The Difference Between Those In Sales Management Positions That Can Add Value And Those That Can’t

This year has shown that in interesting times some approaches are more effective than others, some sales leaders really do shown a navigable path through to improved performance, whilst other less able managers add no value at all through their visible anxiety and single dimensional approach.

We have captured the main difference in a table below:


Old Fashioned, Non Value Adding Sales Managers/Sales Director New World, Value Adding Sales Managers/Sales Director
Origins of Credibility Needs to stay selling, wheeled out for the difficult deals Builds high performing sales teams
Mind-Set Believes their role is primarily about keeping sales people ‘honest’ and focused on what they should be doing. Parent/Child Creates an environment for sales people to excel in. Works with the team to achieve higher performance levels. Adult/Adult
Sales Focus Benefits and Closing Adding Value and Building Business
Marketing View Sales promotions and ‘giveaways’ Value propositions and brand building
Planning Orientation Short term and plate spinning Longer term and pro-active
Change Capabilities Problem driven and reactive Opportunity driven and planned
Stress Response SHOUTS and transfers their problems onto others Thinks, listens and acts to improve things

What’s interesting is how many sales managers and directors, who behave in the left hand column, believe they are doing the right thing. They also tell us that morale is low, performance is flat and pressure from above unceasing. What they don’t see is any connection between behaving in the old fashioned, left hand style, and the way the team is (not) performing.

This blind spot can be so bad that when we talk about the right hand column and what the benefits are, the response is one of ‘we haven’t got time for any of that, we’ve just got to SELL!’


The value-adding approach delivers a sustainable management style, a more engaged sales team and a much greater chance of consistently improved performance.