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The Biggest Mistakes Sales Marketing Managers Make

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Sales Marketing Sales And Marketing

Being a sales marketing manager isn’t a simple responsibility, so it should come as no surprise that many individuals who take on this role make understandable errors.

To help you avoid the gaffes made by those who have come before you, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight mistakes made by otherwise competent sales and marketing leaders.

1. Being a Buddy First and Leader Second

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

Sure, you want to be friendly with your staff members, especially if you have a gregarious, compassionate personality. However, you have been chosen as a sales marketing manager, not a sales marketing buddy. Though it’s fine to have a friendly relationship with subordinates, it’s not okay if that friendship gets in the way of disciplining, mentoring or daily work.

2. Not Delegating Tasks

“No business in the world has ever made more money with poorer management.” – Bill Terry

Do you have difficulty turning work over to employees? It’s a common problem experienced by even seasoned managers. But if you want to get ahead in business, you must learn when a task should or can be accomplished by someone else. Otherwise, you will spend far too much time tackling administrative jobs—and that’s not what you’re being paid to do.

3. Forgetting to Continually Educate Oneself

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” – John Le Care

Being a sales and marketing manager equates to having a very busy work existence, yet that shouldn’t become an excuse to stop learning. Whenever possible, educate yourself by attending conferences, signing up for classes, reading books and generally staying up-to-date on sales and marketing trends and ideas.

4. Spending Too Much Time on Sales… or Marketing

“The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.” – Peter Drucker

You’re a sales AND marketing manager, not a sales OR marketing manager; consequently, approximately half your time should be devoted to each departmental responsibility. Obviously, there will be some days and weeks where one area will require more time than another, but if you consistently find yourself always handling marketing items or always working on sales concerns, you’re only really achieving 50% of the goals you’re paid to meet.

5. Spending Too Little Time with Subordinates

“There are managers so preoccupied with their e-mail messages that they never look up from their screens to see what’s happening in the non-digital world.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

While you don’t want to turn into a micromanager, you also don’t want your employees forgetting that you’re the leader of the department. Spend time talking with your subordinates and keep the flow of communication between all your staff members.

6. Spending Too Much Time with Subordinates

“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings—and put compensation as a carrier behind it—you almost don’t have to manage them.” – Jack Welch

The flip side to ignoring your subordinates is spending far too much time micromanaging them. Allowing employees to make decisions—sometimes the wrong ones—on their own is part of your duty. Even if it’s tough to step back, you have to do so. After all, you want to be seen as a wise mentor, not a hovering nuisance.

7. Ignoring Problems

“Management must manage.” – Harold S. Geneen

The worst part of being a manager of any kind can be dealing with office problems, whether they stem from politics, personality conflicts or something equally as uncomfortable. However, even if you loathe confrontation, as a leader you need to be willing to step in and become the catalyst for a solution.

8. Becoming Too Emotional

“Management is nothing more than motivating other people.” - Lee Iacocca

Have you ever encountered a boss who was “hot headed”? If so, you know how disturbing it can be for colleagues and staff members alike to spend each day wondering when their supervisor, The Volcano, will “erupt”. That’s why you, as the sales marketing manager, need to always keep a “cool head” about you. Even when stressors are piled on, force yourself to be firm but not explosive or abusive.


Although it’s impossible not to make some errors in judgment, by keeping the above examples in mind, you’ll have a much better chance of being seen as a professional from the first day you assume the position of sales and marketing manager.

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