What It Feels Like to Be a Sales Manager

by Jacques Werth

On most days there are times when you feel terrified.  One of those times is when you are scheduled to have a closed meeting with your boss.  You even dread the possibility of accidentally meeting him in a hallway.  Another is when you read things like “ERS Research says the average tenure of sales manages is now less than two years.”  You also feel terrified when you realize that you are trying to do too much and very little is actually working.

You feel frustrated because your job is to have your sales force increase sales well over quota and it is not happening.  Too few of your district managers and salespeople seem willing to be led by you.  More frustration is created when you learn that your best salespeople are not using the new CRM system, which you bought at great expense.  You can’t make them use it, because if you do they might quit and go to work for a competitor.  Even worse, their defiance may spread to the rest of the sales force and threaten your effectiveness.

You question your own competence because a higher percentage of good salespeople are leaving the company than last year.  Furthermore, your new hires are taking too long to train and too many of them seem certain to fail.

You feel thwarted when you try to get more cooperation from the marketing, production, customer service, and accounting managers.  They seem to be too busy with their own problems to care about yours.

You are starting to have doubts about your sales abilities.  You are spending a lot of time trying to close a few very big sales opportunities, and now they do not look very promising.  You feel indecisive about continuing on that course.

Your primary job function is to know what is going on in your department and manage for optimum results.  You feel negligent because you haven’t made the time to analyze the sales activities of your sales force or even read their sales forecasts.

You feel guilty because you are working too long and too hard without much in the way of tangible results.  And, your spouse is insisting that you spend more time with your family.

Through all that, you are doing your best to act competent and be competent while trying to hide your doubts and fears.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

What It Feels Like to Be a Sales Manager

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