Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, Divine Comedy has enjoyed modern-day resurgence in the form of a Dan Brown novel (Inferno) and a big-screen thriller starring Brad pitt, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey (Seven) picturising cautionary tales of how the fallen have, in fact, fallen. With Dante’s modus operandi in mind, I have compiled a list of the seven deadly sins of inside sales managers to help you learn from one’s mistakes and steer clear of the fallen’s wayward ways.
Inside Sales Managers Should Learn from Dante’s 7 Deadly Sins
Lust: Inside sales managers lose sight of their target at times, making them wander about in the streets of multiple target verticals that might be alluring from afar, but up close might end up to be unprofitable. Sales managers are instructed to remain committed to the target verticals and markets that resonates well with their value proposition, filling their sales pipeline with valuable and relevant opportunities.
Gluttony: The most deadliest sin of all is when managers are insatiable. “More, More, More” is not always good. Asking for more leads from the marketing team would result in a flood of low-quality opportunities that will consume your reps valuable time. Aim for a narrow funnel of high-quality leads that enables your reps to work on highly prospective opportunities, that crushes sales quota.
Greed: There is nothing wrong in wanting to close more deals, exceed targets, and rain money for your company. But managers are sometimes tempted to bend their ethical standards to win more business. Inside sales managers should always keep a close watch on themselves since managers are always looked upon by subordinates, and when you induce to dabble on questionable sales management practices, your reps tend to follow.
Sloth: When managers take up a complacent attitude, they set a bad example to their reps. Resting on the laurels of previous quarter’s success shows the likes of sloth-like manager. Sales managers should always strive to improve their performance, enticing their reps to exceed defined targets.
Wrath: Going haywire when things don’t go the way you expect it to or when your reps underperform is a sure-fire way to create an environment of fear in your team, which you don’t want. Such an environment kills innovation and experimentation that would have encouraged your team to push harder.
Envy: Inside sales managers that grabs the lion’s share of credit for his reps performance loses the respect of his team. Reps are entitled to earn the major share of credit when things fall in place, and on the flip side, the manager should be quick to take the blame when things don’t go as planned. Inside sales managers should closely work with the team, and transform themselves as leaders. Never be envious when your reps are praised for their performances.
Pride: Pride is the downfall of a man, and it can so be for an inside sales manager. Never be too proud to accept your mistakes when things go wrong. And this is one of the most cardinal sins a sales manager can commit. Sales managers should be open to suggestions and improvements to their sales strategies and processes, rather than holding firmly to your implementations of the past that didn’t quite work out.