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3 Helpful Lessons That Will Make You A Better Inside Sales Manager


Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest entry from the face of The Crap Report and Inside Salse Manager for 

Ah, back in the old hallowed halls of AG Salesworks!  It's so nice to see my old friends again.  

Look, there's Craigo dancing between the cubes!  Does Michelle have any of those awesome pumpkin chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen?  Hey, there's Matt dressed up like General Patton for no good reason at all!  

I love AG Salesworks.  I believe in AG Salesworks.  Heck - I helped build AG Salesworks for eight years, how can I not!?  But in all seriousness, I was really honored that they asked me to write a guest blog post for them.  It's not every day that people and companies part ways yet still remain so close, like I've been able to with folks from AG.  It's been over a year since I've worked here, yet the lessons that I've learned here remain as close to me as ever.  I've been able to take what I've learned at AG and transfer all of that knowledge to my new position, as Inside Sales Manager at company that addresses the unique lifecycle of care needs that each family goes through- including childcare, special needs, senior care, pet care, tutoring and housekeeping). You know, I guess when I think about it, there are three lessons that have most made an impact on the way that I lead my team, and I have three people to thank for them.

The first lesson that has most impacted the way that I lead my inside team is one that I learned from Pete Gracey.  Pete always taught me that if I take care of my employees, they'll take care of me.  This is true on a number of levels.  On one hand, you've got the obvious - treat your people well and they will, in turn, want to work harder and succeed more for you.  Think about it, though, from the other hand's perspective:  take care of your employees by giving them the tools they need to be most successful, and because of their increase in productivity, they will essentially take care of you by helping you achieve the goals that you have set before you.  I know that if I can put Sales 2.0 tools in the hands of my ISR's, whether it's as simple as click-to-call technology that integrates with to increase the number of dials they can make, or subscriptions to list generation and contact data solution tools like ZoomInfo or NetProspex to improve the likelihood that they're talking to the right decision makers, they're going to be better and produce more.  It may not always look like additional "physical" tools, too.  Investing in skills enhancement training for your reps or helping them map out what their sales career can look like at your organization are other ways that you can treat your people well. I've made sure that as far as it depends on me, I'm doing all that I can to invest in my ISR's.

The second lesson that has most impacted the way that I lead my team is one that I learned from Paul Alves.  Although he used to say it in a joking manner when reps hit their goals early in a month, Paul would always yell out from his office, "We're not afraid to over-achieve, right!?"  I love this!  Who, when asked this question, is going to answer in the negative?!  I mean, if you do, you're totally in the wrong profession.  You might just be totally wrong in life.  The lesson is pretty simple here - good enough is never good enough.  When I think I've had a good month, or that my reps have had a good month, I have to snap back to reality and realize that resting on my laurels isn't going to get me anywhere; there's another month, another quarter, another year to think about.  My ISR's need to know that it's not going to get them anywhere either.  In fact, if you take a look at The Bridge Group's 2010 Inside Sales Comp and Metrics Report, you'll see that inside sales quotas are rising, yet only 50% of reps are hitting those goals.  Regardless of whether your on the better side of that 50% or not, the goals are rising, and I want to be above that goal, never being afraid of over-achieving.  I want my reps to feel that way, too.

Lastly, the third lesson that has most impacted the way that I lead my inside team is one that I learned from Richard April.  Richard always taught me to follow my passion.  This is a little bit more of a personal lesson, but it helps me daily as a leader of ISR's.  I can't expect every rep to have the same passion level about Inside Sales as I do, because they're not me.  What I can expect is for them to have their own passion for telesales - and if they don't, I need to help them decide whether or not the job is right for them.  I don't want someone on my team who feels like being an ISR for me is good for them "right now."  I want people on my team who are excited to pick up the phone and call people who are not expecting them.  

At all.  


I want team members who are jazzed up when they get a new list of prospects to call because they see it as a new challenge, not just another list to plow through.  But, and this is a big but, I can't expect any of that from my team if I'm not twice as excited as they are.  Richard's lesson is a good reminder for me.  When I get up in the morning, if I'm not psyched about running an Inside Sales team, I need to figure out what's wrong, because If I'm not, I sure as hell can't expect my team to be.  Ice Cube said it best, friends, "You better check yo'self before you wreck yo'self."  I've got to get myself back on track and do it fast enough so that it doesn't negatively affect my team.

Well, there you have it - three lessons that have stuck with me since I've left AG.  What about you, though?  What managerial lessons have you learned that have made you a better manager?


Great tips Chris. Any manager would be a fool not to incorporate them. It's interesting that the lessons you learned all have to with attitude. I have to wonder - did you really learn the at AG or did you bring them with you? Either way, it certainly helps to nurture a positive attitude, whether you're an employer or employee. 
Nicely done! 
Don F Perkins 
<a href=>Mindmulch B2B Sales Blog
Posted @ Wednesday, May 11, 2024 3:09 PM by Don F Perkins
Thanks for the comment Don!  
AG is where I learned how to manage where I got my first opportunity to manage. Although the sentiments behind those lessons would have been something I would have agreed with when I started at AG, seeing them actually play out in a day to day business setting helped me to internalize those lessons because of the experience. 
I don't know - does that make sense?
Posted @ Wednesday, May 11, 2024 5:01 PM by Chris Snell
Yes. The mark of a great manager is bringing out the greatness in others. It sounds like Peter Gracey was that manager for you!
Posted @ Friday, May 13, 2024 4:36 PM by Don F Perkins
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