In my more than three decades in sales, I’ve seen lots of sales managers. The vast majority fall into one of four categories:
1. The Hall Monitor. The Hall Monitor sees his job as one of chronicling activity, taking names, dispensing discipline, focusing on procedures—thinking that these are the keys to generating results (or at least to keeping his job).
Hall monitors tend to be process-oriented, are organized and have a strong sense of discipline. All admirable characteristics, but they’re misguided. The Hall Monitor makes a great bureaucrat and a lousy manager. He’ll make sure that everyone knows his place and procedures are followed—at the cost of morale and sales.
Although The Hall Monitor is focused on enforcing procedure on subordinates, she feels justified in fudging her reports (lying) to upper management. She has no intention of letting her subordinates hold her down or put her job in jeopardy. If numbers aren’t being met or sales calls aren’t being made, she’s fully capable of showing management why it isn’t her fault.
2. The Visitor. The Visitor is going places—fast. Her current assignment of managing the sales team is temporary—the more temporary, the better, in her mind. Her key to moving up is getting the numbers that will catch the eye of management.
The Visitor cares about no one other than himself, which translates into demanding sales at all costs. Price is never an obstacle; sell no matter what! His message to his team members is get out there and don’t come back until you’ve got orders.