If you are a sales manager, you may find what I’m about to say tough medicine. However, that doesn’t make it any less true.
The fact of the matter is, Harry Truman was right when he said, “The buck stops here” (at the top).
If you want to have a very successful career as a sales manager, you must take full responsibility for your team and everyone on it.
That means you must take full responsibility if your people fail.
Here’s the correct way to look at this. If one of your salespeople fails, one of the following occurred.
- He or she didn’t belong there in the first place, and you should have let them go when you took over the group.
- You hired the wrong person for the job
- You failed to empower that person to succeed
- You failed to inspire that person to give he or she all
These are the only choices, and they all start and end with you, the sales manager.
If you are not willing to take full responsibility for your team, you will never be a major success as a manager.
As soon as you allow someone else to take responsibility for the success of the team – or an individual on the team, you give up YOUR power to create success.
By allowing the salesperson to be responsible for crashing and burning, you absolve yourself of any responsibility.
And that action is what will destroy you as a sales manager.
When you don’t have responsibility, you don’t have a reason to figure out what went wrong. You have already assumed that the salesperson did. Thus, there is nothing to look for in your own actions that could have prevented the failure.
When you don’t look, you don’t find. It’s the same as saying, “I can’t do it.” As soon as you do you can’t.
If you come at the sales person’s failure from the side of responsibility, you then start looking for what you did or didn’t do that could have avoided the disaster.
This makes you stronger and teaches you how to avoid or handle a similar problem in the future.
If you want to be a great sales manager, you must do two things:
- Take responsibility
- Become a great leader
You will find you receive a great gift when you take FULL responsibility for what occurs on your team.
You will gain great respect from your people.
You see, when you take responsibility, you don’t blame them, you help them. That will get you a ton of respect.
As for becoming a great leader, I suggest you start studying the subject of leadership today. Being a skilled leader will make your life as a sales manager easy and fun.
I suggest you start with Blanchard and Bowle’s book “Gung Ho!” This book is an excellent, easy, and fun read. I would also highly recommend the leadership books of John C. Maxwell.
And guard the responsibility of your group’s success or failure with your life – because it is your life.