How to lead a sales team without micromanaging everyone

Managing people can be tough. Managing a sales team can be even more challenging with all the priorities, tasks, pressure from the C-Suite and the stress of hitting monthly or quarterly quotas.

The most challenging part of the sales job is having the right balance between not enough or too much freedom for your sales team.

As a sales leader, a lot of the success that you’re after is going to come from your sales reps’ performance, which means determining how to motivate and inspire your team (without micromanaging them) is key.

Many can fall into the trap of micromanaging, as it’s easy to think that keeping a close eye on your team will result in strong results and higher-quality work.


"Great managers orchestrate rather than do. Like the conductor of an orchestra, they do not play an instrument, but direct their people so that they play beautifully together. Micromanaging, in contrast, is telling the people who work for you exactly what tasks to do or doing their tasks for them." —Ray Dalio


It can be easy for sales leaders to micromanage, even if they don’t realize they are doing it. This might explain why 80% of people believe themselves to be better leaders than they are.

Micromanagers feel that they must consistently control their employees. They are always monitoring everything at work and continuously operate at high levels of stress, which stresses out their employees and can hinder work relationships.


"Too close and you don’t know what you’re looking at. Too far and you can’t see. Perspective is everything." — Steli Efti (@Steli) January 24, 2020

However, acknowledging you have an issue is the first step. If you don’t admit that you like to micromanage, you won’t improve your management style or be considered a good leader.

While it can be hard, there are ways you can still lead a sales team without micromanaging them.

Communicate with your team

Once you have determined what you want your team to accomplish, you want to begin communicating that to your sales team.

You want to have a conversation about the tasks that you care about (i.e., the work that will need your approval and advice on) so your team can avoid giving you any stress or anxiety, and you want to communicate the overall strategy effectively.

Having excellent communication in the workplace is key to a leadership position. Good communication is what separates a weak leader from a great one. And strong communication skills are crucial to being a good leader.

Tell your team how you want to be updated and how often they should provide those updates. Also, enlist their help in ensuring you don’t end up into your old habit of micromanaging.

Communicating properly is what makes a strong leader.

When you communicate effectively, it can eliminate any confusion and foster a happy work environment.

Communicating with your team is essential to success and efficiency. When you accept new thoughts and ideas, you get respect and appreciation from your team.

Ask for feedback

You’re the boss. It’s your role to support and challenge your employees, so you can accomplish the results you want. To do this, you want to know if you are supporting and challenging your team properly or if you are holding them back.

You need to understand what you do well, so that you can improve on it, and you need to know what your weaknesses are so you can fix them. Thus, feedback is imperative.

It would be best if you let your employees know what you’re going to be wanting for their feedback. Although, you want to make sure you explain why you’re asking for feedback and how you are going to implement it.

As a sales leader, you must be able to take feedback from your team. And, if you model the behavior and show that you are open to feedback, you’re encouraging your team to do the same.

Feedback can be an excellent way to help you reach your professional goals. The more feedback you get, the easier it can be to grow and improve.

If you ask for feedback, this shows others you’re willing to learn and grow. Being open to your team’s comments gives you the opportunity to see your actions from a different perspective.

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