Sales managers problems are the problems that most face sales managers face each and every day. In other words, the ‘stuff’ that gets you in trouble. So, what exactly are those problems? And what can you do about it? Today on The Funnel we talk about the most common sales managers problems and how to stop the cycle in its tracks. As always if you have any questions please schedule a free 30-minute consultation and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.


What we’re going to cover:

  • Problems
  • Stuff that gets you in trouble
  • What you can do about it





Things you say

“It’s who you are as a manager, and I’m not talking about how you sit and talk to people. It’s how you conduct yourself in the everyday business life as a sales manager, it means something. The things you say mean something.”


How you say it

“Some people take the things you say to heart, some people take it inappropriately, and others read what you’re doing then react based accordingly. So, not only is it the things that you say as a manager but it’s how you say it. In other words, body language, inflection, and tonality in terms of how you speak.”


Inconsistencies in the message

“It’s important to stay consistent. If you have inconsistencies in the message and inconsistencies in the way you conduct yourself, you’re going to have problems.”


Team player?

“You’re going to have problems with team players, being a team player, not being a team player, people questioning what a team player means, questioning the culture.”


Stuff that gets you in trouble


Sales clichés

“Everybody puts clichés out there and they speak in clichés. People have resorted to saying nothing when they say something, they’re speaking clichés because it’s what doesn’t get them in trouble. Sales managers who speak in clichés cause themselves problems.”

“Like “I need a little more from you this month”. Those clichés tend to wear sales reps down because you’re not really saying anything. What do you mean by I have to take it up a notch, I’m at 130% quota? So, sales clichés tend to get sales managers in trouble because they don’t use them properly and they use them as a crutch to speak to their team.”


Whatever happened to?

“Let’s set the stage, the sales rep is working on a big deal, they’ve done all their work, they’re going through the process, they documented it, everybody is on the same page, and then out of the blue a manager comes up and says whatever happened to such and such. Then the rep looks at them like are you kidding me? And rep feels like they’re explaining themselves over and over again.”

“If the manager says that because they’re not meeting regularly and they don’t know what’s going on, really? Seriously? That shows how much you care, that shows how much you pay attention to what’s in the CRM. You’re shooting yourself in the foot as a manager when you do that.”


Upper Management under the bus

For example by saying ‘this policy really sucks and I agree with you but we have to do it.’ You’re not doing yourself any good, as a manager, by throwing upper management under the bus. What are you doing trying to be cool? It doesn’t work that way. You’re their boss. You have the policy to implement if you have a problem with the policy you deal with it with the owner.”


Helpless routine

“The helpless routine is where you’re not throwing your boss under the bus but you’re saying it’s out of my hands, there’s nothing we can do about it. You’re basically distancing yourself from the decision and pushing it on somebody else by saying there’s nothing I can do.”

“Again, if nothing can be done because a decision was made above you, you say look this is the policy, this is the decision we’ve made, and we’re moving on.”

Different set of rules

“Everybody has to come in Monday at 9 am except for so and so because they’re selling more than you. Everybody should be under the same set of rules. When you create a different set of rules for people they act as though they are above the law.”


Side with the team

“You want to be on your team’s side, you want to be the person that takes care of business for them, but you don’t want to pull them into the muck of what you’re dealing with above you, that’s why you get paid to be a manager.”


What you can do about it


Stop with the clichés

“Stop the clichés. Do your best to stop saying kick the can down the road, throw the baby out with the bathwater, and all the other ones.”


CRM eliminates whatever happened to

“The CRM eliminates the whatever happened to. If you’re actively inside there managing it, working it, reading it, understanding it, actually having questions.That tells them you’re paying attention, you get the response back you need, without saying whatever happened to and having them start the story over and over again.”


You are management

“Remember you are management. You’re not a rep anymore, you need to start acting like one. And that means biting your tongue and not always saying what’s really on your mind with the reps.”


Same rules for all

“Remember the same rules should apply for all, you will get yourself in trouble by restructuring special rules for special people.”


Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.

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