Biggest mistakes a company makes when structuring the team – Jeff Manning

Leaders always need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the people.  If you have a people centered leadership style (not a product or financial) you are ahead of the game and know how to get the best of team.

Give responsibility to the top sales people by having them lead a special project.

When looking to join a new company, make sure to meet with all the leadership and board members that have an influence. Make sure they are reasonable, have a realistic understanding of the situation and realistic understanding of what it will take to get to the next step.

Do not verticalize too soon, Keep commission structures easy and keep the organizational structure simple.

It is a mistake to put a cap on commissions or put bluebird clauses in. You need an environment of energy, excitement and success.  

Having a cowboy or gunslinger as a salesperson in an early stage is important. You do not want that person that is risk averse.

Criteria for hiring sales people: Intellectual curiosity and emotional intelligence. To measure for EQ, you have to just spend time with the person and trust your instincts.

The kind of books a person reads is also important. It is expected to always be learning about sales if you are in sales. However the non domain specific subjects are also important. This allows you to be more interesting (more relatable) and able to connect and have conversations with people about different subjects.

Now a days companies are doing their own education so before the salesperson is connected, they are already half way through the process.

They like to go to smaller, more targeted events. They find that some of the larger events can be great one year than not the next. While the smaller events are not sales events but if you can go deliver value you can have real conversations with people. He tries to get more technical people to the events to have the conversations and not the sales people.

Hire someone with ability over experience. Someone with ability will know how to leverage resources and management is a resource with experience. Newer sales reps also tend to be hungrier and more accepting to feedback.

 

Final Five

What is your favorite sales or leadership book? The hero with 1000 faces.

Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas? Simon Sinek

Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? No

What is your favorite tool used for sales? LinkedIn

What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? People, process than product.

1 Comment

  1. Tommy McBennett on 08/22/2018 at 6:18 PM

    Thanks for giving us a look under the hood. Your insights on building on people, process, then product approach is spot on. I especially liked the value you place on inquiring about the non domain specific subjects that your people are leveraging to mold themselves into more well rounded human beings. There is a library full of sales and sales management books out there and many of them are good. Ingesting only sales specific material will not necessarily help them have more interesting or engaging conversation or give them insights on how to live a more meaningful life. I’m glad that you addressed it because it is important. I appreciate the book recommendation and will pickup Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Good stuff Startup Sales!

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