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Managers Joining your Calls

Hey team -- I've got a sales manager who was brought on board a while back via an acquisition and to be Frank... he's just not cutting it. Average deal size at my shop is roughly 5x of what this acquired shop was doing and it shows... they are used to selling a one size fits all commodity and don't know shit about strategic sales with a sales cycle that is measured in months instead of weeks.


This manager of mine keeps insisting on joining my calls with enterprise targets and he absolutely derails the meeting every time... most often by initiating a discovery call by immediately firing off 5 or 6 seemingly random questions at the prospect all at once without layering in any detail around our product and what we do.


I've tried lightly touching on these issues with him when debriefing after the call but it is clearly not getting through. More than anything, I just want him to back off and let me close in peace. Anyone face a similar challenge as of late? Got any advice on how to fix this?

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6
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+12
Senior Account Executive
Have you tried telling him the prospect cancelled even though they didn't so you can have your meeting in peace?
CoorsKing
WR Officer
+12
King of the Coors Knights
I have a similar situation, VP of my org is really, really not good IMO. Does not understand the cycles nor the product. Same thing, he keeps pestering everyone on the team to add him to calls.ย 

So I added him to a very complicated late stage 2 hour legal call where the two lawyers were going back and forth, and he has not asked sinceย 

Curious to see what everyone else suggests though, because it is a matter of time before I get asked again, especially because we just got new leadership.ย 
sales7
Politicker
+5
Sales Enablement Manager
I would personally have a conversation with him and ask, what exactly it is he is hoping to get out of joining the call.ย 
Chances are he doesn't even know at which point you can counter with the fact that your style of selling isn't optimal when you have someone else in the call without a clear purpose.ย 

You could also hit him with the fact that you'd rather bring him in as leverage when you actually need it so it has a bigger impact.
Stroke the ego a bit at which point you can also offer to pass along call recordings for coaching purposes if he still wants to listen in.
mo
moreleadspls
Fire Starter
Director, Enterprise Sales
Great suggestion sales7! Especially the second point... I used to run that with old sales managers of mine and have certainly missed having that in my ammo box.ย 

While I'd love to simply break down conversion rate metrics for when he joins / does not join DMs... I feel like that approach is far too hostile to have any chance of being productive.ย 
Soiboi
Politicker
+5
Account Executive, EIAS/Compliance
Tell your boss heโ€™s derailing your opps. Especially yes if heโ€™s hurting your pipeline developmentย 
mo
moreleadspls
Fire Starter
Director, Enterprise Sales
Would love to find a way to do this without causing a huge stink! I can't believe I'm saying this but I think previous HR orgs I've worked with had the right idea by incorporating upward feedback so management is properly assessed by their direct reports.ย 
Soiboi
Politicker
+5
Account Executive, EIAS/Compliance
gotta love HR sometimesย 
Selichimorpha
Politicker
+7
Growth Executive
Maybe instead of letting him join your calls outright, suggest he listen to them via gong((or whatever you all use) and give feedback that way? You can frame it as him getting a more clear picture of what your call structure is organically like.
salesninja
Opinionated
+3
VP
I usually say something like โ€œkick back and relax and let the salesninja do his thingโ€ and educate my boss on what works in todayโ€™s sales environmentย 
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
This is a really tough scenario in which you will probably need to tread very lightly.

I like what @sales7said and perhaps agreeing on the call structure and asking why they want to be on it. Is it to give you guidance or is it for them to sell and it should be both, and very rarely the second one.ย 

The thing to remember is that said manager might also be trying to learn if they have come from another place with a different sales cycle, and they may be trying to add value and show their worth by doing this. The reality is it's not working and that needs a conversation with them or someone at their level.ย 
mo
moreleadspls
Fire Starter
Director, Enterprise Sales
I always opt to give the benefit of the doubt so appreciate you calling this out Smithy. We acquired this org about 18 months ago so I do feel pretty comfortable saying if he is still learning the reasonable window for that has expired.ย 

This def feels like a "Dilbert Principle" situation where they knew this guy wouldn't cut it as a field rep so they moved him to management to mitigate the risk he presents to the biz.ย 
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
Hey @moreleadsplsย you're bang on, if 18 months later he's not getting it then he's had his chance.ย 
Goldleader
Good Citizen
Senior Sales Manager
Make sure everyone including your manager knows what their role is going to be on the call. Your deal, so you should be in control. Make sure you're all aligned to whatever your objective is and suggest a couple of areas or questions where they can add value.
PhlipOut
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
Sounds like my situation...
Honestly I try to avoid live calls. I'll have deal reviews .
Call recordings can work.
We also have an upward anonymous feedback survey, which in great.

If you can't shake him/her... Ask to shadow Vs co-sell. They can take notes and advice to discuss offline Vs randomly jumping into the conversation.
As a manager you can't and shouldn't coach and sell at the same time. So push the former, even if painful

@JDNย 
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