“If you put good people in bad systems you get bad results.  You have to water the flowers you want to grow”. ~Steven Covey

Written by Ken Chisholm

One of the key elements in effectively managing a sales team is trust.  One of the main reasons sales people leave companies is because they do not feel trusted, empowered and free to operate their territories as if they owned them.

Individuals who choose sales as a career (the good ones) are entrepreneurial thinkers, competitive, hard working, creative free spirits who need space to do their jobs effectively.  They dislike having to report on their every move and simply will not stay if there is not a strong trust between them and their manager.

I would never hire anyone I did not have 100% trust in. We have monthly reporting requirements, yearly goal setting with 6 month reviews and financial measurements to confirm activity and success.  We don’t have rigid job descriptions and specific times everyone must be in the office.  If it makes sense to catch up on paperwork from home one day, catch up.  I trust you’ll use your time effectively.  If you need time for personal appointments, I trust that you’ll make the time up down the road somewhere and it will all even out in the end.  I appreciate the fact that you give up personal time travelling, entertaining clients and building relationships and also understand the value in such activities.

The best advice I can give to any Sales Rep looking for a new opportunity is thoroughly interview the Sales Manager to determine whether his/her style is going to enable you to perform at your highest level.

The best advice I can give to Sales Managers is to hire competent people who you can trust 100% and pay them at or above market value.  Sales salaries can easily be quantified and targets can be set with Reps to ensure returns on salaries are realized.  Give them freedom to operate their territory as if they own it and you’ll have performance, growth, commitment and loyalty.

Great People, Great Products, Great Service