Biggest Mistake Sales Managers Make

Published on May 25, 2010

In the gym of my daughter’s high school (Northern Valley Old Tappan-NVOT), there is a banner that reads-

Welcome to NVOT-Where sportsmanship is an expectation. So please let the players play. Let the coaches coach. Let the officials officiate. Let the spectators be positive.

This sign caught my eye because all too often I see people in leadership roles who don’t understand what they are supposed to be doing. For example, sales mgrs often travel with sales reps and usually take over the call under the guise of trying to get the deal. I know we must close the business. However, the true role of the sales manager is not only to come in and save the day, but to also coach his people on how to effectively sell. That means letting the salesperson do the talking so you can see where the gaps are. Then, once the call is over, the mgr should review the call, identify the gaps and provide guidance. Then go on to the next call and do the same process.

This is critical because if the sales manager always closes the deal, then the salesperson never really gets trained on how to do it and will not be able to do it when the sales manager is not there.

Bottom line. Are people in your organization really doing the things they are supposed to be doing. If not, the growth of the business is at stake. Like the sign says- Let the players play, let the coaches coach, etc.

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  1. Joe Himelfarb on October 6, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Ron, I believe we all have skills, talents, and abilities that make us unique. Our job is to bring those qualities to bear. Sometimes we need our managers, coaches, mentors to help us reach that objective. But in the end, we are responsible for demonstrating our worth and value.

    So I agree with you Ron…show me the ropes, teach me the words, guide my actions. But please, let me put my spin on our message and give ME the opportunity to influence our clients. You’ll be amazed at what I can do.

  2. […] can have a knock-on effect that impacts your team, the department, and the business as a whole. Not allowing a salesperson to sell on their own (i.e. jumping in either on the phone, via email, or in a face-to-face meeting and completing the […]

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