The Greatest, Number One, Worst of All Time, Failure of Sales Management (Podcast Recap) with SLMA Radio

Badger Maps CEO, Steve Benson talks with Jim Obermayer, of SLMA Radio, about his thoughts on what is the number one mistake a sales manager can make. He goes over the importance of communication and the sharing of information and making use of feedback.

Let’s get into this, the greatest, number one, worst of all time failure of sales management. Let’s get your opinion Steve.

My job here on a day to day basis, I spend most of my time and energy running the sales and marketing teams. Those are the things that I spend the most time on. The thing that comes to mind for me is listening. I’d say that’ s the worst failure, is not listening well, either to your reps, to your upstream stakeholders, and to your customers.

If you’re not doing a good job with the sales reps, then everything can fall apart. If the customers aren’t happy, everything can fall apart. If you don’t manage upstream properly, the CFO, CEO, COO, then you lose your job. I’d say the worst failure of a sales manager is not listening to those different groups, and being able to communicate with them to balance all their needs and make them understand the different groups. A lot of times they don’t and as the VP of Sales you have the ability to be the facilitator of that communication. 

How does the manager listen to the reps and translate their needs without appearing to the other citizens of the c-suite that he’s beginning to sound like them, he’s joined the other side.

It’s really important to listen to those guys. They’re your eyes and ears on the streets to your most important relationship. The relationship with your customers and “those guys,” not only are they your eyes and ears, salespeople are some of the best communicators out there and some of the best listeners out there. They care, they’re incentivised to care, they’re motivated to care. If they’re reporting something back to you, it’s some of the best feedback you can get. 

Assuming the rest of the c-suite is just like “you’re just being a manager to your sales team and you want them to get paid more.” I think that the VP of Sales can emphasize - we are the eyes and ears of this organization to our customers and prospective customers, and this is the feedback we’re getting from them.

Is there a formal way to do this or is this all informal?

It should be set up in a formal way. Before this call, I was speaking with our VP of Engineering and he’s with our engineering team in Spain right now, visiting them. Just talking to him about what the priorities are from the business side - what people are asking for, what they’re happy with, what they’re unhappy with. We have a formal meeting set up every week to communicate between him and I.

Check out Steve's other interviews on SLMA Radio here!

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