Sales Manager Reality Check: 9 Things Your Reps Are Thinking But Not Saying

April 14, 2014 by

Sales Manager Reality Check: 9 Things Your Reps Are Thinking But Not Saying

Dear sales managers,

It’s time to face the music. Your business development reps (BDRs) / sales reps may respect you, they may work hard for you, but they also likely have a couple questions for you that they are never going to verbalize. These are your ‘blind spots’, and trust me — you do have them.

You can have a healthy sense of the team dynamic and a steady finger on the pulse of the team’s activity, but do you really know what your BDRs are thinking?

Sales Manager Reality Check: 9 Things Your Reps Are Thinking But Not Saying

We gathered insights from a group of BDRs to find out two things:

  • What is it exactly that they want to know?
  • What is it that they want you to know?

My recommendation: go ahead and address these questions openly with your team. Or at the very least, keep these questions top-of-mind for your next one-on-one session. You will be amazed at the results and respect it might yield you.

1) What is it that you actually do?

“I see you at your computer all day tinkering on salesforce.com and going in and out of meetings, but I don’t actually know what you do. Maybe if I had a bit more visibility into the work you are doing, (and know that you aren’t just online shopping) I would feel better about my daily contribution to your team.”

2) Is my work really valued?

“Knowing how much my work counts beyond the occasional ‘nice job’ and ‘way to go’ would be meaningful. I want to know that the work I am doing is impacting my business and that I am actually valued by the entire organization.”

3) You don’t know my life!

“Unless you are living and breathing this job with me, you don’t really know how hard it is. Please spend some time on the phones and show me how you handle rejection, objections, and questions in realtime rather than in a canned role-playing session.”

4) Pay attention to me.

“I do my best every day to ask about your weekend and kids so please recognize when my numbers are stellar or my hair looks effing amazing.”

5) Drink with me.

“When it’s beer:thirty,  grab a beer and come shoot the sh*t with me. I know your whole life doesn’t revolve around work so make sure you set aside time to let loose and connect with the entire team on a personal level– because right now you’re anything but fun.”

6) What are you doing about that rep who hasn’t hit his number in two quarters?

“It’s not that I’m trying to be nosy, I just want to know what your plan is for dealing with this guy who is blatantly bringing our team down. FYI, I judge you based on how your handle your weak reps, and I want to know that my hardwork isn’t being met with the same response as theirs.”

7) Do you have plans for growth established already?

“You said we were going to add 20 new people this year, and no one has walked through the door. I’m a little nervous — what is your plan for growth and where do I fall in that picture?”

8) What happens if our team doesn’t hit our number?

“And more importantly, what happens if I don’t hit my number. You always say to hit your goals but what ACTUALLY happens if I miss the mark?”

9) Will you give me a recommendation?

“I’m not going anywhere…yet. But there is going to come a time when i need to move on to the next adventure, and it would be nice to know that you will be there with a glowing letter of recommendation.”

These are likely just the tip of the iceberg. But by addressing these questions and concerns proactively you’ll establish an open channel of communication that will reap big benefits in the long run!

 

  • John Hoskins

    Terrific list – these are retention strategies for certain. Well done!

  • Jeff

    Powerful.