Do you just make the troops jump through hoops?
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Strategic Issues

Do you just make the troops jump through hoops?

April 28, 2014

by Tony Vidler

The majority of professionals running practices have superb technical competency, and often have significant commercial management skills, but a very common shortcoming is “Sales Management” experience or skills.

The typical result of this shortcoming is that management of the revenue producers in the practice becomes a matter of just making the troops jump through hoops.

Emphasis is given to form…and conformity.  Following the established procedures…doing things the way the manager learned to do them….in a different era and in different circumstances….and the producers in the practice struggle to achieve to anyone’s satisfaction (including their own).

The task orientation that comes with giving the troops hoops to jump through is not in itself a bad thing – it is actually a necessity for nearly all at some stage, or for some phase, or their career development.  So too is the need to follow established procedures that minimise risk for all and build consistent customer experiences.

More is needed if you want the producers to improve in performance, and improve as people however.  Sales management is required.

This involves a wider range of skills & knowledge transfer, systems creation, coaching, monitoring, mentoring and authority.


Successful grooming and development of the producers in any practice requires a lot more than simply establishing some targets and monitoring them.  It requires more than perhaps also giving some established systems and processes and some marketing support.

Sales management also involves about managing behaviour, establishing and maintaining culture, facilitating positive change individually and as an organisation, providing the blend of teacher/mentor/coach/authoritarian at appropriate times, providing strategic direction and operational support to achieve the strategic objective as well as continually improving and evolving all of the above.

To get more out of your producers, and to give them greater satisfaction, be a sales manager.  Help manage sales performance by providing the direction and vision, the tools, the support and the boundaries, and above all else be the coach and the teacher and the mentor and the authoritarian as and when each of those roles is required.

Be a Sales Manager rather than just a manager who makes the troops jump through meaningless hoops like some circus performer.

© 2013 Tony Vidler.  All rights reserved.
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