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Friday Poll: Does a Seasoned Sales Staff Need a Manager?

    • 1361 posts
    April 26, 2019 12:10 AM PDT


    Happy Friday, everyone!

    Here is this week's poll question:

    Does a staff of seasoned, successful salespeople require a sales manager? Why or why not?

    Looking forward to reading your replies!

    • 30 posts
    April 26, 2019 11:41 AM PDT
    Great question and I believe you still need sales leadership.

    I have learned through trial and error to manage each “experience level” of seller according to their needs. My current staff are veterans. In sales meetings we focus on a swot approach to attacking the market as a unit. Specialized training comes in the form of product roll outs and initiatives. Individual meetings are to fine tune.

    I let veterans sell and stay out of the way of that process. I coach them in the business side of our business and their clients categories to help make them future operators.

    • 26 posts
    April 26, 2019 11:43 AM PDT

    We are experimenting with this scenario now because of life's circumstances. While I like not having meetings, the consistency of the morning meeting was an anchor to the role and to each other. And it brought us sales reps together. Even though nobody really liked them, info and expectations were exchanged. We could help each other with ideas. I think without a sales manager, we're drifting, and attention is drifting. We might not see the results this month, but I think it will show in 6 months because there are calls that are being missed, accountability is lacking. I don't like being managed, but I like the attaboys, and normally having to be accountable keeps me moving forward.

    • 1361 posts
    April 26, 2019 1:46 PM PDT

    From Joe Lyons: Of course you need a sales manager. You keep everything tidy. You keep two or more reps off of any 1 client. You co-ordinate station promotions and build sales promotions for the team. And you train new reps. You cover monitor sheets and generate goals. You motivate those who need motivating and monitor those who don't. What you should not do is compete with your reps for billing.

    • 1361 posts
    April 26, 2019 1:49 PM PDT

    From Chris Rolando: Think of the sales manager as a visionary. This is the person who looks ahead for new opportunities. The person who finds new research and then teaches it. The person who is ACCOUNTABLE to the ownership for bringing in revenue and helping grow the company. The sales manager is also responsible for making sure the sales department has a "bench"... people ready to start when the need arises.

    A sales manager has a seat at the table in discussions between programming, traffic, bookkeeping and sales (we all know these two departments ALWAYS work well together, right?). The sales manager is also in charge of maintaining the company culture within the sales department.

    If I was running a radio company that just had two salespeople, I would still have one be the sales manager. I would need one person to be accountable to the higher-ups.

    PS: The best salespeople do NOT always make the best sales managers. The skill set is different.

    My 3.7 cents.
    • 1361 posts
    April 29, 2019 10:12 AM PDT
    From Rick Murphy: Yes, you need Sales Management. A person and a great CRM. Our sales people tee up the appointment, write the proposal, produce 2-3 spec spots and then the SalesManager/closer goes on all calls. Why risk a lost sale out of inexperience. Each one of those is worth Thousands to the company. The manager has more skill and knows what tricks they can use to close. They have the authority to do things the sales person may not have. This system coupled with telemarketing gets new sales people up and going almost immediately.
    • 119 posts
    April 29, 2019 12:55 PM PDT

    Yes but....

    If the staff are truly seasoned, successful salespeople, then they need a different type of leadership than new rookies.  Everyone needs a coach, some need a trainer, some need a manager to go to bat for them when dealing with other departments.  Some need a manager to play referee! 

    Seasoned, successful salespeople should not need micro-managing.

    • 1361 posts
    May 2, 2019 11:16 AM PDT
    Vicki Buckley of course - it would be like asking if a ship needs a captain

    This post was edited by Rebecca Hunt at May 2, 2019 11:16 AM PDT
    • 1361 posts
    May 6, 2019 12:07 PM PDT

    From Chris Lytle: The word that caught my attention in the question this week is "seasoned sales staff." To me that indicates that everybody has their "list" and is happily living off the work they did a few years ago. They've quit prospecting much and wait for the phone to ring. So, yes, you need a sales manager to set and enforce standards of performance and hire new salespeople to push the "seasoned" veterans. I agree with Chris Rolando that sales managers should not carry a list. Radio has very few true sales managers. If you're the top biller and the sales manager, you have two full-time jobs. I rant about that in a short video that I posted to promote my Instant Sales Training website. But the first seven minutes provide a look at the most important job of the sales manager: To continually develop the people who develop the revenue. Here's the link:

    This post was edited by Rebecca Hunt at May 6, 2019 12:08 PM PDT