Selling in the coronavirus environment: Managing your Sales Manager

Depending on how your company is addressing challenges with sales reps’ performance due to the restrictions, communication with your manager may be more critical than ever.  Thinking ahead and proactively communicating with them (vs. waiting for them to track you down) are the keys to this going well.  Here are some important considerations and some ideas that should serve you well.

Information your Sales Manager needs and when they need it

You already know that any Sales Manager’s top priority is pipeline information…how many deals are you closing this week, what is the value of those deals, is your pipeline 3 X your quota, status on key/large deals and so on.

When your Sales Manager needs pipeline info

Most Sales Managers must report to their management every week with pipeline updates.  If they are not already strict about getting updates from the reps, they will be.  If your pipeline update is due on Thursdays at 5 pm…make sure it is done the day before.

What else is the Sales Manager going to be interested in?

The coronavirus restrictions have been tough on many sales pipelines.  If you have some creative approaches to finding new business, be sure to keep your Sales Manager informed.  Work with them early in the process so they can support your effort.

Sales Managers making decisions

Unfortunately, some Sales Managers may be under pressure to make decisions about who stays with the company.  Make sure you stay “operationally clean” and that your manager never needs to chase you for info they need.  Do everything you can to manage your manager’s perception of what you are focused on and the value you provide for the company.

Engage with your Sales Manager

Early in my time with HP Services (actually Compaq at the time), I had the great fortune of reporting to Cindy Etherington, now an executive with Dell EMC.  In addition to being a great source of creative ideas, Cindy was regularly “going to bat” for me to help with resource allocation and resolve other internal challenges.  Among many things I learned from Cindy was an obligation to ensure she had information she needed from me in a timely manner.

Sales Managers, in this selling environment, are thinking about who can continue to close deals or, at some point, do the best job helping the company sell their way out the hole created by the restrictions.  Be PROACTIVE in talking with your manager about deals you are pursuing and get their input.  Your approach to communicating with your Sales Manager is something you can control…so paint the best possible picture!

Feel free to contact me directly for ideas and/or help on this or other topics!

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