Over the years I’ve seen some common themes from my most successful mentors. Every day, they realized they had to check their ego at the door. We’re in this together and getting things done is NOT a one-man job. It’s a collective effort each and every day.
With the growth of millennials in the workplace, you often find they adopt a “work parent” to look up to. I’ve found the best organizations have a long list of work parents that the younger generation can gravitate towards and, more importantly, learn from. Whether they want work-specific or general life advice, millennials feed off of having a motivational resource. The last thing they want is to let that work parent down if they’re not measuring up to expectations.
That being said, here are some ideas for inside sales managers looking to maintain a healthy relationship with their team. Generations aside, these are 5 things I’ve learned from every successful manager that made me go the extra mile for them:
- Don't be afraid to say "I don't know:" I say this to my team all the time. You can’t have all the answers to EVERY question thrown your way. You can pretend you know, but the team will easily see through that over time. When you don’t have the answer, work as a team toward a resolution.
- All successful projects/decisions require collective input: You shouldn't expect to own all decisions, nor should you want to. I always enjoy when we finish up a project and you can’t recall who came up with the idea in the first place. If we’re working together collectively, everyone owns the idea.
- You can never communicate enough: Bottom line: communication makes everyone’s work lives easier. Now, there is a fine line between constant communication and micromanagement. Make sure your team knows your questions are not intended critique, but to make the process more efficient.
- Don't be afraid to say you screwed up: Everyone can relate to a boss who admits they’re not perfect.
- Your way of doing things needs constant evolution: Just because something worked for you for an extended period of time doesn’t mean it doesn't need some periodic tweaking. The only way to further develop is to listen to your team, since they’re the ones closest to the potential problem, and most can understand what the fall-out could be if nothing is done.
I’ve found that it’s the intangibles that I’ve described above that motivate a team rally around a boss. At no point in time would these inside sales managers be described as the “It’s not my problem guy”. We’re in this together. Let’s have some fun and get it done!
How would you describe yourself? What are the traits you see in the bosses you look up to?
Craig Ferrara is the Vice President of Client Operations for AG Salesworks. He has extensive experience in the sales and teleprospecting process. Craig joined AG Salesworks in 2003 and has successfully managed several teams of high-performing Business Development Representatives. To read more of his articles, click here.