Myth #6:The top performers define management ability. Managers often point to their top performers as an indicator of how successful they are as sales managers. However, while the manager may have hired that top performer or grown him or her into that role, the success of that individual is more likely to reflect that person’s drive and ability, rather than anything the manager brought to the table.
Truth #6: The worst performers define management ability. The worst performing sales person on the team illustrates exactly the manager will accept, because that person remains employed. What’s more, the worst performer acts as a drag upon the rest of the team, who are well aware that they must work harder in order to cover for the manager’s willingness to tolerate poor performance.
Myth #5: The manager’s job is to have the answers. Each time a manager answers an employee’s question, he or she becomes a thief. The manager has robbed that person of the opportunity to think and the opportunity to grow. While experience has value, people don’t learn when that hard-won wisdom is handed over on a platter, much less forced down their throat.
Truth #5: The manager’s job is to ask the right questions. The trick to managing effectively is being able to spark, in the employee’s own mind, the thought processes and ideas that will make the employee successful. Great manager know the “magic questions” that help employees discover where they need to improve and how, and which get the commitment necessary to make the improvement. (Bill: These magic questions are the Five Development and Three Commitment questions we reviewed last Saturday)
Myth #4: Quota is an employee management tool. Quota defines the minimum performance standard of an organization and the individual inside that organization. Managers place maximum emphasis on attaining quota. Therefore, when quota is used as a management tool, managers are placing maximum emphasis on minimum performance. The result is entirely predictable: the entire sales team aims at the minimum standard and seldom exceeds it.
Truth #4: Quota is a corporate measurement tool. Quota is simply what the organization needs to achieve in order to fulfill its goals. Quota has nothing to do with what the employee wants from his or her employment with the organization. It does not motivate, even when managers use it as a club to beat employees about the head and shoulders toward the end of the month.