How To Survive As A Sales Manager [Interview]

I still remember the first time I was made the head of sales.
It was a small company and I was far-and-away the best sales person there. Almost 85% of the revenue of the company came from me and my efforts.

I was a superstar sales guy and it made all the sense in the world that I should be the boss. The guy who create other superstars.

Accept that’s not how it actually went down. I was an utter failure as a manager. I sucked at it. Really bad.

I couldn’t understand sales people who didn’t have enough drive. I didn’t get along with the team members who just showed slow and steady progress.

I made mistake after mistake after mistake.

I change my mind every other day. Rules? Who needs those? We had my own unspoken rules.

It was a huge learning curve — and almost a huge disaster.

It finally hit me that while I inherently understood sales and deals and people, I was wildly unprepared to manage salespeople.

That was a scary moment for me. It was also a challenge. Could I figure it out? What did I need to know in order to manage sales people and get the results that we so desperately wanted?

So I tried to find resource material for sales managers.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any.

There were books about sales and selling and strategy. There were books for leaders, CEOs, and executive management. But there weren’t any books for a new sales manager.

That was almost 20 years ago. You might be surprised that until a few years ago that had not changed.

My good friend Dave Brock just released a tremendous book that every sales manager needs to read. It’s called Sales Manager Survival Guide.

He tells you how to coach your team. He writes about how to build a plan for success. He talks about sales process and communication, working with other departments, how to spend your day, and the best way to recruit top talent.

It’s the book all of us have been needing.

And I was able to spend a few minutes with him over video talking about some of the personal details that didn’t make it into the book.

Consider it a bonus.  Now go to and buy the book for yourself.

0 Replies to “How To Survive As A Sales Manager [Interview]”

    1. I would have realized the importance of coaching. I would have built better plans. My communication would have been more targeted and consistent.
      On a personal note, I probably would have been more confident in my position and thus more open to suggestions for mothers, instead of leading with a chip on my shoulder.


  1. shocking but there aren’t many guides for mangers still;what annoys me a lot is that everyone “talks” to entrepreneurs or about leadership forgetting completely middle class of workforce – the managers. Too many times i have seen many thought leaders slagging management and criticising it, instead of helping, educating, inspiring and helping them grow into tomorrow’s leaders

    1. So true. So very true. And kinda sad at the same time.
      Most the advice given to Sales Managers is really “glorified-best-sales-guy-who-got-promoted” chatter. And it’s not really helpful.

      I love the work that David Brock is doing. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he is leading the way each day with his blog.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *