March 24, 2021

by Mike Weinberg

An Intriguing Take on Sales Management Priorities with International Expert Tony Cross

In this wide-ranging conversation, Mike and international sales management expert Tony Cross discuss…

  • Their amusement that the sales leadership challenges around the globe are not just similar, they’re identical
  • The importance of sales managers “managing up” in order to protect their time
  • The single most impactful way sales managers must spend their time
  • The sales manager’s mission
  • What the very best managers did not change during the pandemic
  • The proper temperature of beer and Tony’s favorite places to visit around the world 

Tony Cross is the CEO of Growth Matters International, a firm focused on sales and sales management excellence that has worked with sales leaders in 35 countries. He is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

During the episode, Mike had Tony unpack this powerful statement from his LinkedIn profile image: 

“No training, or consulting, or technology will make a sustainable impact on sales unless you embed sales execution disciplines into the fabric of your business – through your sales managers.”

A few highlights

7:43 – the sales management challenges across the globe are not similar; they’re identical

10:39 – there is too much noise from too many people giving input to the sales force; the sales leader must provide clarity and sales managers must act as a buffer/filter between chaos in the company and the sales team

12:23 – sales managers are often buried in crap and diverted from their primary job

13:38 – the importance about clarity around the manager’s role

15:17 – 3 pieces of advice to sales managers who feel “bound” or “trapped” by executives

16:09 – Tony defines the true role of a sales manager

17:34– how sales managers should spend 50% of their time!

20:46 – the Impact/Effort Matrix

26:30 – Tony’s 4 keys to accountability and maintaining a high-performing team

27:22 – global sales leadership gurus agree on the proper temperature of beer (with no apology to our friends in the UK)

29:00 – how the best managers have kept their normal cadences and best practices throughout Covid

32:10 – Tony and Mike’s Mantra: The Sales Manager IS the Key!

34:53 – Tony’s favorite and most unique places to visit

40:37 – Mike’s takeaways from the interview and a few challenge questions for listeners

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