One thing I hear commonly from franchise owners and branch managers that I’m talking to, is that they need a sales manager to manage their people.
They espouse a variety of reasons, but the underlying sentiment is the same: if only they had a sales manager taking care of the people and results, all would be well.
I understand why they say this.
Why this happens
Taking on a new franchise – or being promoted to branch management, is an exciting move. An expensive one in many cases, but an exciting one, nonetheless.
For many, it represents something aspirational. A new marker of success.
Wrapping their head around getting set up and what to do next presents initial challenge with lots to learn.
Several months after getting their feet under the desk however, most new leaders suddenly come to understand something fundamentally obvious: The skillset required to be an effective leader is very different than that of an effective salesperson.
For one thing, it turns out that salespeople just won’t ‘do what you say’. No matter how sound your advice or what results they could get from following it, they just don’t do what you want! (How dare they?!)
The realities of leadership (and bills) start to sink in.
This brave new world, with the realisation of being ill-equipped, is a painful, scary and often confidence-shattering realisation for their successful salesperson spirit.
Fresh memory of exciting visions of empowering an eager, hungry sales force with pearls of wisdom soon wither and turn instead into sleepless nights of stress and frustration. They are left wondering what they hell they’ve done, and what the hell to do next.
Enter the idea: “We need a sales manager”…and with it, a new problem.
The Problem with Trying to Recruit a Sales Manager
The issue with this is that good sales managers are like unicorns.
You may be able to find one who can sell themselves into the job (i.e., a salary you have to cover), but if they are good enough to get performance out of your salespeople (i.e., the kind you want), they are likely to be very clear on their financial value.
If they know their value, they’re likely to either:
- already be in franchise ownership or branch management themselves (benefitting directly from their efforts),
- remain in sales (let’s face it, a good salesperson earns more than you’ll pay an employee) or
- command more than you want to pay
Where that leaves you is hiring a crap one, or if you do manage to hit the lottery and nab one that produces results, it’s likely you’ll lose them once they see how much they’re making you.
An honest owner recently said that me that despite knowing he needed to hire a sales manager with the skills to get results out of his people, he was concerned. He knew he could, as a salesman, say all of the right things to land himself a sales manager job, but that he recognises he can’t get performance out of salespeople to save himself.
Indeed, because being good at sales is a totally different skillset.
Two Alternatives (with Legs)
What if, instead of hiring a sales manager, you got the training and support required to be able to get performance from your people?
Or if you were able to hire a trainee sales manager and give them the training required to lift performance? (If you offered them a rewarding package for performance that made it worth staying with you, this could also work well).
Do either of these sound better (and fundamentally more workable) than endless frustration, and sleepless nights?
Better than spending months-on-end not generating the results you want, stressing about what happened to your dreams?
Or resting on hope of find a unicorn to solve your challenges while seeing no evidence that you’re going to be able to?
We work with real estate leaders (yes, our name is about our clients!) to help them hone their craft as leaders, so instead of being a leader by title, they’re a leader who can get performance out of their team.
If this sounds like what you need, give me a call.
It’ll cost you nothing to have a conversation about your goals and challenges – to see whether we are a fit to work together. Every month that goes by without you producing the results you want costs you significantly more.