We know we are supposed to be customer centric. Buyers and buying have changed, they’re in control (funny, I always thought they were.). Millions are spent in creating great customer experiences.

As sales people we know we are more successful when we focus on the customer–helping solve their problems, understanding their needs. We seek to provide great insights and to teach our customers. Gone are the days of pitching or telling our customers about our products. We now know that success comes in collaborating with our customers, helping them grow and achieve their goals.

We know by helping our customers to become more successful, we are more likely to achieve our goals.

Pretty good principles, we know they work.

All of this causes me to think about sales managers (or any other executive for that matter). What if sales managers became “sales person centric?”

If we think of the works of Deming or even many of the Lean and Agile principles, sales people are the customers of sales management. (One wonders about the managers who think this should be reversed–they are the customers of sales people.)

What if we applied the principles of customer centricity to sales person centricity?

We already know the road map, we just change the context.

Instead of telling people what to do, we provide insights, and teach. We learn about our people, the problems and challenges they face. We focus on helping them achieve their goals, knowing if they do so, we will achieve ours. We work collaboratively, helping them improve and become better.

As leaders, if we set an example in serving our customers–the people who work for us, don’t we provide a much better platform to encourage them to do likewise with our customers? Just a simple shift in perspective can create profound differences in our organizations.