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Sales Managers Must Manage (Article)

  • The department head of a major corporation recently told me: “The division head to whom I report can talk for hours about modern concepts of managing, and it sounds like chapter and verse from a dissertation about how to be a modern executive. But almost as soon as he gets back to his operating responsibilities, he seems like a different man. In my area of responsibility, for example, he gets unduly engrossed in the very problems he says he expects me and my people to handle.”
  • A staff marketing manager had just completed discussing the modern concepts of managing to which he said he subscribes when the phone rang. It was a customer with a complaint which line sales should have handled. Yet the marketing manager assumed undue responsibility for the matter, apparently without realizing that he was violating one of his avowed precepts of managing.
  • A field sales manager with whom I met several times proudly proclaimed the progress he was making in developing his salesmen. Yet my meetings with this sales manager were interrupted repeatedly by his salesmen, most of them asking for solutions to fairly routine sales problems. It was apparent that the salesmen brought such problems to him only because they had learned that he wanted them to do so. I do not recall a single instance where the sales manager asked any of the salesmen to suggest a solution.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2055370
Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.