You know what? Being a sales manager isn’t fun. It’s not like being a sales rep.
You have to do more reporting. You have to go to more meetings. You have to do more paperwork than you ever imagined.
When you first step into a sales management position, it may well be your first management experience. And as such, it’s easy to get sucked into all of those reports and meetings and paperwork. If you’re not paying attention, you might actually think all of that stuff is important. And if you start thinking it’s important, pretty soon you might be buried under it. But let me tell you something. It’s not only not important, it’s bullshit. There’s only one thing that’s important.
The Team! The Team! The Team!
Your role as a sales manager is a leadership role. It’s now your job to lead the sales force. It’s important to remember that your new quota is the combined quota of all the individual members of your team. The only way you can reach your quota is by helping them reach theirs. Does spending time in meetings with other executives, and filling out reports and paperwork sound like it’s helping your team reach its quota?
You know what I’ve never seen? I’ve never seen the #1 performing sales rep get in trouble for filing his expense reports late.
You know what else I’ve never seen? The manager of the #1 sales team get in trouble for getting his quarterly predictions in late.
To be sure, if your team isn’t the #1 team, then things are a little different. And really, there is value in many of these bureaucratic duties with which you’re saddled as a new manager. But keep in mind, they may be important, but they’re not most important. What’s most important is making your team successful.
Balance bureaucracy with leadership, leaning hard towards the latter, and you’ll be fine. And so will your team.