ok, if it comes with a lot of extra qualifiers on the subject within other pages.

I see in you bio that you have a "bare knuckles" approach so I won't focus much on the five year old analogy but I don't see it as an empowering analogy and can possibly see a different one to convey your point.

Regardless of title, the "no question about who's in charge" is not sitting right with me. Sometimes in real leadership situations you may not realize who's in charge. To me, the statement comes across as a careless afterthought implying the real pro is a ruler who is in charge.

PS Typo: Thing(s) - by Tony_B
Regardless of title, the "no question about who's in charge" is not sitting right with me. Sometimes in real leadership situations you may not realize who's in charge. To me, the statement comes across as a careless afterthought implying the real pro is a ruler who is in charge.
Tony, when you say "Sometimes in real leadership situations you may not realize who's in charge." I have to agree with that. But I think it is important to correct that blindness or confusion.

Leadership and "being in charge" are not at all synonymous. In best case scenarios, leadership changes hands according to the task that must be accomplished by the best person to accomplish it. That doesn't put him/her in charge.

Most of my sales management roles in my career were autonomous. In those cases I would not have accepted the positions had it not been agreed upon upfront. Many sales managers do not have that luxury. Except in the training/management roles I had, I demanded it.

Why did I feel that way? The main reason was that I was aware that there could be leadership factors within an organization that were influencing and promoting behavour that were in direct oppositon to the agreed upon objectives of the company. Courtholders, "meetings after the meetings" and the often present "club" were not uncommon in many companies. I had a zero tolerance for that, and I displayed it. But I complemented that style with a willingness to hear and act on concerns and
suggestions that were presented in a straighforward manner.

Bottom line: That was my style by choice. I believe there is no exact model for sales managers. I also believe that the title is not the credentials.

Greg wrote: As a sales manager, it is my job to position you to succeed.

Those thirteen words cannot be disputed. It begins and ends right there. - by Ace Coldiron
Hi Ace,

Yes I agree with your bottom line. My style is much different than yours and that is my point too.

I come from the school of thought that leadership is something you become and it cannot be demanded from your people without cost.

I have managed teams of very strong salesmen who could outsell me and as a salesman I have been part of some strong sales teams where I was a top performer. Flexing ones authority to high quality producers does not get the company good results. Having rules and consistently holding people accountable does. I have also found that I had a lot of influence on a team and managers as a salesman and it was not in a manager's best interest to challenge it.

I could blab for hours on the subject but much of what I would say is found in John Maxwell's teachings of which I am a big advocate. - by Tony_B
Tony, I am also a fan of Maxwell, and currently am attempting to read his best seller in Spanish. I said "attempting". I keep the English version nearby.

A post script: If suddenly I found my own business interests gone, I would never assume the role of sales manager again. The story I told was from a long time ago.

Sometimes, BTW, true leadership is uncovered in a post mortem. - by Ace Coldiron
Tony, I am also a fan of Maxwell, and currently am attempting to read his best seller in Spanish. I said "attempting". I keep the English version nearby.
Let us know how the book is when you're done of a few outstanding epiphany's along the way :) - by Tony_B
Greg I agree that a sales manager’s role is to place the sales staff in a position to succeed. I also come from the side that the sales manager must be recognized as the ruler or person in charge. Anything less than in charge leaves chaos. The manager must be willing to listen and change when the times warrant a change in direction or thought. That is a great sign of a great manager.

The manager must set the standard and have clear defined goals. You are absolutely correct that each person on the staff must be treated equally yet different. Each has their own personality and strengths that the manager needs to boost. Each has different abilities their goals must be set to their abilities.

Another great trait of a sales manager or any manager to surround him or her with those who are better then they .The manager should emerge as a leader however leaders come from within. When we take a long hard look at who leads any staff normally it is those on the staff. They set the tone of what gets done and how. There are many different leaders on any staff.

The staff follows a leader. Hopefully you have a great leader who arrives and gets busy. Quite often they are the ones who are getting busy by the coffee machine waiting to get started an hour after they arrive.

When a manager places his or her importance higher than the staff there will be problems when the manager shows that they are better than the staff there will be problems. My job as a manager is to bring out their strengths and desire to motivate them for success not mine. I do this and I am successful as a manager.

Personally I am not worried about the grammar, editors will fix the grammar and in fact a manuscript can be given to ten different editors and you will receive ten different edited versions on an edited version. - by rich34232
I believe that a good sales manager must have the success elements of Desire, Commitment, Positive Outlook and A strong sense of Responsibility. They must have tools to fairly assess sales staff and a great system for collecting data and maintaining records. - by The Dynamic Business
Personally I am not worried about the grammar, editors will fix the grammar and in fact a manuscript can be given to ten different editors and you will receive ten different edited versions on an edited version.
Rich, what are your frames of reference, sources, and experiences that would lead you to give such advice?

