Sales management careers should be fulfilling and fun and I have had the wonderful opportunity, or in fact privilege to sales manage and influence sales people. I see sales management as one of the most important obligations and responsibility of any sales leader. I have always tried to sales manage and lead with more emotion and passion for each individual as an individual and not just an instrument for generating profits.
Social theorists and academics have suggested that the beliefs in people, their intellect, abilities, emotions and ethical values are the core of our social existence.
One of these theorists is an individual by the name of Dr. Clayton J.C. Lafferty who had studied the management competency of humanistic-encouraging or what is now often referred to as emotional intelligence has defined it in the following way:
"Humanistic-Encouraging measures an interest in people, a tendency to care about others, and the ability to encourage them to improve."
Sales managers with stronger humanistic-encouraging competencies are more able to have these conversations, according to Lafferty, as they accept others for who they are without question or criticism. I believe that humanistic behaviour encourages personal growth and the development of human existence within the multiple layers of our varied social frameworks. We therefore have a social obligation to become better, more caring sales managers so that we are able to engage all of our sales people individually.
I have come to believe, based on personal observations and experiences that what seems of utmost importance to my role as a sales manager, was to leave behind legacies for others to continue. Using a nickname from my past I call these Fossils. Fossils, by my definition, are ideas or impressions left on sales people that have proven themselves over time. They have become embedded permanent imprints or disciplines in how I sales manage people.
I have personally defined the role of a sales manager in the following way:
"An individual with the accountability and responsibility to create a working environment where sales people are able to enrich their thinking, abilities and experiences on a continual basis while maximizing value for their clients."
It all starts with your thinking or your mindset. The best in sales and sales management are positive thinkers. They think positively about their desire to achieve results and about their relationships with their clients. They regularly review their activities and goals and they think in an enthusiastic, "can do" mindset; Aligning the creative mind in harmony with their emotional intelligence which influences their focus, motivation and confidence.
I have found significant gratification in supporting an environment where each sales person has the opportunity to apply themselves, fully leverage their intellectual curiosity, align positive thinking, enhance ability and enrich his or her value to each client relationship. Sales management thinking and behaviour had become of great personal importance to me over the years as I assessed my own achievements.
They were collective achievements, largely due to the thinking, ability and motivation of sales people who strived to meet sales targets and personal bests but who also sold on the basis of mutual benefit. The more I had been able to assist in developing sales people's thinking, ability and their desire to achieve, the more likely I was able to achieve what I set out to accomplish and the more rewarding it was for me personally. The more humanistic-encouraging the practices the more I have had a positive effect on enhancing the thinking, abilities and motivation of sales people. I believed these competencies became my own competitive advantage and brand.
In conclusion, it is important to note that sales management careers should be fulfilling and fun. If done with heart, emotion and the right mindset your career can be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying aspects of what makes up a large part of your life. It is my hope that for those I have had the opportunity to influence that I have done so with a positive and memorable way. I hope that I am remembered for bringing an aspect of enthusiasm and emotion to a role that is at the heart of organizations; that of a sales manager.
Ron Foss is the Director of Operations of SalesDialogue Systems Inc. a company committed to assisting sales professionals better understand how their thinking and internal conversations impact sales success. Learn more at http://www.salesdialogue.com/
Ron Foss is the author of "From Mindsets to Heartbeats", based on his work and research on the Humanistic Competencies of Managers now referred to as Emotional Inteligence. He is a top sales and sales management leader in Canada with 30 years experience working with and developing sales people.