The true role of a Sales Manager

I’d like you to think back to your last holiday.  Now that’s a gorgeous memory isn’t it? Can you recall the Holiday Rep who was there to take care of things for you?  I can, from our holiday in France last year.  Let me share with you how David’s performance was so close to how sales managers should be operating.

Now David, our Holiday Rep on our French campsite holiday was a breath of fresh air. The typical rep is out to sell you excursions, clean your accommodation and make sure you leave on time.  A little harsh but you get my point. But this year we had someone who knew exactly what his role and was keen to tell me:

“My role Paul, I to make sure every guest of our holiday firm has a great time. I want them all to enjoy their stay, have some fond memories and want to come back.  If they have a great time, they’ll say good things about me to head office and that helps me. I’m targeted on our clients having a great time”

That simply was what he did – everything he did was towards helping us have a great time.  He didn’t have to crunch numbers and achieve targets, he wasn’t relaying orders and direction from head office, counting the number of caravans occupied and reporting back those that weren’t. He didn’t have to requisition new equipment for the accommodation, or report breakages or damage.   He didn’t have to remain in his office on the telephone to HQ fire fighting and solving problems. No, his job was to make sure we all had a great time.

And this got me thinking about the role of a sales manager. I think their role is to help their salespeople sell more.   Not to be in the office, fire fighting, watching metrics and sales results and reporting new targets and objectives.

No, the role of the sales manager is to help the salesperson sell more by coaching, sharing best practices, training sales people, dual calling, helping with big accounts and giving freely sales ideas.

Just like David in France.