Your manager is running for US President right now.
Without political preference, prejudice or bias of any kind whatsoever, let’s take a look at your manager’s key attributes and see how they lead a sales team.
The Donald is the greatest deal-maker, sales guy, rainmaker that has ever lived in human history.
Just ask him.
He drives the team by the sheer force of his blustering personality. His only affliction is conjunctivitis – an eye disorder because every sentence starts with I. ‘I did this, I was great at that, I blew them away’
He doesn’t let facts get in the way of a bad story, let alone a good one and his successes are ‘Yuge’ (according to his LinkedIn profile).
Donald wants to build a wall between sales and marketing/operations/engineering and in fact, the rest of the entire organisation because they’re just losers who prevent deals from being done.
He constantly reminds the team that all competitors are idiots with lousy products and blames everyone but himself if a deal is lost.
(Also see Disdainful Squint)
Hillary is married to the former CEO who left after allegedly not watching all the Sexual Harassment videos supplied by HR.
She is very experienced both in managing domestic and global deals and in administration.
However, her female staff under 30 mostly dismiss her approach and tend to form their own views on how to win, rather than follow Hillary’s often uninspiring speeches about how clients should behave.
Hillary seems very concerned about her own image, rather than that of her clients. Her sales people are reluctant to take her out on calls because of that disconnect and her love of flat MBA style presentations banging on about how great her company is.
(Also see Entitlement)
Bernie was a sales manager in a remote region for decades and rarely even turned up to join in the festivities at President’s Club (no pun intended).
He believes sales people are paid too much and wants to share the accounts and commissions across the entire team, especially the newbies as it seems fairer.
He is about to introduce House Accounts where Account Directors maintain a quota for an account but all commissions go into a pool for Bernie to distribute at the end of the financial year including to sales support, inside sales, the receptionist and the outsourced cleaning company who cleaned the bins of the sales people every night.
(Also see Idealism)
Marco worked his way up from an Inside Sales rep role to being a young, upcoming manager.
Good looks and charm have won him over 5000 LinkedIn contacts but he’s only ever won a small deal in his own state.
He has no national or global account experience and hopes the team isn’t able to recognise this when he presents his weekly Work In Progress meeting.
When asked his opinions on how to creatively win new business, he tends to repeat himself.
(Also see Big Fish, Small Pond)
Ted read one book on sales in 1968 and has followed its teaching to the letter ever since.
He demands every sales person has an agenda for the meeting, follows the 7 step process regardless of the client’s needs and insists on the CRM being updated every 9 minutes.
He also has a bedside copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People’ written in 1936 which he views as a beacon of modern 20th century thinking.
(Also listen to ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra)
Apologies to Jeb who has since retired to run a weekend bed and breakfast with his brother.
Wish your manager good luck. We’re all counting on him/her. (See Airplane/Flying High)
Elliot Epstein is CEO of Salient Communication and is a sought after keynote speaker, pitch consultant and corporate sales coach who gets sales results rapidly. He has coached and trained high profile corporates globally in presenting, selling, negotiating and pitching.
He is internationally renowned for coaching leaders, sales professionals and subject matter experts to win high stakes deals.
Elliot is based in Melbourne, Victoria and is not entitled to vote outside Australia.