Sales Management: Dealing with the Hard Stuff, Even When You Dread It

By Butch Bellah

Being a professional sales manager has some tremendous benefits. You have the opportunity to grow, develop and impact countless salespeople while building your company. You have the power to influence the direction of their careers and lives — it’s a responsibility you should take very seriously. It can be so rewarding to watch a salesperson flourish under your own leadership.

However, there are things that will give pause you have you asking yourself if it’s all worth it at times. Yes, it is. When you have to fire someone you really like or perhaps demote someone who isn’t performing in a supervisory capacity it is extremely hard. You don’t turn off your human compassion when you take the job — there’s no way to avoid it.

Just because your title now says Sales Manager doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to care about the people around you. In fact, it should cause you to care more. You have to care in order to help them succeed. But, that same care and concern can come back to haunt you should things go wrong and you have to make some of those hard decisions.

When it’s time to handle “the hard stuff” always do so with compassion and care. You’re dealing with another human being — someone who most likely has looked up to and respected you. Some have called things like this “tough love,” well it’s still tough. Is it necessary? Yes. But, it doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.

It’s okay to dread it. It’s okay to have it punch you in the gut — that means you’re doing your job. If it ever gets to where it has no effect on you, it’s time to do something else because you’ve stopped truly caring for your people.

And that’s never good.