The Top 10 Things a Sales Rep Should Never Say to a Sales Manager

The Top 10 Things a Sales Rep Should Never Say to a Sales Manager | The Brooks Group

My brother and I were chatting in the Atlanta airport on our way to a meeting in Phoenix a few weeks ago and I jokingly asked him, “What are the top 10 things a sales rep should never say to a sales manager?” We laughed and then he suggested I post the question to LinkedIn and see what we get.

It was a Saturday, so I chose to watch a movie rather than open my laptop on the flight. By the time we’d landed, there were some great responses. Here are the top 10 from all the responses we collected (#11 is a bonus). 

The Top 10 Things a Sales Rep Should Never Say to a Sales Manager

1. I know I can close the sale if we're just willing to cut our price.

2. Wait until next month. I’m going to crush it.

3. No, I haven't identified their pain, but they're buying for sure.

4. Putting stuff in the CRM is a waste of my time.

5. This is a bad market.

6. The business down the street offered them more than we could.

7. Our product is terrible and customers do not need it.

8. That's not in my job description.

9. Cool! I hit my quota. I can coast for a while.

10. I didn't follow up soon enough.

11. Maybe sales reps SHOULD say to us a lot of the above comments? (Not all, some are shockers!). Then it is a coaching issue that sits with us as sales managers to help them deliver their result.

As you can see, a lot of the responses were funny—in part because they spoke to the reality of the relationship between sales rep and sales manager.

One comment that stood out from the rest was the suggestion that maybe sales reps SHOULD be saying a lot of the above comments to their sales managers. Growth can never happen without open and honest communication, and over the years we’ve seen sales teams completely turn their performance around once they’d removed communication barriers.

Open Communication Leads to Improved Performance Levels

Open communication should come from the sales manager first so that the rep feels comfortable opening up in return. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way.

According to recent research from Interact Authentically, a stunning 69% of managers say they’re uncomfortable communicating with their direct reports. Behavioral conflict and lack of communication is a completely unnecessary hurdle that can get in the way of the important work at hand.  

To solve this issue, we recommend using a tool like Brooks Talent Index® assessments. The tool can be used not only to identify and hire new team members, but also to help the existing members of your team work together in the most effective way.

Brooks Talent Index uncovers an individual’s behavior style, motivators, and communication preferences. This gives sales managers a huge advantage when coaching reps because they can understand “what’s under the hood” and tailor their approach with each team member. And having the assessment results out in the open helps sales managers and the team they lead move past communication differences and onto improving performance.  

Try Brooks Talent Index for yourself and see just how effective it can be with a free assessment and debrief. 


NOTE: Our sales training tools are designed to make your life easier. Use them to your advantage.

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Jeb Brooks

As the Chief Culture Officer of The Brooks Group, Jeb Brooks is responsible for the initiatives that create and maintain a strong company culture. Jeb believes fervently that companies don’t grow, people do. The purpose of The Brooks Group is to help team members grow as people and professionals so that they can help clients do the same. Jeb’s work is centered around identifying opportunities for everyone to push their comfort zones and extend beyond their limits.

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