They say: Some 60% of people quit because of their boss, not the company.
I say: that’s BS. You’re in sales, you need to learn how to sell internally and externally.
Everyone has different personalities, below are a few tactical ways of dealing with your manager. Let’s call this “Managing up 101.”
What is their management style?
Heard of the 5 Love Languages? It works the same way with relationships in business (although maybe less emphasis on “physical touch”) – different people have different ways of showing or receiving appreciation.
Be explicit with your manager about how you like to receive feedback (both positive and negative) while also understanding their natural tendencies.
If something about their style doesn’t vibe with you, tell them! Let them know how you like to be pushed, motivated, and held accountable.
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Some managers are better at closing deals and others are better at managing people. Both are valuable, but you should figure out:
Share your personality and what’s happening in your life non-professionally and create that space for them to as well.
These should be driven by the sales rep – AEs and SDRs should own the invite, the agenda, and the recap, just like you would a customer call.
Set expectations and boundaries
'Like that, wish that' framework
If you’re upset about something your manager did, first, take a breath. More times than not, a decision is made based on the needs of the business, not personal feelings.
Be upfront with how you felt about it and what you plan to do differently.
I can’t stress this enough. Sometimes you “pull the short stick” with getting a manager and all the right tactics don’t work. These people rarely last as leaders at a company. Don’t waste time though, go find someone that can help you in the areas that you need to grow.
Radical Candor is one of my favorite books. I think all relationships need to be built on a foundation of trust and respect so hard conversations can then be had. This goes both ways from manager to rep and vice versa. Build a relationship and hold each other accountable to upholding each other’s commits.