Why Great Salespeople Aren’t Always Great Sales Managers

Thought of the Day

You must be a credible leader before you can be an incredible leader.

business_people_sales_people_diverseOver many years in sales, I’ve seen it time and again. Sales leaders want to reward their top performers. This is a great impulse and one you should follow. However, often the method of reward is to make the great sales maker a sales manager. The thinking, and it’s logical, is that if I can have this high-performer infuse a whole team with what he or she does, my sales will rocket.

Here’s the challenge. Great sales makers don’t automatically make great sales managers. In fact, often it’s your middle-of-road, reliable, competent sales rep who would make the best manager. Why?

People who perform at a high level  in any area of life are often “naturals.” Look at LeBron James, Steph Curry, or Kevin Durant. These guys amaze because they can simply do things their teammates cannot do with any amount of practice or determination. They have natural gifts that can’t be taught, not even by them.

This is why sports lore is filled with the great player who was not a successful coach. The great coaches are typically the people who were reliable, competent players who really had to work at their craft. That meant they couldn’t “just do” things like the great players. They had to break things down into their component parts and work hard on those elements. That’s the kind of player that makes a great coach.

Sales is very much like sports. Your highest performers are naturals too. They do things naturally that you coach and teach and struggle to get your other reps to do. Now you make that top sales rep a manager. He or she doesn’t understand what it really means to have to work at all the small things – and may not even realize what all those small things are or how to teach them.

Coaching is a huge part of sales management. The top performer can easily become frustrated that his or her team can’t do things that came natural to them. His or team can become frustrated because they aren’t getting the stripped down coaching they need to succeed. It all can – and often does – add up to failure.

Am I saying never promote your top sales makers to manager? No, I never say never. I’m simply saying this is why it often doesn’t work and what you should consider before you do it.

Happy Selling!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 20 years in sales and sales training and more than 25 years studying human motivation. Read more sales articles by Ray.

He is also the author of the Anunnaki Awakening speculative fiction series. Book 1 – Revelation – was released in 2015. Book 2 – Revolution – is due out in 2017.

16 Sales Affirmations

Thought for Today:

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.”

~ W. Clement Stone

agreement-3489902_640Few careers are as rewarding as a career in sales and few are as lonely when things aren’t going well. I spent a number of years in direct sales. I experienced the highs of success and the lows of a slump. For the past 10 years, I have written B2B sales training for a major corporation.

All of this experience has taught me one important thing about sales. Motivation is critical to ongoing sales success. Perhaps you have a mentor, a colleague, or a great manager who is there to pump you up when things go south. The truth is we all know that the only source of motivation we can rely upon is ourselves.

Here are some sales affirmations that I have used over the years. I hope you will find them helpful. Now get out there and bust that quota!

  1. A great sales person lives within me! Today that sales person shows up at my appointments!
  2. Month after month, I am the top salesperson in my office!
  3. I am the best salesperson in my office and this month I prove it!
  4. My most important product is me! I believe in that product and I am always ready to sell it!
  5. My company sets my quota, but I set my goals! This month I blow my quota out of the water!
  6. I always have a funnel filled with quality prospects and leads.
  7. I am a winner! I look like a winner! I sell like a winner! I succeed like a winner!
  8. I love the pressure of cold calling. The pressure sharpens my skills and gets me more sales!
  9. Excellence is my personal brand. My commitment to it is unwavering!
  10. I believe in my selling abilities!
  11. The word no doesn’t phase me. When I hear it I think, “Let the selling begin!”
  12. I win deals by outplanning and out-preparing the competition.
  13. I am a shoe-in for president’s club this year!
  14. I think positive and prosperous thoughts for myself, my sales team, my company, and my customers. In my selling world, everyone wins!
  15. I thrive on objections. I listen to the objection. I process the objection and I handle it!
  16. Nobody closes a deal the way I close a deal!

Stay inspired! You have no more powerful ally in sales than your mind!

Ray Davis is 20+ year sales and sales training professional and the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development, especially affirmations, and using them to achieve his goals.

Check out this Sales Mantras video on our YouTube channel. It will have you implementing sales best practices into your selling process quickly.

Metta and The Monk – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday January 24, 2008

Leave your comment on today’s blog


Today’s affirmation is actually a version of a Buddhist meditation called Metta (loving-kindness). This meditation is practiced by directing the following words at yourself. Then spreading them to loved ones and people towards whom you have positive feelings. Then applying them to people that you are neutral towards. Finally, you direct the meditation towards people you view negatively – enemies or people who have hurt you in life.


In my own practice, I have also expanded it to include all people and living things on the Earth and all living things where ever they may exist in the universe. Back in my days as a sales professional, I also would direct this meditation particularly at the customers I planned to call on the next day. It had an uncanny way of opening doors where they appeared to be closed.


“May I be happy. May I be peaceful. May I be free from suffering.” “May (fill in the name) be happy. May (fill in the name) be peaceful. May (fill in the name) be free from suffering.”


cave.jpgToday’s post is a random meandering from a few years ago. During my own meditations, this image of a monk sitting in the entrance to a cave kept appearing. He just sat there playing this old flute and meditating on the sound. He seemed to be communicating with me without saying anything.

How wonderful to remember that there are people out there who spend every waking moment hoping and believing in what the rest of us are capable of becoming.


