You wouldn’t let the inmates run the asylum, so why let salespeople run the sales department? You might be saying, “I’m not crazy enough to let the salespeople run the sales,” but if there’s no official sales leader, that’s effectively what you’re doing.
We hear plenty of business owners say that they have an experienced team that doesn’t need supervision. If you’re looking for base-level performance from the team, that might be true. However, if you’re looking to close the tough deals, not lose sleep at night over problems with salespeople, or feel like your sales department is out of control, you need someone minding the shop.
Salespeople tend to be highly independent and never want to be managed. It’s a little funny when we hear a business owner say, “My sales team says they don’t need a manager.” Of course, they do. There’s never been a salesperson in the history of business that asked for a sales manager.
A good sales manager or sales leader isn’t there to be a pain to the sales team’s rear. They are there to help the sales team sell more. There are a dozen levers to manipulate in order to make this happen, but when it does, salespeople earn more commission, and the company earns more profit. Sales management is like cough syrup for salespeople. They don’t like it, but they need it.
There’s a back-of-the-napkin methodology you can use to see how much money you are leaving on the table not having a sales leader.
Compute the total gross profit created by your best salesperson ever. Now compare that with the total gross profit of your worst person ever or an average person. Now multiply that difference times the number of people on the team. It’s probably a very large number, right? Of course, you can’t seize all this soft cost, but you can seize quite a bit of it via excellent sales leadership.
By taking your eye off the cost savings and focusing on lost revenue, you have excellent potential to increase profit.