Does your sales and marketing management contribute to the business?

What does it mean to be a manager, director, SVP, VP, president, COO, CFO or CEO, outside of the responsibilities listed in the job description? It means fulfilling duties, achieving goals and contributing to the company. Sometimes leaders seem to forget the last part: “contribute to the business”. A lot of people automatically think, “Well, I’m doing a great job fulfilling my duties, so of course I’m contributing to the business.” But it’s not always the case.

You know the kind of people who come to work, have their coffee in the morning, and go straight to their office without making a conversation? They may attend meetings and reply to everyone via email, but you never really see them interacting with anyone. When it comes to sales and marketing, your leadership should consist of socialites, good listeners, engaging people, and supportive coaches!

What makes exceptional managers? People who genuinely care about others, who actively listen to what’s going on in each other’s lives (whether professionally or even sometimes personally) and who help motivate individuals within their team. Make time each week to visit your team, ask them how things are going, and ask about upcoming projects or work.

Depending on the office environment, sometimes the most engaging conversations don’t happen in conference rooms: they happen when you’re having morning coffee or walking down the office hallway. You’ll likely uncover more valuable information in that 15-minute conversation than in a formal hour-long sales meeting. You already know what’s on your agenda for the day, so don’t bother telling your team how busy you are. Instead, ask them what’s on their agenda. Ask them if they need help with anything or if they need your support – make it an open dialogue. As far as you know, they are waiting for an email that you forgot to answer in order to continue their project! (We all forgot that email before!)

It can take some time to understand each individual, including how they work, what motivates them, what frustrates them, and how to effectively challenge them. Once you’ve established a working relationship with your team, be sure to give credit where it’s due by acknowledging individuals. Work to help individuals develop their abilities so they can become better and more effective in their roles.

Team member support and coaching should not only be applied when strategies need to be corrected; this is sending the wrong message. You must be open to helping and coaching your team even when you have an All-Star month, as each member must continually grow and your team as a whole must meet challenges more effectively. Eliminate the “always close” mentality and implement the “always help” strategy – whether you are in the green or the red.

Most people would like to get the most out of their career, and being in a leadership position means contributing to your business by motivating your team to do well for themselves. Once this understanding begins to develop, you’ll notice that your team may be happier, more comfortable, and more confident when taking on additional tasks, which means they’re motivated to do well.

When team members have a great coach who possesses all of the above traits, nine times out of ten they will want to do well not only for themselves but also for their coach. On the other hand, as a coach, you want to prepare your team for success and help them take it to the next level so that they succeed and their performance also helps the business. This give-and-take relationship in sales and marketing can go a long way and make or break your department’s numbers. It is in management’s interest not only to perform their duties but also to contribute to the growth of the company and the growth of their team.