Editors that review submissions for the publishers they work for often have to scan hundreds of manuscripts in a single week. Bad grammar would be cause for a manuscript to be discarded before three full pages were reviewed.

Your advice is contrary to guides to manuscript submission, and treatises on writing that range from Brenda Ueland, to Strunk's The Elements of Style, as well as the counsel given in many writer's workshops. - by Ace Coldiron
Even the lowest quality article submission services ie @#$%^& requires good grammar. - by DIAMONDSTAR
Ace my references are I have written two books and the second book is at an editor as we are speaking. I have given the book to three different editors to find the rendition I wanted and liked the best. The second edited book I gave to an editor.Who re-edited a book done by a editor. It is called how the reader interprets and we all can read words nad have a different meaning of what we have read. That is why poetry is unique.

The first book is at a publishor and my agent is in search of buyers.

When I asked the editor and my agent about the editing that was the answer they gave me.Since then I am involved with a few different publishing groups and editors. Each editor has thier own way of how they would like the words to be perceived.

When the book is filled with horrible grammar you are correct minor grammar problems your not correct.Quite often they send it to a critque agency. This division sends the manuscript back to the writer asking you to adjust or make changes. These changes are simply made with microsoft office or any other tool the writer can use or hire someone to re-write the manuscript.

No one is stating it is easy. In this site most of the time I write off the cuff and I am not to worried about grammar. I do believe the professionals in this site can get over typos and grammar and receive the message. If not I really do not have too much time for them.

I can get the message that most write . When I do not get
it I ask like a good sales technican is suppose to do.Ask for a more clear definition. I do not worry when people say most or all as I assume that they mean the majority I know there is never an always. I do not see a need to correct that kind of flaw.

Going back to your question my reference is coming from my experience writing books. - by rich34232
Deleted by author. - by Ace Coldiron
First let me make this statement. This is one of the reasons I am not real enamored with this site. There are too many that want to PROVE a person wrong without accepting there is a different point of view or purpose and these people will go to great lengths to prove their point right or wrong. I am living proof of what I have written. I am NOT self published and I will not be self published. I have an agent. I have a critique and editing. I have a contract for the book for a first time authored book for upfront money. That does not happen much for a first time author.

No one is arguing the validity of proper grammar and that it allows for a speedy process with publishing or editing. There is no arguing the proper grammar with your manuscript allows for an easier read and quicker response. However we always want to push the extreme of course a book that has horrible grammar and has no message will be thrown back to the person writing the book. Would you agree that is common sense? But again we are not discussing the horrible at the moment. We are discussing minor grammatical errors. Proper grammar allows for passive speaking however with the written text passive grammar is not acceptable. Many people speak in the passive sense. Going to be ,must be will be going etc.

We can go to most books and point out grammatical errors with published books. Does that mean the book is not a good book? Of course not however to listen to the words spoken in this site if you cannot communicate properly your message is lost. If you do not use proper grammar you cannot possible hold an intelligent conversation with your clients or for that matter another human being. This is not true.

Again I am not stating a well written manuscript does not have an edge on the poorly written manuscript. It does not and only an idiot would interpret what I stated as that. What I have stated perfection is not needed when submitting a manuscript concerning grammar. An editor will fix grammatical errors. Let us understand we are not speaking about the horrible writing. I am basing it with what the original writer of this thread and with his written words. His message was received and understood and it has minor flaws with the format concerning grammar that an editor would gladly repair

I can appreciate your zest please appreciate my meaning as also being true. I am not arguing what is best I am arguing that it does not have to be the best concerning consideration. - by rich34232
Rich, publically blaming the site because you are involved in a discussion where YOU have offered the first disagreement to someone else's well-intended advice makes no sense whatsoever to me.

You certainly DID argue the validity when you advised not to worry about grammar. That's your right and privilege and I respect and honor that. Differing opinions make this site go round, but they are NO justification for stating negative feelings about the site.

We have the right to discuss, and we have the right to differ. And--we also have the right to respond. But if the complaints and the responses are directed against those rights, or saturated by inferences as to how other members are SUPPOSED to respond, according to an individuals expectations, THAT makes for a less than constructive venue here.

There are community rules, but that is not the issue on this thread because there are no rules prohibiting disagreement.

Coming from a family life and business history with strong ties to publishing I could state some impressive credentials also, but I will stand on the advice I gave to Greg regarding grammatical form. - by Ace Coldiron
We Don’t Need No Education, using bad grammar in the publishing business diminishes your returns, and diminishes your margin. Unless you are Pink Floyd, & guess what, they were banned in S. Africa for bad grammar.

As you pointed out your Rich your 1st book, yet to be published was edited by three different editors and then critiqued. Not trying to dig on anybody, but that came at a cost. The cost to edit as compared to how many books you may or may not sell effects your margin.

Irregardless of what is written, you have to ask yourself who is the Author, the editors or you?. Within the promotion side of the house, you or your manager will probably blog about it, voice will show & so will grammar.

