“Good sales managers communicate effectively up, down and across” – Interview by John Smibert
Have you ever experienced a sales manager who is not a good communicator?
Most of us have. It’s not fun. They just seem to expect their sales team to know what is expected of us – and they get balled out when they make a wrong assumption.
Often their communication is also ineffective up the chain as well which creates even more issues.
In this short discussion I asked Wayne what he specifically meant when he talks about how a a sales manager needs to be a good communicator.
He provided some good insight for sales managers (and others).
View or read the full discussion with Wayne below. This interview is likely to be of interest to the CEO, CSO, sales leaders and sales managers.
Wayne Moloney is a leading business strategist specialising in sales and business development. Wayne has a very specific specialisation in ‘lean selling’.
John: Hello, I’m with Wayne Moloney again – welcome back, Wayne!
Wayne: Hi, John!
John: Hey Wayne, we’re now going to talk about chapter eight of your book, ‘Your Roadmap to Sales Management Success’, and it’s all about a sales manager being a great communicator.
John: What do you mean by that?
Wayne: Well, a lot of people would argue you’re in sales so you’ve got to be a good communicator, but you and I know, from our experience, that’s not always the case, especially when someone moves from a sales role into a sales management role. The level of communication and who they need to communicate with is very different to what they’re doing in a sales role and in other areas of management.
John: Why is that? What do you mean by that?
Wayne: Because effectively the sales manager is the translator of information upstream, from the management team, so they need to translate the company’s vision and strategy and strategic initiatives into a language that the sales team can understand, and also work with marketing to translate that into messages that are appropriate to adding value or delivering the value that the customer wants in the marketplace, so that’s coming downstream.
But just as importantly, sales is really the conduit of information from the market back up to the rest of the organisation. Yes, marketing will do a lot of that from research, and we know with big data we can research a lot of information out in other areas in the marketplace, but the guys that are at the coalface, the guys with their feet on the ground, the ones that have got the touch points with the customer, and hopefully – if everything’s been done right, as far as the sales management’s concerned – with the people that you really want to engage with longer term, your ideal clients, they will be identifying what’s changing in the marketplace and be able to bring that back in, and the sales manager feed that back into marketing, R&D, strategy, the rest.
John: So true. That insight coming back from your sales force really can change an organisation, if they’re listening for it and listening to what the sales force are saying. I’ve seen too often organisations decide that their marketing and their research and their big data analysis and all that sort of stuff is going to drive their strategy, and they’re not listening to what the sales force are hearing at the coalface.
John: Okay, so that’s what you mean by the sales manager being a great communicator. It’s both down, from the organisation to their people, helping their people embrace that and understand how to take it to market, and also making sure those messages are clear to the customers, and secondly, taking that customer knowledge that the sales force get, and making sure that’s communicated up to management.
Wayne: Yes, that’s it.
John: Thank you very much, Wayne – great advice, and I look forward to the next time we talk!
Wayne: Thanks, John!
- “Lean Selling – what is it?“
- “Creating value through Lean Selling“
- “Reducing waste in the sales process“
- “Lean Selling: Qualifying to reduce waste“
- “Align sales strategy with business strategy”
- “Sales leadership advice”
- “A sales manager is a team captain”
- “Top sales managers embrace the 3 C’s”
- “Top sales managers are tops sales planners”
- “A sales manager is a reporting regulator”
- “A sales manager is a delegator”
- “A sales manager is a team selector”
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