Sunday, December 6, 2009

Push vs Pull Inside Sales Management Styles

There is a reason why so many companies are talking about push vs. pull approaches to marketing and's what buyers are asking for. If this is what buyers are asking for......and let's face it, buyers "keep the lights on"....... then shouldn't the people who lead our companies have the same approach to management? The same people who we are marketing our products and services to, are interviewing for positions at our companies. Times are changing and so should our management styles.

The push vs. pull groundswell of change stretches far beyond just sales and marketing departments. It's a shift in the overall mindset of the Web 2.0 workforce. All departments within an organization need to rethink their general approach to management. I like to think of myself as a "pull" manager. One who understands that each member of my team may need to be managed differently. I'm not a believer in "pushing" out blanketed one size fits all ideas and tactics. Buyers are asking to be treated as individuals and so are the people we are managing.

Inside Sales folks' personalities are becoming more and more resistant to "pushing" management styles. Give your team control, treat each individual with respect, find out what motivates them as individuals and watch the "pulling" begin. The key is to gain respect from your team. Provide value to them as a leader, not as a manager. By doing this, they will engage with you and embrace all of the ideas, skill sets and tactics that got you hired in the first place.

Just like pull marketing, this approach to management takes time. Results do not happen overnight like your push marketing campaign, but I'm willing to bet that the long term results will blanket the petty short term results of the prior. I'm a big fan of organic lead generation and I want to lead my team of inside sales folks with the same mentality.

p.s. I'm pulling for the Packers on Monday night football

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