5 Tips For Inside Sales Managers Who Have Trouble With Conflict


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The hardest transition I’ve found when moving into a manager role is the change in relationship between you and former colleagues that you’ve once worked with. This changeover generally tends to be the biggest challenge for most new inside sales managers, whether they’re responsible for training the inside sales team or for managing the managers.

We all have this problem at all levels within an organization. As we advance at some stage in our career, its common that we end up having to manage a former peer. Problem is, in most of those situations, nobody wants to be the bad guy. We don’t want anyone to feel differently about us, as we always want to be thought of as the same old guy/gal that we were before the promotion. Inevitably, though, those tough conversations will have to happen. The question is: how do we handle it?

1. Address a problem or concern immediately: In my opinion, most managers have a very difficult time directly telling former peers what they really feel about their performance.  There is no point in beating around the bush, or hemming and hawing about what your employee isn’t doing. I find managers waste far too much time complaining about that scenario rather than just having the conversation before the problem becomes too difficult to manage.

2. Make it more about the situation and less about them: This helps to take the personal aspects of the discussion out of the equation and makes it more about finding the solution to a shared problem. 

3. What would you do if you were in my position?: This is a great question to ask of the people that seem to doubt your ideas, especially if that former peer has been working at the organization longer. A question like this helps to make them feel that you value their opinion/experience and also gives them a better sense of where you’re coming from.

4. Don’t take it personally: Your former peers may not always be open to your constructive feedback… but that’s all it is. You’re in your position for a reason, mainly because you can provide insight into making their job easier and hopefully more productive.

5. You’re working with them. They’re not working for you: I think this speaks for itself.

Not everyone thinks the same way you do. Just because something worked for you in a previous role doesn’t necessarily mean it will for everyone you’re now responsible for managing.  I know this is a bit cliché, but if you simply put yourself in their shoes then you’ll find the transition into a new role to be a smooth one. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Craig Ferrara
Craig Ferrara is a Director of Client Operations at AG Salesworks. He joined the company in 2004 as a Business Development Manager, transitioned to Client Account Manager, and was promoted to his current position in 2007. Craig's daily responsibilities include inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, ongoing contact list development and refinement, and managing daily client engagement from a high level.


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