Most would say that the best test of a sales manager’s abilities, or any manager for that matter, is what happens if he or she is no longer there. In other words, if you were to leave the organization tomorrow, could your sales team carry on and still produce at the sales level they are now?
To help you answer that question, think back to your first day at work after your last vacation. Did you return to the office to find that everything came to a grinding halt while you were away, or did they barely miss you while you were gone? I am asking about the last time you took a real vacation; one where you set your auto-reply email, changed your voice mail message and left the iPhone at the office.
If you answered everything came to a grinding halt, then you need to be better prepared before you go away this year. Make sure that you delegate all your managerial duties before you leave, including who can sign paperwork on your behalf and when are they authorized to do so. Also, ensure that your substitute knows all the important deadlines that will come due when you are away and how they should act on your behalf.
If you are thinking there is no one who you feel comfortable leaving in charge, or even worse, you can’t even remember when you took your last real vacation, then you need to start improving your coaching skills and start to develop your team. To help you get started, check out my book, Action Plan for Sales Management Success. As one associate stated, “Susan …understands the sales process intimately and is able to create a management process around it that drives sales people to accomplish their goals.”
Remember, if you want to move onto bigger and better things in your career, you must train your replacement first! Or as Gen. Omar Bradley once said, “The greatness of a leader is measured by the achievements of the led.” More motivational quotes here.