This article from Sales & Marketing Management has a Tolstoy-like length, but it is a fascinating read that spans many topics. We’ll start with the different generations in the sales arena today. This topic is one we experience daily as we have many customers with sales teams spanning these generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X & Gen Y).

“Typically the world is all about hard work and loyalty for those oldest workers, most often top-level executives, who were born before 1945. Baby boomers, born roughly between 1946 and 1963, manage their lives for profit and status; boomers are the generation that gave us 60-hour workweeks and 24/7 availability to maximize work time and income.

Gen Xers, born roughly between 1963 to 1980, are willing to work hard, but demand balance between work and personal life. Gen Y, sometimes called Nexters, were born after 1980 and want to make a difference in the world. They expect reasons for everything they do, not marching orders.”

Exactly right – we have seen it first hand. Managing this type of span requires an adroit sales manager. To paint this topic with broad strokes, here are some qualities we look for in the vast majority of sales managers we seek:

  • Empathetic abilities (human awareness, relating to others, understanding motivations,etc.) with a slightly negative bias towards these abilities
  • Individualistic leadership motivation – the drive to control their destiny and the destiny of others
  • Coaching style that works through their team instead of closing the sale for their team
  • Distinct ability to hold salespeople accountable – surprising how few sales managers actually do this critical task

Granted, there are many variables to a sales manager position including product vs. service sale, corporate market share, sales team size & composition, etc. The 4 bullet points above are common to all sales manager positions regardless of the variables. Coaching – Sales Management explains our approach in a bit more detail.

More posts to come on this rich article.

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