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Why Sales Managers Need to Think Long Term

After spending hours and hours scrolling through LinkedIn and spending time listening to sales managers at conferences, two things are certainly clear.

One the Joker is clearly the best movie of the year, huge fan!

Also, just like the Joker an SDR is not wanted by the people they are calling but very essential to the life of an organization.

And two, sales managers are pressured to show immediate results, and that’s why I see a lot of short-term thinking.

I see a lot of posts about quarterly goals and what managers have learned from quarter to quarter. It’s all very short-term thinking and I can’t imagine how companies can have longevity with this mindset.

So I sat down with the most genius growth strategy minds I could get a hold of to speak to them about why sales managers need to start shifting their gears and thinking about long term strategies instead of short.

Side note Obama aka Obreezy told me he would get back to me and Bill Belichick said believe in yourself so I had to exclude them from this post.

Ryan O’ Hara (VP Marketing for LeadIQ): OHHHH! Shiny object

Managers get shiny object syndrome where they hear the most recent thing and focus on fixing that even though it impacts things long term

For example, if I close X customer and they had a problem with X price... and you give them Y price..then all future deals short term get a discount.

You are impacting the long term value of the customer

Callum Henderson (Director for EngageTech Ltd): I did my job where’s my monies!

Everything in the sales industry is geared up for short-term success. A lot of targets are monthly or quarterly, which drives a “results now mindset”.

When managers are driven by short-term metrics, how can their teams be any different?

It takes responsibility to step back from short-term financial wins to build long-term sustainable success.

Luigi Prestinenzi (Host of SalesIQ Podcast): Image pipeline sales

Too many sales managers focus on the scoreboard and what's converting.

Instead of focusing on the mindset and attitude of the sales team. Then the skills that help drive pipeline performance.

When you focus on image and pipeline the magic happens and sales occur.

Cameron Hom (Senior Account Executive for Hibob): Build better relationships with your team

As a sales manager, you not only hold a team number but also lead a team of people.

Having an understanding of your rep's personal and professional aspirations will lead to results.

The number one reason employees leave a company is because of their relationship with their manager.

Building the right team is the most integral foundation of long-term success, not just your quarterly targets.

Jordan Pinzolo (Head of Sales at Mention): UNDER PRESSURE, amazing song!

Often times sales managers get pressured to think short-term, especially when it comes to planning a sales strategy or forecasting realistic growth objectives for revenue.

It can even be the case that the business strategy, in general, becomes disconnected from the playbook that sales teams are executing on.

When there’s a disconnect it’s likely to result in a substantial misalignment of sales goals. A common example of this is when businesses need to hit specific growth or retention numbers to get acquired or receive funding.

Essentially, the prospect of short term wins can be exciting at times, but ultimately they aren’t a good use of resources, time or money for your business in the long run.

Having a clear and connected vision on how to pivot towards aggressive goals, while keeping your reps plugged is key to success.

Ryan Wilusz (Sales Manager at LeadIQ): Organizations set high quarterly goals

One managerial challenge with SAAS is the pressure on short-term results while balancing long-term strategy.

Hyper growth-focused organizations set high quarterly goals, which can sometimes deter from the long-term strategy of slow and steady wins the race and impede the importance of repeatable processes.

It's important to ensure that short-term goals and tactics help make the sum total of those long-term goals.