Common Rookie Sales Manager Mistakes
“Just put me in coach, I’ll create miracles.” That enthusiasm is great and can indeed have a strong impact on a sales team, but there are some common mistakes the new sales manager make:
“I need you to like/accept me.”
Particularly if the new manager was promoted within, but even from the outside, there is typically too much effort to get approved by top sales people. This need for approval leads to a very slippery slope of being overly empathetic. Soon, WE are the problem, not YOU the sales person is the problem. Being friendly and sharing some team bonding is great, but keeping a distance to make tough decisions and mandate accountability is required.
“When I had to do tracking, I hated it, so I’m going to relieve you of that.”
The result is salespeople start “winging it” again. Everyone loves the relief, but a team that’s not systematically tracking, pre-call planning, and debriefing will eventually get sloppy and inefficient.
“I can make anyone good.”
The enthusiasm of the new manager blurs the reality of someone’s ability and ironically makes the future grim for both sides, the manager and the salesperson. Loss of objectivity about skills, talent, desire, capability, and job-fit can cause serious problems. Taking corrective actions toward those that can’t or don’t sell is critical to team success.
“Let me show you how.”
New sales managers can be too hands-on because it’s still the manager’s comfort zone to sell it by themselves. They typically have a strong drive and work ethic and were successful in sales previously, which means sitting, thinking, strategizing and managing isn’t as comfortable as closing deals. Quickly the team will learn that if the manager takes over, then they don’t have to take responsibility for the outcomes.
“Don’t let that break!”
The unwillingness to let the system and the people fail prevents growth and improvement. This lesson is a tough one to learn, especially when the pressure is on to succeed quickly, but having the maturity to let someone fail is required of all managers. No team succeeds without failing and learning, and if the manager is jumping in and fixing things all the time, then the team will never stand on its own.
Don’t let these common rookie mistakes slow the growth of you or your organization. Instead, download our free report: 6 Ways to be a More Effective Manager.