5 years ago, we were doing some Consulting services for a mining Company and we met one of the best Sales Managers we’ve ever met.
- And we’ve met quite a few…
In case you don’t know, Sales and Production Teams tend not to mix very well:
- The Sales Team wants to sell the most difficult Products at low prices.
- The Production Team wants to Manufacture the easiest-to-make Products.
What made this Sales Manager special?
- He cared about the Production Team.
He didn’t just worry about the Sales Team.
- He also worried about the Manufacturing Process.
It is very common for Sales Managers to promote certain Products to their Clients regardless of whether the Manufacturing Process is capable of supplying them.
- Some products are more Difficult to produce.
- Some Products have more stringent Quality specifications.
- Some Products need more time to be Manufactured.
And, of course, the Products that Customers want are always the hardest to produce.
- This always happen.
This Sales Manager offered the Top Products to his Clients (the most difficult to Produce) but always tried to force them to buy other Products to allow the Production Team to work comfortably.
- Of course, he also did this to secure shipments and not jeopardize his trade agreements.
But, he truly worried about improving the Sales mix in order to match the Manufacturing capabilities.
Why was he a good Leader?
- Because he didn’t just care about himself.
- He cared about the entire Company, even if that sometimes meant fewer commissions for him.
- He did not hesitate to make decisions that bothered a minority but benefited the majority.
- This is sometimes difficult, buy very important.
- He had a holistic view of the Company.
- He didn’t limit his “vision” to the Sales department.
Over the years he got promoted to Operations Manager.
- Just one step below the CEO.
And, few months ago, he finally became the CEO (after 20 years in the Company).
- Look beyond yourself, and people will see you as more than “just a person”.