The Connector Manager

In an earlier post we discussed coaching Steph Curry.  In this post, I would like to take it a step further.  Not only do we need to coach up the strengths of our sales professionals, but we also need to realize our strengths and weaknesses as a manager.  In a recent HBR Article, they break down research that was presented in Gartner’s white paper “Coaching vs. Connecting: What the Best Managers Do to Develop Their Employees Today.”  In the paper, Gartner discusses four types of managers: Teacher Managers, Always-on Managers, Connector Managers and Cheerleader Managers.

This article was interesting to me on a number of fronts.  First, my company has recently revamped our yearly review process to move towards an on-going review process like what is laid out in the HBR article.  From a sales perspective, many companies only measure their sales teams on did they hit their number or not.  So no matter what Human Resources says about new ways to measure our performance, sales management always reverts back to the yearly quota.

Second, in my Steph Curry post, I posted about how you should coach to a reps strengths and not their weaknesses.  But the article does not touch on the fact that as a sales manager, you may not know everything to be the most effective coach.  Going back to Steph Curry, his head coach just happened to be great outside shooter as well.  If his coach, Steve Kerr, is trying to work with his big men, he may need to bring in an assistant coach who is better suited to train them.  In addition, the Golden State Warriors have Strength Training coaches, nutritionists, and athletic trainers to assist the players in their performance.

As a sales manager, who are you bringing it to help your team?  Your organization most likely has some internal resources that can help train your team.  But are you reaching outside your organization for assistance?  Could you bring in a sales trainer? Is there a budget for individualized sales training?  Are there books that you have read that could be beneficial for one of your team members to read?  There are a ton of resources out there to help your reps.  Have you looked at my book?

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