Print publications are on the decline in a big way. This is evident by how many bookstores have shuttered their door’s and windows. Not because of a recession, but because print publications are almost out of vogue

The other alternative is digital publication, which by the way is on the rise. Desktop publishers are loving it. The typical desktop publisher “myself included”, scoff at the idea of hiring editors, or our giving our publishers a cut of the profit. Why share the proceeds? Would I share the proceeds with friends that hold a degree in English? heck ya.

Obviously my publishing strategy is 180 degree’s different from other Authors. I would sell 100,000 copies for 10 bucks and buy my friends a lot of beer as compared to selling 1,000,000,000 copies for a dollar return.



One last note; this is a sales forum. This is where we exchange knowledge, strategies, and essentially vociferate the art of persuasion. There are senior contributors on this forum that I disagree with, not all the time, but sometimes. Some of them have received personal notes from me pointing out why their posts are misleading; some have even sent me a red reputation point. On other occasions, I’ve engaged them publicly on this forum, & vice versa. Point being, author, salesman or both you have to be part pachyderm. The inability to be criticized diminishes the ability to criticize. - by DIAMONDSTAR
Doesn't the inability to be criticized remove the ability to criticize? - by rattus58
Doesn't the inability to be criticized remove the ability to criticize?
How I understand it. - by DIAMONDSTAR
I don't do this often enough... but my postings are my OPINIONS. They are mine, all by myself, and the responsibility for them comes from ME. How I form them of course is borrowing from you, learning from you, or modifying your thought into something of my own. If we disagree, it is usually that my opinion is different from yours. It's hard to criticize an opinion and shouldn't be done anyway.

True, there are some OPINIONS that should be left unpublished, like how I feel about our presidents direction for our country, or my neighbors teenage daughter and her friends around their swimming pool on hot summer days, or what my opinion is of religion or Jesus Christ. This of course is more courtesy and prudence.

Behavior on the other hand, is open for criticism, and those who criticize shouldn't be "upset" if others take them to task for their behavior. Some of us, in fact, can't help ourselfs.

Aloha... Tom :cool: shds; - by rattus58
Behavior on the other hand, is open for criticism, and those who criticize shouldn't be "upset" if others take them to task for their behavior. Some of us, in fact, can't help ourselfs.

Aloha... Tom :cool: shds;
Your points are well taken, Tom.

I believe--I guess I am sure really--that criticism and disagreements involving forum topics are two different things. - by Ace Coldiron
Intervention: Posts have strayed from course of main topic. Let's please get back on track. And if you guys want the dispute settled, here's how we can resolve it.

I am right, the rest of you are wrong. I win!!! HAHA. stcktng; - by jrboyd
As a leader, manager, sales rep, you are going to hear some of the most vitriolic suggestions imaginable. What are you going to do…..blow up, lose your cool, shed alligator tears?

Rest assured this is exactly the type of behavior some people try to elicit for either entertainment purposes, or to see if true metal actually exists. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath & ask yourself what is this person trying to achieve. In some circles we call this psychological operations, and yes we got what we intended to get.

The ability to play hardball & maintain your composure while doing it, is an asset. What are you going to do fold when your sales rep comes into your office and asks for a deep discount on behalf of their customer because they can’t sale themselves out of a paper sack. You are going to tighten them up & tell them to do as you say, not what they want.

The ability to handle the vitriolic which is sometimes disguised as stress does differentiate leaders from followers & champions salesman/ladies from the rest. - by DIAMONDSTAR
Let me offer an observation....

What makes a Sales Manager a Real Pro?

What makes a MODERATOR a Real Pro?

Aren't the job descriptions prety much similar? - by rattus58
Let me offer an observation....

What makes a Sales Manager a Real Pro?

What makes a MODERATOR a Real Pro?

Aren't the job descriptions prety much similar?
A Moderator is a police officer who enforces rules or 'the laws of the forum' so to speak. They do not have to sell their actions if there are clearly written rules. They just notice am infraction like for instance the universal 'no profanity' rule and they act accordingly by deleting the post and warning or banning the perpetrator. - by Tony_B
Some Sales Managers are like policemen too.... I was just wondering out loud however because a deleted thread teaches no one, where a copy and paste of offending language/comments etc would be much better served TO ME anyway, if it was posted and commented on as to why it was innapropriate to the forum/thread.

This at least would allow for discussion from the forum as to what the forum considered "innapropriate", for one, and would more clearly give example of infraction.

Right now, having two deleted posts doesn't give the rest of us much to go on, and by the way, I've read the forum rules... they are TO ME, not as clear as they could be... so maybe for the lower 10%iles like me.... ;bg - by rattus58
Again guys.. We are going a lil off-topic here. Why not send Private messages if you guys need help deciphering the purpose of the Moderators?

Just trying to keep things from getting out of control here, as they have the last time this topic was brought up. - by jrboyd
A little off topic.....;bg ;bg We've jumped ship... but rats do that...

Aloha... shds; - by rattus58
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