Leadership is about encouraging and developing people to strive to go beyond what their normal expectations would be. Leaders needs to know their place in their team and think “we” and not “me”.
Hi there this is Dylis Guyan and welcome to the Inspired Selling Podcast. Today I have a wonderful guest Wayne Moloney. So, let me just tell you a little bit about Wayne. In Wayne’s words, He is a career business developer who is not afraid to stand up and state clearly that he’s a sales person. I love this about Wayne because there are so many people who shy away from the fact that they are a salesperson. Wayne is right out there and he’s saying “hey that’s me you know, I’m a sales person and proud of it”
Wayne started his sales career as a road warrior and had led marketing and sales teams across three continents and manage listed MNC’s. Regardless of the title, Wayne’s focus is always on business development and that means generating sales of course. The other thing I love about Wayne is that he has a reputation for taking a no nonsense practical approach to sales and sales management and for applying the Lean principle to sales.
He’s written and co-authored a number of books on B2B sales and Lean business and is a member of the Sales Masterminds in Australia; which I have spoken to a few of your colleagues in fact Wayne which has been absolutely fabulous for me so I’m thrilled to be speaking to you from the U.K. right over the water to Australia.
Today Wayne, I know we’re going to have a discussion about sales management and the importance of good sales management. So this interview I guess really is for those who are in management or considering taking a management position or maybe an entrepreneur who is looking to build a sales team and also of course for salespeople so that they can really understand what they should be expecting from a good sales manager. So welcome Wayne.
Wayne: Thanks, Dylis that’s a lot to cover and thanks so much for that introduction I’ll have to look at the recording on that and make note of it for myself for reference.
Dylis: You’re highly respected in your field Wayne.
Wayne: Thank you.
Dylis: So it’s a pleasure to have you on today. Let’s talk first of all then about the importance of sales management. We both know from experience that if you’ve got a good sales team and this is something that I always used to do when I was sales director for Barclays. If it was a good sales team I would say “Who’s the manager”? If there was not such a good sales team I would say, “Who is the manager?” The team is this good as the manager in most cases. So what’s your take on this in terms of the importance of managers really up up-skilling themselves to be able to effectively lead teams and what are the ramifications of not having those skills?
Wayne: Well I guess that…there was an interesting quote by Henry Ford…and as you get to know me Dylis over the years you’ll know that I draw on quotes of people quite a bit. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success.” To me it’s really the role of the sales manager in the organisation to ensure that people are working together, to ensure success within the organisation’s sales in generating revenue.
One of the things that sales managers must do is they must look at letting their team do that work and developing their team to achieve that and in particular not going out there and trying to do that work themselves. That’s one of the failings I see in many sales managers, especially those that have come up through the ranks of being sales people is that selling is what they know, management is not what they know and leadership they know even less. So they do tend to want to take on that sales role and they struggle to relinquish that and move into that sales management position.
For the success of a sales team, the success of the individuals within the sales team, the sales manager needs to step back from selling, he needs to continually develop himself and understand the methodologies that are out there, the changes that are happening in selling and he needs to be able to instil those changes within his sales team and help them develop so that he gets success.
To me it’s not just about management; management to me is about administration. To me it’s much more about leadership and leadership to me is about encouraging people to strive to go beyond what their normal expectations would be, and you know that’s a good leader. That’s what I believe sales managers should be, they should be a good leader not just an administrator.
Dylis: Completely, I remember years ago a colleague of mine, he was a sales director as well but we used to call him Mr Email manager.
Dylis: He was always cutting and dicing figures and sending emails out and actually the team didn’t respect him at all. He wasn’t a leader in that sense. I think the sad thing is and I’m sure you’ve seen these statistics too. There was some statistics I read I think it was from Miller Heiman and it said that 18.6% of sales people will leave their employer every year.
Dylis: Now that kind of movement of people it is a huge cost in both time and money to organisations and yet the sales leader can make a huge impact on that when they’re really leading properly.
Wayne: Its interesting you use those statistics there are some statistics done within the H.R. organisations that I’ve worked with and they’re saying that you know it might be a 18.6% leaving each year but 70% of those people that are leaving are not leaving a company they’re leaving a manager. A lot of it comes down to, you just use the term respect, and that the people didn’t respect the manager you were talking about.
One of the problems with a lot of people that move into management in the first instance is they believe that they can command respect. You cannot command respect you can only earn respect and you can only earn respect by helping people achieve what they need to achieve and by respecting those individuals themselves.
