The No Excuses Guide to Selling Without a Sales Manager

By S. Anthony Iannarino
Young people have a lot of questions as to what their first sales job should be. They want know what industry they should pursue, how to get their first job and, of course, their compensation.

These questions are nowhere near as important as two other questions that aren’t asked often enough: 1). How much training, coaching, and development will I receive, and 2). How much time, support, and help am I going to receive from my sales manager to ensure that I succeed?

These issues are critical to success, and they can make or break a first time salesperson. They can also make or break a salesperson with experience that is hired into a sales position where no sales manager, no sales training, and no sales coaching exist.

Many salespeople are called upon to sell effectively and succeed without a sales manager.

This post and the six that follow will be dedicated to helping salespeople without a sales manager learn to act as their own sales manager.

A Fool for a Client
There is an old adage that says that a lawyer that represents himself in court has a fool for a client. They say a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient. Surely a salesperson that would undertake to manage their self would be equally foolish? Not necessarily.

Sometimes a salesperson has no choice but to learn to be their own sales manager. They may work for a small company that provides no sales management or leadership. They may work for an entrepreneurial company with principals that don’t have any knowledge or understanding of how sales works.

This salesperson has been hired to sell and produce results, and they must find a way to do so in order to help their company grow–as well as to support themselves and their family.

Managing Oneself
Salespeople–and all businesspeople for that matter–have a responsibility to develop themselves to their full potential with or without a manager’s support.

More still, each of us has a responsibility to do what is necessary to produce results. We have an obligation to manage ourselves, using the human attributes that lead to success, including our self-discipline, our determination, our initiative, and our resourcefulness.

Truth be told, many salespeople who work in larger organizations aren’t always better off than those with no sales manager. Some are ignored or neglected. Some are poorly managed. Some work for sales managers who have had no training, no development, or no coaching either.

You can sell successfully without a sales manager if you have to. You can do some of the thinking, planning, goal setting, and you can hold yourself accountable (all successful people do). Is it as helpful as having a sales manager that cares about and has the experience to help you produce results? No, it isn’t.

It isn’t ideal. You can’t see your own blind spots.

Not to worry, the following posts will get you started, and we’ll include some ideas about where to find help when you need it.

Questions
How do you manage yourself when you have no direct sales manager?

What is your responsibility to yourself to produce results and to be as effective as you can be?

What is your responsibility to yourself when it comes to your development and growth?

What results do you need to produce, with or without a sales manager?

Do the most successful people you know always need someone to hold them accountable to taking the actions that they commit to?