the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about
sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from
readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to
use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note
– my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no
way reflect my company or specific clients.
Q: I am a sales rep with 14 years of
experience. I’ve been with my current company for 1 year. I feel like my sales
manager is overmanaging-micromanaging me and I don’t like it. I really like the
company and products I’m selling, but I’m thinking of leaving because of this
manager. Do you have any advice before I pull the plug?
A: More sales people quit their jobs
because of management than for any other reason. It could be the manager, the
company’s policies, or the compensation, but in more cases it is due to the
manager. Even in the very best organizations, one bad manager can ruin a sales
team. You are not alone, but you can give it one last try before moving on. You
need to address this situation directly, one-on-one, with your manager. The conversation
needs to be short and to the point, but you must maintain your composure and be
extremely professional. It may go something like this: Susan, I appreciate
everything you are doing for me, but I must admit I feel I could be performing
a little better. You see, I feel like you are smothering me a little bit.
Obviously, you hired me because I have the experience to do the job, and I am
doing the job. But, I am not used to having a manager that micromanages in this
manner. I could be doing better for you, me, the company, and the customers if
you gave me just a little more breathing room. I know you are accustomed to
managing lower level sales people, and I appreciate that, but I am not one of
those folks. Would you mind if we changed things up a little bit? How about we
meet once per week or every other week? If Susan appreciates you as a sales
person, she will be agreeable. If she is not, if she becomes defensive or says
no because that is her way, then you must make a decision on your future.
Addressing the situation head on is the only way to go. Good luck to you.