A bad software sales manager can make a negative impact that has the potential to translate into costing an organization millions of dollars. Thankfully they aren’t hard to spot and their detrimental behaviors can be addressed, lessening their impact and removing their negative influence. 

“If you don’t want this job, I’ll find someone who does.” 

The phrase above is one we hear bad managers utter constantly. It focuses primarily on the transaction, identifying the employee as more of a device than a person, a part that is replaceable. How likely is a salesperson to invest intellectual and emotional capital into a team they do not feel essential to? 

A good software sales manager supports their employees and does everything possible to make them feel like a vital and unique sales team member. Good software sales managers build leaders while increasing profitability.  

“I’ll take it under advisement.”

This isn’t a phrase anyone outside the business world uses, mainly because it is a polite way to tell an employee what they say doesn’t matter. It is a signal to how little they value those they are supposed to be leading towards a profitable and beneficial goal. It shows an unwillingness to engage and an inability to assimilate the collective information of an effective sales team.

A good software sales manager knows their team is a resource. It has an invaluable set of perspectives, each of which provides access to the persona they represent. A good sales team will be diverse in their approach and adaptable because of it. We want our sales team members to contribute and be part of the team in ways they can take pride in. Most people want to know what they do matters. By providing some form of positive feedback, a manager creates an opportunity for the employee to engage, and in turn, helps them become a bigger part of that company culture.

“Who gave you permission to do that?” 

A bad software sales manager’s failing or mediocre career is typically because of a stubborn attitude and the inability to fully mobilize their team’s potential. Often these managers focus on the hierarchical power they have access to, gripping control tight, terrified to relinquish it or give credit for success to anyone but themselves.

A good software sales manager doesn’t micromanage their team. They employ an agile approach allowing their employees to deal with issues directly, building and maintaining a level of trust and respect that will ultimately enhance their capabilities within the industry. An effective leader achieves their goals through a collaborative effort, not through pure delegation. 

“You’re lucky to have a job at all.” 

Ruling by fear is seldom productive. It doesn’t allow for failure, and without failure, you are dealing with a severe lack of teachable moments that can benefit and increase your working industrial knowledge. 

A good software sales manager teaches their team that failure will happen, but that they can be the stop before success and necessary to test the strength of an idea. 

“I don’t want to see you doing <example here> when you’re on the clock.” 

A person is not a machine and if metal exhaustion is not addressed, physical presence is inconsequential. A bad software sales manager doesn’t take this into account, even though the fix can be an easy one. 

A simple way to replenish your mental reserves is to break away from work momentarily to decompress, do anything that will allow for new perspectives to form and reform in your mind. Every time we come back to a thought, we are looking at it in a unique way, surrounded by fresh circumstances, taking into account factors we might not have considered before. Stand up, take a walk or go get a cup of coffee. Any of these activities might allow an overworked employee to catch their mental breath, and ultimately allow them to be more effective at their job.

At Sales Search International, we look for those leaders ready to fully utilize talented salespeople at their disposal, those comfortable and excited by the potential they see in the teams they guide. 

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