I have had the good fortune of reporting to some great Sales Managers. Hopefully you are reporting to one you like right now. If you do, you might realize that you are in sync with your manager. They understand your strengths and, among other things, shield you from the some of the BS that goes on in the company. Transitioning from a great Manager to a new one can be challenging. However, to protect yourself, there are ways to get ahead of an eventual sales management change.
Take stock of what your Manager does for you
You are in a great position, if you work well with your Manager, and you can focus on growing your business. Give some thought to how your manager helps you. How many of these are familiar:
- Gets things done for you with peer managers in other departments
- Advocates for you with senior management
- Protects you from internal politics that get in the way of selling
- Provides challenging, yet fair account/territory assignments
- Coaches you on how to grow your business
Build relationships with other managers
How many of your manager’s peers do you know? What about senior management? How much have they been engaged in your accounts? Make a list of these managers and start planning to get better connected with them. For example, helping your senior management “get closer” to customers can be great for you and helps the customer feel like they have a connection with your executive management. BE SURE you have your senior management really well prepared before the call.
You never know who the next Manager will be…so while it is hard to cover every base, putting this kind of effort in will build a wider support base for you!
Doing homework on the new Manager
Get going as soon as possible learning about the new Manager. Some things you want to identify:
- Detail oriented or not
- Presentation skills
- Effectiveness in customer meetings
- Process oriented oriented or not
- How to present ideas to them (e.g. one page or lots of detail)
- Track record with solving problems
This all sound familiar?
If you have seen management changes at your customers, this should sound familiar. Whether at a customer or internally, the same PROACTIVE approach will help minimize the issues you encounter and allow to maximize your selling time!
Feel free to contact me directly for ideas and/or help on this or other topics!
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