Out of the seven (7) types of Sales Managers, the Maintenance Sales Manager is the easiest job of the group. Maintenance is the key term here indicating that the Sales Manager maintains an effective sales team and processes that someone else has put into place.
I find these types of sales teams in mature companies that has a well-defined customer base with whom they maintain relationships. They typically don’t have much competition since they are so niched or are the most trusted in their industry.
The important factor here is that the Sales Manager support the efforts of the seasoned sales reps and continue to follow the processes that have proven to work. In addition, they must take the time to select, onboard and integrate new salespeople onto the sales team over time. Having a solid succession plan is critical to ensure there is no disruption in the level of service the customers have come to expect.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen with new Maintenance Sales Managers is making wholesale changes when few, if any, are needed. Too often, new people in management roles that lack true leadership skills, will attempt to make an impact by assuming whatever is in place is wrong and needs updating. Smart Sales Managers take the time to analyze the company and market conditions, as well as the tenure and success of the sales team. Maintenance Sales Managers require maturity (and humility) to understand their supporting role on the team and ensure the proper transfer of responsibilities to maintain the success that was built over time by their predecessors.
The one thing that the Maintenance Sales Manager must watch out for is change. When market conditions do change (and they eventually will), they must be able to switch from maintenance mode into one of the other types of Sales Manager in order to manage that change properly. I’ve seen plenty of seasoned Sales Managers who failed to take action when the market and competitive landscape morphed right under their feet. The unsuspecting Sales Manager assumed that everything would go back to the way it was, but it doesn’t. The company sales suffer and the Sales Manager is out of a job.
Bottom line: The Maintenance Sales Manager must have the humility to keep a successful sales team running and not make unnecessary changes which emerge from their own ego. At the same time, they must be on guard for inevitable changes that require an update to the way they approach the marketplace, lest they lose their reign as a top tier company.