One of the reasons I wrote my book ‘The Roadmap to Sales Management Success’ was at the ripe old age of about twenty three I was moved into a sales management position because I was a gun salesman. I went from being a gun salesman to wondering what the hell I was doing because I had absolutely no idea from a sales management perspective. I had no training; no experience and I couldn’t understand why the guys weren’t following me and doing what I expected. It was because I moved into it I think really so naive so I just expected that they would respect me you know and they didn’t.
Dylis: Because you had the label.
Wayne: Yeah exactly and the label doesn’t work you have to earn that respect and you can only earn that respect by being respectful of other people as well and helping them achieve something. They need to see value in exactly the same way a client needs to see value in their salespeople, salespeople need to see value in their sales manager otherwise that respect won’t be there.
Dylis: Yeah exactly and you know looking back I’ve had good and bad managers. I’ve been self employed now for 18 years but prior to that I had a really excellent manager who I respected, he was motivational, and he shared goals with us. He made you feel like you could walk on water and in fact a lot of us did walk on water with the results that we achieved.
But on the other side of the coin I’ve had the exact opposite of that where you’ve had managers who didn’t really pay attention, they cut the numbers they didn’t develop you as a person and the difference is like chalk and cheese.
Wayne: Well a good sales manager knows their place in a team. There was a, I’m just trying to recall I think it was Paul Bryant a US football coach and he said that no characters ever won a game by what he does on the field. It’s all what his players do that counts and that’s exactly the same in a sales role and a sales manager. He needs to understand that’s its only his team that can get the results that he’s judged by. He can only do that by empowering his team, training and developing his team and again we come back to that word respect.
Dylis: Yeah and I know one of your principle is about communication, so just talk to us about that for a moment because that is so key, so critical isn’t it?
Wayne: Yes, it is and good sales managers need to be excellent communicators and I don’t just mean they need to know how to talk. As you would know Dylis from your experience in sales and sales management yourself, communication is about listening and it’s about understanding. It’s not just about talking you know that’s just a small part of it.
A good sales manager needs to be able to translate strategy, coming from above so the sales team need to be on to translate a company’s strategy into action so that they are building their sales plan and helping their sales team develop their own individual sales plans around the company’s strategy.
They also need to act as a conduit from the market back into the organisation and that to me is critical that the sales manager and his team are at the coalface. So there’s no one better to feed information back into marketing, to R&D, to finance, as to what’s happening and what the company needs to do, to meet the needs of the marketplace than the salesperson.
Wayne: You can do all the formal market research you want but nothing beats the feet on the street. That sort of communication is absolutely necessary so it’s up, down and sideways, they need to be able to communicate on all levels.
Dylis: You know what’s interesting I was talking to a friend of mine in fact this week and she was talking about her colleague who’s having difficulty in the business motivating the staff and getting the staff to do what they need to do effectively and efficiently. They’ve got all of these motivators, as she saw it, in place you know; they give them prizes and they’ve got incentives and so on but it’s not cutting the mustard it’s just not working and these people it sounds like are really demotivated team.
When I asked my friend, “Do they understand the strategy? Have you shared the vision with them of what that plan for the business is? She said “Oh no, none of that?”
“Do you have appraisals and allow them to talk and talk about what they want in the business, what they’re looking to achieve in the business?” “No, no none of that” So they’re spending all of this money on incentives and so on but there’s no good communication going on and if they can get that in place I believe that they will make strides forward.
Wayne: The best sales managers I’ve ever worked for actually empowered me. You know the motivation the incentives were all great but I found that if I was empowered to go out and achieve what we agreed…we had a mutual agreement on what needed to be done and a mutual understanding on how I would go about it and specific milestones along way and I found that when I was empowered to then go out and do my job I achieved everything that I needed to do to make the most of the incentives that were in place.
So it was never the incentives that were the motivator, the motivator was always being empowered and being trusted to go out and actually do my job and being taught how to do it. That is what a good sales manager does. A good sales manager…I’ve already talked about leading and the importance of that but a good sales manager will understand the strengths and weaknesses of each individual within his team and he will work with them to leverage the strengths to help achieve their goals but then work with them to address those weaknesses so that they can go out and become better sales people than what they are now and better business people in general.
Dylis: Also understanding that different things motivate different people so for example not everybody wants a promotion but then there are some that do so it’s getting to know your people isn’t it.
