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Rule #18: Create the Curbs on the Roadway.
You know, too much supervision creates learned helplessness. Think about that as an example. Do you want to create learned helplessness on your team? Probably part of you does. The ego part of you wants everyone to ask you what to do next. ‘So Dave, what do you think we should be doing?’ At some level, I love that. My ego loves that. I want to be needed as your sales leader. I want to be the one who has all the answers. The problem is as a leader; we can’t think that way anymore.
That competitive juice we had as a salesperson, does not translate into great supervision skills. Supervisors, you’ve got to create an atmosphere where people feel self-sufficient. You are setting goals. You are creating roadmaps. You are looking at the CRM. You are doing sales funnel management.
Supervision really is setting guardrails on a highway that says, “Here are your goals.” Which is down at the end of the highway. You can operate within this framework. Now, let’s make sure we all agree if you are going to operate within this framework, what are we going to do in order to hit your goal? And by the way, if you did hit your goal, what would that mean to you personally? Supervision is really taking those corporate goals and those departmental goals, and tying it into what it means to them personally. It also makes sure that you clearly explain what the expectations are. What they can and can’t do. What they should and shouldn’t do, and how to operate when you’re not there as their sales leader. All that stuff is happening here.
Now, supervision is the only hat that does not have a relationship based into it. What does that mean? That means senior executives have given you the title. Your team didn’t vote you in as the sales leader. Somebody upstairs said, “You are the sales leader.” You have it on your business card and therefore people will do what you tell them. And that’s just how that works with this hat in leadership.
However, don’t act like that. If you act like that and take away everybody’s creative thinking, and the ability to think on their own, guess what you do? You basically have created learned helplessness. So do those things that we had talked about because you are going to spend the majority of your time, day-in and day-out in supervision. Supervision does not care how seasoned your salespeople are. It does not matter. They still need to set goals. They still need expectations. They still need sales funnel management regardless if you have thirty years’ experience or thirty minutes’ experience.
THE SANDLER RULES FOR SALES LEADERS details a sales management process that works. It offers 49 timeless, proven principles for effective sales leadership, based on the Sandler Selling System. The book is the sequel to the Wall Street Journal bestseller THE SANDLER RULES, also authored by David Mattson.