“The Monk”

Gongs echo in the darkness of the valley below;
one hour to sun up.
Against the mouth of a mountain cave sits a solitary monk;
meditating on the sound of his weathered flute.


Clothed in tattered robe that once was of yellow tint;
he owns nothing in this world
but the peace of mind
born of transcendent joy.


Each morning at this very time he prays with every breath;
that those of us in the world below
would give up our anger, greed, and hatred
and be transformed by the profound bliss he knows.



Be peaceful Be prosperous!

Ray

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The Affirmation Survey Update

Saturday greetings –

 Just wanted to update you on the current results from our affirmation poll. I am conducting this poll as part of the research I am doing for a book I am writing about affirmations. The survey currently consists of 10 questions.

Here are some of the interesting results thus far. Click the link below to take The Affirmation Survey.

Take the survey right now.

 

If you use affirmations or other motivational products on a regular basis, which of the following best describe when and how you use them? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Before an activity (game, sales call, speech, etc.) 43%
Driving 21%
Evening 19%
Exercise 15%
Meditating 20%
Morning 64%
Praying 18%
Relaxing 27%
Working 6%

What format(s) do you usually use to get your affirmations or other motivation? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Audio – CD 23%
Audio – Download 21%
Books 39%
E-mail Messagelf 20%
Verbalize to Self 45%
Write and Read 16%

Which areas of your life have you used or would you consider using affirmations to improve? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Career 36%
Health and Well-Being 68%
Hobbies 17%
Learning/Education 9%
Personal Empowerment 51%
Relationships 19%
Religion/Spirituality 50%
Sales 34%
Sports 28%
Wealth and Prosperity 24%

Big Rocks First – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday December 1, 2007

Today’s Thought:
What is is, but that doesn’t mean it’s what must be.
~ Ray Davis

big_rocks.jpgToday, perhaps, is not my most original post. However, there are certain ideas and concepts that we keep forgetting. An occasional reminder never hurts.

You may be familiar with the Big Rocks analogy. If not, let me briefly recount it. The story has countless derivations. Many authors credit Steven Covey for putting it in his book First Things First.

A college professor instructing a class full of high-powered, driven, MBA candidates decided to make a point to this group of overachievers. He announced to the class, “It’s time for a quiz.”

There was shuffling in the room as the students pulled out pen and paper and prepared themselves to expound on some esoteric principle of macroeconomics. To their surprise, the professor produced a large, wide-mouthed glass jar from behind his desk. As the class looked on, the professor placed a series of fist-sized rocks into the jar until the rocks reached the top of the jar.

“Is the jar full,” he queried the class?

One particularly eager student raised her hand, but could not even wait to be called on. She proclaimed, “Yes, professor, the jar is full.”

“Are you sure,” asked the professor, patiently?

He produced a jar filled with small pebbles and began to pour them into the first jar until they filled all the space between the larger rocks. When he’d finished he asked again, “Is the jar full?”

Skeptical, from being burned the first time, someone said, “Probably not.”

Smiling, the professor pulled out a jar of sand and poured it into the first jar. The sand seeped into the crevices between the pebbles and filled the space. As the sand reached the top, the professor had one of the students come to the front of the room and pat the sand down and smooth it so that it was even with the top of the jar.

“Now is the jar full?”

A few people were now ready to guess again that the jar was full. The professor pulled out a bottle of water and began pouring it into the jar. The water was absorbed by the sand. When he had poured as much water as the jar could hold, the professor asked one more time if the jar was full.

The class sat there, a bit unsure. Finally, the professor confirmed that the jar was now full.

“If we apply this example to our lives,” the professor asked, “what is the lesson?”

One student raised his hand and said, “That if we really, really try we can always fit one more thing into our lives?”

“No,” responded the professor satisfied that they had taken the bait, “The lesson is that if we don’t put the big rocks in first, there won’t be room for them.”

If all goes well, we get about 80 trips around the Sun (plus or minus 10) in this life. The water, the sand, and the pebbles are always going to be there knawing at us, stealing our time away. We have to put the Big Rocks into our 80-year jar first or we may never get to them.

Coaching their sales teams is the Big Rock (in their job) for managers in my company. For most, it was not only the most critical to their success, but the real reason they like being a sales manager. Yet, all the little things were getting in the way because they were not putting the Big Rock into their calendars FIRST.

My wife and I took our first trip to Hawaii this past March. We absolutely fell in the love with the place. We developed a mutually shared dream to live there one day.

hawaii_kauai_hanalei_bay_beach_0055Friends and family don’t think we’re serious, but we are already thinking about and acting on ways to make it happen. We both are afflicted by the sights of the beautiful blue water every time we close our eyes.

Hawaii has become a Big Rock for us. When it came time to decide on a vacation destination for next year there was no discussion. We could have gone somewhere we haven’t been before, but we put our Big Rock into the jar FIRST. We booked another trip to Hawaii.

What are the Big Rocks in your life? Who are the people, which are the experiences, what are the achievements that bring or would bring you the most joy? Are they the FIRST things in your proverbial calendar or are they relegated to the bottom of the pile in the hope that you will get to them someday?

The end of the year is always a great time to reflect and take stock of our direction your life. Think about what your Big Rocks are and make sure they are the priority in 2008.

Peace…

Ray

For more inspiring content, visit The Affirmation Spot website or YouTube channel.