Wayne: It is and it’s interesting you talk about promotion because it’s only been recently that sales management hasn’t been seen as just the natural progression in sales. All too often sales people saw the only way they had of progressing within an organisation was to go from sales to sales management. There was only a few of the sales people that I’ve worked with that have actually stood back and gone; no I don’t want to go in that path I’m quite happy to be a salesperson.
These days I think it’s respected much more by people to be able to say no I am just a sales person, I’m a damn good sales person and I’ll be respected for what I can do in that space as distinct from having to prove myself as a sales manager or something else within the organisation.
Dylis: Yeah quite and this all goes back to the communication doesn’t it; knowing your people and listening and having those conversations between themselves.
Wayne: Yeah absolutely and it comes down to knowing the role of the sales manager. We’ve spoken about respect, we’ve spoken about the fact that a sales manager needs to know their place in their team, but a sales manager also thinks we and not me.
You know as a salesman, let’s face it sales people tend to be fairly insular. Its only in recent times that we’ve really started to see salespeople become much more team players, you know the lone wolf of days gone by were always a highly respected salesperson because they could go out there and actually achieve great results.
That’s not happening these days. A sales manager needs to think we and not me. He needs to understand that a champion team is always going to be the team of champions, that old cliché and got a strong interest in coaching and developing their same team so that they can achieve those greater results it’s synergistic approach from sales managers perspective.
Dylis: Yeah I really want to kind of dig into this coaching and development because that is just again so critical to the success of the team to the we; just expand on that Wayne.
Wayne: Coaching and development all too often I’ve seen organisations…our sales are dropping what we need to do? We need to generate more revenue, I know what we’ll do, we’ll send our sales people out on a three day sales training course and everything will be fixed. Look as we know, you know, sales training doesn’t work unless it’s reinforced.
So one of the things with the clients that I work with now one of the things that I ask them is well work with me and say I want you to train your sales people. One of the first things I ask them what training have you done with your sales manager? All too often I get like a glazed look back at me, why would we train our sales manager?
One of the things I try to reinforce with them is if you train your sales manager he can then train his sales people and he can reinforce whatever the training is that’s done there. You get much more bang for your buck or your pound you know. You need to be…the sales manager needs to be right across with all the latest trends are and I use that term guardedly. We’ve got insider selling, we’ve got challenger selling we’ve got all of these people out there that are considered thought-leaders that that are always coming up something new and different about the way we should sell.
At the end of the day selling hasn’t changed a lot. Artificial intelligence is having an impact but people still buy from people and sales manages need to be able to instil that confidence within their sales team and they need to be able to continue to reinforce with them not just what all the latest trends are in selling and challenger selling yeah it’s got some great concepts but it doesn’t replace relationship or solutions selling, it fits in with that.
So they need to understand how do those things migrate? How do you migrate along the path of sales development and how do you then bring that back to your sales team? So the sales manager needs to be on top of what’s happening and continually bringing this back to the sales person.
As I said earlier Dylis, he needs to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his sales team so that he can identify what the salesperson needs developed and work with each individual to do that. In sales training there’s no one size fits all. You may do Miller Heiman you may do challenger selling but at the end of the day that’s just a template. The sales manager’s job is to identify what size has to fit that template for each individual and then work with them to get most out of them.
Dylis: Yeah and it’s about the sales manager being responsible for his people, for each of the individuals; so responsible down and accountable up to the higher levels of the business. I’d just like to share a story with you actually on this in terms of development. I remember working with a team of sales managers and I was asking them about how they felt about what their teams were doing.
They said, and these were the exact words from one particular person, but it was the feeling across the room and they said, “We told them what to do and they don’t do it and then I tell them again and they still don’t do it then I get really cross.” It was so funny because what I did I put some of the instructions up on a screen from a power point and I read it to them so that they could read it, then I read it to them and then I turned it off.
I said, “Right I just need you to write those steps down for me please” And they hung their heads in shame honestly. It was the most…it’s such a memorable occasion you know I’m recalling it to you now and this was a number of years ago. They said “Oh God I feel ashamed” And it was from that moment that they realised the impact that they could have if they would, explain something, then demonstrate it and then let them try it and do it until they were proficient at doing it. I call it the thermometer test, you know, get that thermometer out and check that their still at the standard you want them to be.
Wayne: Yeah absolutely Dylis and I work on very similar principle you know; tell them what to do, show them what to do and that’s the demonstration and then practice or direct you know you’re work through that cycle continually. If you’re developing someone you need to understand that there are small steps you know, tell them what to do and show them what to do on the simpler things and then praise them or redirect them.
