The 7-Roles of Highly Competent Salespeople: Role #6 - The Effective Manager

Brian Lambert

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A “role” is defined as the characteristic and expected social behavior of an individual. We all play many roles in life, such as parent or salesperson, and it is not difficult to see how this sense of the word role is related to its meaning in theater, where a “role” was played by a character.

All of these factors have a significant negative impact on self esteem, professional self image and consequently resilience in the face of adversity. In short, without a clear definition of the roles you are to play, the amount of work you are to perform and how these roles intertwine, you may end up like the other thousands of salespeople a year who do not make it in the profession. I will now define professional selling roles and what is generally expected in each.


  1. "The Strategic Planner"
  2. "The Client-Focused Positioner"
  3. "The Persuasive Communicator"
  4. "The Focused Catalyst"
  5. "The Concerted Facilitator"
  6. "The Effective Manager"
  7. "The Value-Driven Guardian"

These roles are created by understanding the phases of building customer satisfaction and loyalty (as outlined by the United Professional Sales Association). Their model focuses on the entire transaction experience of a buyer, from initial needs identification, through decision-making, selection, and purchasing. More importantly, this transaction experience continues past the purchase into implementation - and beyond into measuring the quality and return-on-investment of the solution.

In this article, I will explain the sixth role in greater detail (please see my other articles for in depth explanations of the other roles. )

Primary Focus of This Role:

"Managers" of the past were expected to maintain the status quo in order to move ahead. But in this role, you'll be expected to be a great learner and a teacher throughout the entire selling cycle. You will also be expected to influence others in a positive manner internally in your own organization while maintaining high standards of personal health, time management, and action through daily activities. You will need to achieve what the management team brought you in to the organization to achieve and execute revenue generation results effectively.

This role is focused on the entire transaction experience equally (therefore, it will not be segmented into pre- or post-sale expectations).

General Expectations:

You will need to bring about the plans you created (Strategic Planner Role), embrace appropriate trends and market forces (Positioner Role), continuously improve your sales process through analytical and data-driven methods (Communicator Role), be able to manage internal pricing, variances, legal, and other contracting requirements (Catalyst Role), and include all relevant input from the customer (Facilitator Role), while maintaining an ethical mindset and building trust (Guardian Role). Pre-Sale Expectations:

In this role, you are someone who fulfills administrative activities as well as tactical execution of a sales strategy. You must manage yourself within the overall context of your organization and within one or more customer relationships. To help accomplish this, you will set personal goals for your success and properly motivate yourself to succeed. You will also help yourself and others manage time, resources, and technology to create daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans to achieve success against pre-determined objectives (from your Strategic Planner role). You will manage yourself in accordance with the plan you create (and constantly revise) to ensure your success. You must assume responsibility and accountability for your results because your selling skills are in high demand by your organization and others count on you to succeed.

As a result, you will create measurements of success and use technology to create appropriate reports, manage a defined process, forecast future sales, or collaborate to ensure you are progressing against your plans accordingly. You will work collaboratively with others internal to your organization as well as with others within client companies. You will create partnerships and alliances where appropriate as well as manage the financials of your work unit or organization. You will be asked to troubleshoot or overcome serious concerns raised by clients, prospects, or internal team members. You will create schedules for yourself and others and manage these schedules accordingly. You will be asked to follow a sales process that you have built or you have been trained on. Your overall management of the sales cycle will be under scrutiny by those who are forecasting sales or otherwise relying on the revenue your and your colleagues (if applicable) create.

You will adhere to or create escalation management processes as necessary to properly address customer service issues. You will need to acquire appropriate habits for your industry (mannerisms, jargon, etc).

You will establish remediation strategies to address internal miscommunication issues and either redefine roles and responsibilities or reset expectations with marketing, sales, customer service, or fulfillment professionals. You will work to establish a relationship management structure to create winning relationships that you will need to leverage. You will establish procedures to quantify customer service, sales, and marketing outcomes where necessary. You will comply with (or establish) metrics and tracking processes to detect and address revenue target deviations as necessary. You will establish management processes to request new services as needed. You will also forecast new sales accurately and conduct necessary reporting per requirements set forth in your organization.

Required Traits of This Role:

You will be asked to take 100 percent responsibility for results, be dependable, loyal, obedient, strategic, empowering, and a problem solver. You will need be intensely goal-oriented and have a commitment to your current role and employer. You will have to be authoritative and direct if needed.


Brian is the Chairman and Founder of the the United Professional Sales Association (UPSA). UPSA is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC that has addressed the concerns and challenges of individual sales professionals. Brian has authored the world’s first universal selling standards and open-source selling framework for free distribution. This ‘Compendium of Professional Selling’ containing the commonly accepted and universally functional knowledge that all sales professionals possess. The open-source selling standards have been downloaded in 16 countries by over 300 people. Over 30 people have made contributions.

Because UPSA is not owned by one person or any company, it is a member organization and guardian of the global standard of entry into the sales profession.

Find out about the membership organization and understand the processes and framework of professional selling at the UPSA Website at

Find out more about Brian at:

Or at


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