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Have you ever thought about the value you have added recently to the people selling your products? How have you made it easier for them to do their jobs? Have you made them feel good about themselves and their jobs such that they really want to sell for you?
After all, that is what we really want, isn’t it? Then why do so few managers do it? We will explore the reasons for this behavior, as well as how you can separate yourself from the majority of “managers” and begin developing loyalty and passion among your sales team.

What is a Sales Team?

Your “sales team” is all of the people who promote and maintain your business – receptionists, production workers, night cleaning crews, cost accountants, managers and all the service providers you employ to maintain and grow your business.
This sales team confronts customers daily, and their face reveals to the customer a great deal about your company. If you want that customer to return and purchase your products, then it helps to put a smile on the face of your sales person.

Why Don’t all Managers Lead Their Sales Teams?

Most managers have good intentions, but fail to put themselves in situations that their sales people confront regularly. As a result, they place unrealistic demands on their team. Sales forecasts are increased randomly and without facts. Managers often are involved in all details, micro-managing each task and undermining their staff’s well-meaning efforts. Other managers remain aloof and relinquish too much authority to junior sales people who need guidance and counsel from their managers.
Other frequent abuses of sales people include providing misinformation or a lack of information, not providing sufficient tools or resources to accomplish objectives, inadequate training, favoritism, and not following through with deliverables.
How can you avoid these demotivating activities and begin to focus on building self-confidence in your sales team that leads to results for your business?

10 Tips on Leading Your Sales People

  • Take an interest in your sales team – otherwise, you may lose theirs.
  • Communicate! Assume your sales team does not understand your objectives, strategies, and vision – repeat them passionately and often until they become a mantra with each team member.
  • Be open with your sales team – do not listen to what others tell you about your sales team, but rather find out yourself.
  • Develop a sense of urgency within your sales team, but do not set insurmountable goals.
  • Coach, train and motivate your sales team, but let them manage their business and people.
  • Micro-managing downward deflates enthusiasm.
  • Talk to your customers. Get out of your comfort zone.
  • Walk in your sales person’s shoes.
  • Reward your sales team lavishly upon their “wins” and successes. Sales people are often insecure, and seek recognition.
  • Remember to throw them a “confidence bone” every once in awhile.
  • Recognize their weaknesses and failures inwardly – strengths and successes outwardly.
  • Take the blame for your sales team’s failures. Give them credit for your successes.

By following these simple steps, you will not only manage your sales team better but also will be seen as their leader.
Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.
–Stan Smith
–Peter M. Guyer
Peter M. Guyer is the Founder and President of ATHENA MARKETING INTERNATIONAL (, an international marketing, consulting and business development firm serving food and beverage manufacturers. Tel. (206) 749-9255.
1 Technomics, Inc.