If you’ve got someone at the simple task that needs to be continually redirected maybe you need to sit down and have you know a fairly serious talk to them about whether they’ve made the right career choice but the objective there of course is to continually challenge that person and yes, you may have to redirect them a couple of times to get them to a point where you’re praising the moving up to the next step.
It’s only by the sales manager understanding the quirks of the individual and the weaknesses of the individual as well as their strengths so that they can move them through that path. It’s like a great coach; I bring a lot of sporting analogies back. I have a lot of experience coaching or I’ve coached, I’ve been a trainer of rugby league teams…
Dylis: I didn’t know that Wayne, that’s something I didn’t know about you.
Wayne: I’ve also been an international coach of martial arts teams in my background. So, I’ve got a big sporting background and the thing that I find is there’s really nothing that I’ve learnt in business that isn’t applicable to sport and there’s nothing I’ve learnt in sports that isn’t applicable to business. I was quite a good martial artist I enjoyed it, but I never got more satisfaction than when I had guys that you know that went beyond what my capabilities were that I was able to teach them to be better than me.
You know that was that was great that was just such a fulfilling experience and to have them come back and recognise that I’ve done that, that was even better you know to have them come back and acknowledge that you had made those sacrifices for them and help them achieve that. When you’ve got a team in sport you need each individual performing their best so that the team has got the end results.
Wayne: I’ve actually got a quote here that I was actually…I looked at today. I was putting together a document for something else and Michael Jordan once said ‘talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’ You know it’s timely that I had it out today but it’s so true. The sales manager needs to look for talent because he only wants the most talented people he’s got there but he wants people that he can develop so they become more talented but what he’s really looking for is that teamwork so that they can win the championship so that they can actually you know achieve the team goals and that’s why the business will improve.
Dylis: Of course one of the other things with working together as a team is to break down these silos of information because everybody’s got different knowledge and expertise and so on and it’s breaking that down and really sharing that together as a team isn’t it, blending that together. It’s like putting it all into the melting pot as opposed to each individual holding that intelligence.
Wayne: There was…I’m just trying to think who it was. It’s a quote that I actually have in one of my books and it was “Knowledge is power” and I just can’t think who said that now but it goes back to the sixty’s you know what I’m saying knowledge is power and it’s exactly the opposite now. Knowledge is not power, distribution of knowledge is power so you know being able to share that knowledge and create value with the information and the content that you share, that’s where the power is these days. Not in that silo of keeping it all to yourself, it’s being able to distribute that because if you don’t someone’s going to find it anyhow these days.
Dylis: The sales manager is the catalyst for that.
Wayne: Yeah absolutely has to be. All too often I’ve seen, and I’ve got four decades of experience in selling and managing and all too often I’ve seen sales managers that have not wanted to share information because I don’t know…they’re somehow afraid that someone is going to take their job, but their job is to help their people become better. Through that they will become better sales managers and have greater respect and get rewards that go with that themselves.
Dylis: So far we’ve talked about then sharing the strategy, the business strategy and then breaking that down to the individuals and so on, for the manager to think we not me. Think about the team breakdown the silos of information put that all in the melting pot to really develop and grow the team. We’ve talked about good communication and making sure that there’s a two way communication and that there is transparency in communication we didn’t touch on that but I think that’s important too.
Wayne: It is transparency is absolutely critical because again you talked about strategy and not sharing strategy. One of the things I work with a number of my clients not just in sales but in business strategy and one of the things I say to them is you need to be able to put your business plan onto one page and they turn around and they say well what do you mean how do I put my business plan onto one page.
It’s really quite simple what is your vision? You know, what is your vision, where do you want to be and when do you want to be there? What are the key strategic initiatives that you have for the business and then in each of the key areas of the business what are the three key objectives that you’ve got? What are your three key sales, marketing, systems and finance objectives?
All of that can go on one page and what I say to them is there’s nothing on there that you shouldn’t be able to pin up on the wall or any part of your office or your workshop and share it with your people because they need to know what they’re working towards.
Dylis: Yes, exactly and then they need to know what they think their K.P.I are. What are my specific K.P.I.’s to meet that overall vision and they need to have that communicated; a two-way communication they agree with and the steps that sit behind that.
Wayne: Absolutely and it’s not just K.P.I.’s. When we talk about K.P.I’s. people tend to think that we’re measuring the past you know we’re measuring performance the lagging indicators it’s also the leading indicators with people in particular sales people. The sales manager needs to be able to help the salesman understand… saleswoman I’m sorry. I have three daughters and they’re all guys to me. So yeah I’m guarding my…
Dylis: When you say he I know you mean we.
