More from Sales & Marketing Management with my comments in parentheses:

“Here is Sales & Marketing Management’s dozen warning signs that you are failing as a manager:

1. Team members stop greeting you in the morning, or don’t come into your office as often as they used to. When communication starts breaking down, performance slumps. (some managers never establish good communication channels with their team)

2. Your boss stops greeting you in the morning. You may be the problem or it could be somebody else, but your job is on the line if you don’t get the boss talking again. Your team knows it, too. (the last sentence is the key)

3. People in the office are looking glum, bored, or lifeless for no obvious reason. Bad weather or a bad quarter can throw any office into the doldrums, but if people seem depressed without cause, performance is flagging. (effective sales managers MUST provide external motivation when team members are ‘under motivated’ that day)

4. Sales and marketing reps aren’t coming up with as many new clients, opportunities, and ideas as they used to. A successful team generates so many new possibilities that the manager’s concern is focusing on the best ones. (tough to pin this one solely on the sales manager, but it is certainly their responsiblity to correct it)

5. The cost of sales is rising faster than revenue growth. At worst, you’re headed for an ocean of red ink as costs swamp sales. At best, you’ll be explaining a drop in productivity. (too many rounds of golf and fine wine without qualifying the dead-end prospects – some salespeople would rather spend lavishly on companies they will never close instead of going out and finding a new, real prospect)

6. No one has called you on a bad, or even borderline, decision recently. Every manager makes mistakes, but only bad managers build teams that insulate them from criticism. (Margaret Thatcher once said “Consensus is the absense of leadership” – very true)

7. Sales or lead-generation reports show spikes at the end of each of the last three quarters. Minor blips in both sales and marketing are normal, but spikes of 20 percent or more above baseline numbers at the end of every reporting period means the team is either slacking off most of the time and scrambling to make up, or cheating outright. (or if they have blips at the beginning of commission periods, they are sandbagging deals to build up their next commission. Watch for this because salespeople often leave after they have sandbagged their way to the commission accelerators in one period)

8. You notice outdated information on department bulletin boards. You can’t expect team members to do the right thing if they don’t have current information. If people are used to discounting memos and directives because they are usually outdated, they’re probably ignoring current information, too. (I’ve never experienced this one though a lack of current information from the sales manager would be troubling)

9. Performance evaluations are late. Everybody recognizes that there are more tasks than time, but letting evaluations slip tells employees that they are at the bottom of the pile. If the boss doesn’t care about performance, why should they? (oh is this true – apathy is a tremendous demotivator in any sales team or environment. Amazing how common this point is in many companies)

10. You are sending and getting a steady stream of notes, e-mails, and other informal communications instead of seeing people in person. (I understand the author’s point, but email is truly becoming more ubiquitous every day e.g. blackberries, palm phones so I am not sure how accurate this point is)

11. Confidantes (administrative assistants are great sources) tell you that some team members think you can’t be trusted or have a personal agenda. People act as though their perceptions are real, so even if you don’t have a personal agenda, team members who think you do will react badly. You have to re-establish trust in a hurry! (see point #1)

12. You’re worried about losing your job. Every sales and marketing job is temporary; you knew that from the outset. But if you’re constantly worried about losing yours, the distraction will degrade your performance even more. It’s time to move on. (or time to call us in to help)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.