My advice to you, the sales manager, is to shift your focus to developing the sales process your salespeople use. Make it your goal to never have to be involved in closing a sale. Strong philosophy? Yes, but unless you buy into it 100%, you’ll make up excuses as to why you need to jump in.
Keep in mind, I’m asking you to believe 100% in the same way you ask your salespeople to buy into what they’re expected to do. When you jump in to close a sale, you’re saying it’s okay for your salespeople to not buy into their process 100%.
If you think I’m pushing the envelope, you’re right. I am. But it’s critical to push hard if we expect change to take hold. If you’re wondering if I believe there ever is a time to help close a sale, I do. But only when the potential loss of the sale is going to fundamentally change your company. In other words, is the loss of the sale going to result in layoffs, a significant hit to earnings, or some other catastrophic change?
I do not buy into the argument that it’s okay to jump in just to make a number or to keep the salesperson happy. Sorry, the only thing you’ve done with that is a bad job of babysitting.
Go ahead and challenge me. I’m game for that, but trust me on this — after having been in sales management leading salespeople, running companies, and consulting companies, I’ll argue there’s no reason to sacrifice long-term success.
If you resist the urge to constantly jump in, sure, you may lose a few sales here and there. But long term, you’ll have a stronger sales team that is confident in closing more sales. Ultimately, with that approach you’ll be way ahead.