In the mid-1990’s an “Entrepreneurial Seizure” lead me to form a company called Radio Profits Corporation. Through luck, good fortune and a brilliant partner, we were able to turn that company within 7 years into a sales machine with 200 salespeople generating 40,000 individual business to business sales a year.
We made our share of mistakes in the beginning, and it seemed at times that our concept was doomed to fail. After all, in 1996 there was no Internet to speak of and, yet our business concept involved hiring a team of 200 salespeople located across the U.S., U.K and Germany. Each one sold into their local market, talking with businesses about local community involvement.
Its hard to imagine what it was like before the Internet. How did we stay in touch without email and Facebook and Skype? The answer is we did it purely by telephone and fax
One mistake, however, nearly sank us and it was something we created by ourselves — and took us a while to recognize. Since we had a remote team we figured that the more managers who “touched” our salespeople, the better. Two heads are better than one, right?
However we began to notice a certain paralysis of activity.
Organizational Chart — Don’t Neglect This Critical Step
We realized that the rule must be: One manager and one manager only — all direction must be filtered to the salesperson’s manager. Accounting was forbidden to make reporting demands, Operations was forbidden to make suggestions directly to the salespeople. Immediately we saw the productivity per salesperson increase. Paralysis ended.
You are running a business, not a commune. Businesses that succeed have a clear Organizational Strategy with no departmental crossover. If you are permitting anybody but your Sales Manager to talk with your salespeople you’re setting yourself up for sales hiring failure.