There seems to be a debate about sales managers making joint sales calls with salespeople. There’s the obvious ones; big order pending, resolution of a major problem, introduction of a new territory salesperson to name a few. But how about just some regularly scheduled days that a sales manager spends with a salesperson making planned, but not critical, sales calls?
There are learning opportunities for both the manager and salesperson. I think we forget how important it is for the manager to keep in touch with her customers and marketplace. Get out of the office and see what’s really going on out there. I wonder why there is a reluctance on the part of the manager to make the joint calls. Managers can offer coaching, suggestions and generally have some quality time catching up with their salespeople’s lives. How can that be negative?
From a salesperson perspective, here’s an opportunity for you to show your manager the trials and tribulations of your world. What are the highs and lows of your customers and territory? Introduce your manager to your new customers and old customers with new contacts. Talk about the customers you struggle with and those that are solid and why they are solid. Get some 3rd person perspective on your sales techniques and product knowledge. Plus, have the opportunity to get to know your manager a bit better. Not unlike you would do with a customer, learn what drives your manager. What are his hobbies, what gets him excited and what drives him nuts? There’s always room for improvement.
I think managers and salespeople who don’t take advantage of joint calls are truly missing a great opportunity to advance their knowledge, their craft and yes, their career. Make the call today and surprise your manager or salesperson. “Hey, how about spending a day with me making calls?”