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Sales Manager or Sales Leader: Which are You?

Let’s do a quick review of some of the key activities the typical sales manager — or  sales leader — does. More importantly, I want you to ask yourself which one you are.

Compiling of reports

Sales managers put them together properly, adding information where necessary, and send them up the chain of command on time.

Sales leaders do the same thing a sales manager does, but then use the information to go back and discuss with their salespeople key items listed and a plan to start improving upon those items.

Scheduling of time

Sales managers view it as important to have plenty of scheduled days in the office to deal with the paperwork and to keep everything in order.

Sales leaders view being in the field with their salespeople and customers as the most important activity of all.  They catch paperwork and other stuff as they can while on the road, scheduling as little time in the office as possible.

Working with salespeople

When sales managers are out in the field, they spend their time working with the low performers because they view that as their most important job.  They ignore the top performers because they want to stay out of their way.

Sales leaders go where the need is and this means many times to the top performer. They know they can gain more sales by working with the top performer than by spending countless hours with the bottom performer who merely needs to be terminated.

Developing people

Sales managers believe the development of people is going to occur by sending salespeople to training classes.

Sales leaders believe developing salespeople is their top priority and they make it part of the daily routine.

Considering the above criteria, how did you see yourself with regard to each of the tasks?

This list is not complete.  It’s only a few of the items you need to consider if you are a sales manager striving to become a sales leader.  What other items would you add if we were compiling a more comprehensive list?

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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2 thoughts on “Sales Manager or Sales Leader: Which are You?”

  1. Suggestion: Sales Manager focuses on selling the opportunity that exists today. Sales Leader is confident of getting today’s business and is looks for future opportunities.

  2. Mark,

    This is a great article – you hit it right on the head – this is how I work it and it really works better when you can balance being inside with TM’s and being in the office

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