Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023 - 48

UP FRONT
BUSINESS FITNESS | TECH TALK | FIRESIDE CHAT | MONITORING MATTERS
BUSINESS FITNESS by Paul Boucherle
EXECUTIVE DECISIONS
Superstar Sales Managers: Nature or Nurture?
ARE GREAT SALES MANAGERS/LEADERS born or made?
I say " made " based on personal experience starting in
1993. Yeah, I know...ancient history. But it's still a fact.
I was a darn good senior national account manager at ADT,
and I was promoted to lead a team that was behind the curve.
Aſt er four months, I realized that my way of selling did not
fi t the 14 NAMs I led. I swallowed my pride and went back to
school to learn this job.
Aſt er some tough moments, it worked; the team excelled to
their true potential, doubling sales. That success was theirs. My
success was learning a new leadership role and parking my ego.
Tune Up Your Sales Engine
A good start to a new year is to tune up your sales engine for
peak performance and reliability. Your sales manager is the logical
starting point. Sales managers require more training than
anyone in your company does. I encourage you to refl ect on this
thought; I learned it the hard way, but quickly!
Sales management is part art and part science, but it's mostly
professional training and discipline. If done right, it looks easy -
an almost eff ortless delivery of consistent sales and revenues to
meet projections. Great sales managers have respect for and work
with your operations, resource-planning and logistics teams, all of
whom need to plan resource allocation with confi dence.
Great sales managers are not born that way; rather, they have
been nurtured by a professional to hone critical skills through
high-quality training. I'm referring to a professional who has
deep experience in the security industry, and who has a proven
record of sustainable results.
Some Familiar Scenarios
1. As an owner, you utilize the sales manager as a buff er between
yourself and the sales team. Who needs all that drama,
whining, complaining and excuse-making eating up your time?
" I have a business to run, and, frankly, they annoy me! " you
might exclaim. Rethink your strategy unless you enjoy drama
and inconsistent sales performance.
2. What follows are some telltale signs that your sales manager has
not been trained to do their job at a high level of competence:
(a) They make poor sales-hiring choices based on knee-jerk
need, as opposed to a hiring process.
(b) They have high salesperson turnover for the wrong reasons.
(c) A particular refrain - " There aren't any good salespeople
out there anymore " - is heard far too oſt en.
(d) The operations, service and admin support departments
are always at odds with the sales team.
(e) Sales projections have wild variations with actual sales
revenue, which doesn't instill confi dence.
(f) The morale and confi dence of the sales team is low. (You
can read this from their demeanor.)
(g) The sales manager isn't accountable for performance or
issues. They always have excuses but don't have answers.
(h) The sales manager complains that their people don't sell
like they used to sell.
(i) The sales manager holds onto unproductive salespeople
for too long and for the wrong reasons.
Avoiding the Blame Game
Typically, with an untrained, undisciplined sales manager, the
blame game will start immediately with fi ring an underperforming
salesperson. This is a confession and defl ection of
their own accountability for failing to develop the salesperson
and hold them accountable. The departing salesperson will
oſt en be vilifi ed for the failures.
Another situation is when an underperforming salesperson
hangs on for nine to 12 months, collecting a paycheck and
benefi ts, but does not respond to the sales manager's eff orts to
coach. " I just can't through to them, " the sales manager might
say. " I am so frustrated! "
A well-trained sales manager rarely makes hiring mistakes. A
well-trained sales manager is eff ective in their onboarding and
communication, as well as in setting expectations. A raw talent
who works hard and takes coaching seriously could be with
your team for many productive years.
What can you do to start your year off with a bang? Buy and
read The Happy Sales Manager by Gretchen Gordon. This is an
excellent book that takes a closer look at your sales manager
management/leadership profi le. I have worked with Gretchen
for many years; she is the real deal and an " A " player.
I've oſt en said sales managers are the most overlooked and
undertrained leaders in most companies. They're the engineer
driving your revenue train, loaded with money - train them! SSI
PAUL BOUCHERLE, Certifi ed Protection Professional (CPP) and Certifi ed Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfi eld, Ohio-based
Matterhorn Consulting (matterhornconsulting.com) and an SSI Industry Hall of Famer. He has more than 30 years of diverse security and
safety industry experience. He can be reached at paul@matterhornconsulting.com or @swisssherpa.
48 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | Nov/Dec 2023
http://www.matterhornconsulting.com

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023

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