Wayne: The sales manager’s job is…and I’ve lost my train of thought now.
Dylis: Right we were talking about Key Performance Indicators.
Wayne: That’s right the sales manager’s role is not just to say, you know, what the lagging indicator was or have you made those numbers have you not made those numbers but their sales manager’s job is to help the person understand what they need to do to be successful you know not just the number of calls they need make but how do they go about building their own profile, how they go about understanding what the value proposition is that their taking in the market? How do they understand what the value proposition is for each individual opportunity they’re working on?
The sales manager needs to sit down and understand with their staff so that they’re able to develop each opportunity but develop each sales person again.
Dylis: Yeah so that goes back to one of the other points that we mentioned in terms of this development of your people and it really is critical isn’t it that you develop each individual who is exactly that, they are all different, all individual all with different needs.
Dylis: You know some people will need close hand-holding maybe for a while you’ll have others who want the autonomy, they want to be able to go out and work their own business and just have a touch with the sales manager, metaphorically speaking of course. So, it really is about understanding your people their personalities, what they want from the role and their development needs are and also what their strengths are because you can use those strengths to help build others in the team.
You know it doesn’t always have to land on the shoulders of the sales manager. A good strength in one of your team, they could become the mentor in that particular area for other members of the team.
Wayne: Absolutely yeah it’s about sharing that load if you can and leveraging the strengths of the team and a good team will understand that teamwork is essential you know it really comes back to quote I put forward earlier from Ford about you know teamwork is success.
If you’ve got someone in your team that is so isolated that they’re not prepared to work as part of that team and share and help you really need to question just how long that person is likely to be able to stay a part of that team because what will happen is they will impact moral and when moral is impacted, it’s then going to have a very significant impact overall on the revenue generation for the organisation.
That’s something that I know a lot of your audience are entrepreneurs they’re people that would be looking at, you know, they’re probably been doing the selling in their organisation and they’ve now got to look at; my God I’ve got to trust this to someone else. I’ve got to bring someone on and that is really really difficult.
I encourage anyone that’s making that step to look at the sorts of things that you’re putting up on your website, look at the sort of things that you know that you’re talking about on your Facebook page because all of those are helping people become inspired not just in selling but inspired in the way that they’re able to manage those people that make that transition from doing it, to now letting others do it.
Dylis: I can see another couple of interviews in the future Wayne because I think recruitment is a big topic also that we can cover and as you’ve just mentioned how to transition from maybe doing the selling yourself to bringing on a team and not just the recruitment of the team but also that transition from being the sales person into the sales manager.
Wayne: Well there’s a couple of things that…in fact you’ve hit on two chapters in my sales management book one is that the sales manager is a team selector and the other is the sales managers is a change agent and anyone is a sales management role needs to understand that you know it’s not you can’t just define it in a paragraph. There are a number of different facets to sales management and to be good as a sales manager you need to understand not necessarily how to master each one of them, but you need to understand how to be good at each one of them
Dylis: Exactly, yes. Listen Wayne I could talk to you all day because I absolutely love with a passion both sales and sales management, as you know, and I know you do too. So share with us again the name of your book.
Wayne: ‘Your Roadmap to Sales Management Success’.
Dylis: ‘Your Roadmap to Sales Management Success’ excellent is it on Amazon?
Wayne: It is and it’s written…look I’m not looking to go out there with groundbreaking new ideas. It’s a handbook for anyone that’s new to sales management, any business owners that now have to manage people that are doing selling or sales managers that just want to go back and refresh what actually works so it’s a practical handbook of forty years experience.
Dylis: Actually you know Wayne I don’t think it has to be groundbreaking because if you can do the basic things well you will actually get great results.
Wayne: Absolutely I agree.
Dylis: I’m a great advocate of that you know so if anyone would like to get in touch with you Wayne how can you do that?
Wayne: Well Wayne Moloney and that’s Moloney with an O, M-O-L-O-N-E-Y so its Wayne@waynemoloney.com and they will find me on there, they’ll get my blog or they can find me on LinkedIn and I’m happy to connect with anyone that wants to send through and share thoughts and ideas on sales and business development.
Dylis: Brilliant, thank you so much Wayne It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you and getting your insights on this, it’s such an important role you know. The sales leader the sales manager is so impactful in an organisation. So thanks again and hopefully we’ll speak again soon.
Wayne: I look forward to it thanks Dylis.
Dylis: Thanks bye.
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