Some salespeople work for rather small companies. The way things work in a small company or a small office is different than a larger office or a larger company. In larger companies, there are more people and less need to pull salespeople out of the field to help with operations-related tasks. In a small company, people tend to try to help one another with the tasks that need to be done when they are overwhelmed—especially when times are tough and they are running lean.

Salespeople can get dragged into helping. They can get pulled into operational duties and tasks as simple as answering the phones. Helping your operations staff can build camaraderie and it can help to build a team. It can demonstrate your commitment to helping get your client the outcome you sold.

It can also destroy you and your team’s production—and your future.

If You Aren’t Selling

Sometimes your team can get overwhelmed with tasks. They need help, and you are close enough to help—and close enough to be asked to help. You want to be a team player, and you need solid relationships with your team to succeed. But helping your team with their tasks and duties means you aren’t working on the tasks and duties for which you alone are responsible.

If you aren’t selling, no one is selling.

You will pay for the time you spend helping your team in future quarters, when you aren’t bringing in clients that you might have had you been selling. By helping your team, you are cheating both you and them of your future. You are cheating them of the one outcome that you and only you can deliver: their next client.

You Owe Your Company Sales

You are in sales. This means that you have to spend your time focused on the critical outcome of acquiring new clients. This is true in organizations large and small.

Each person in a company has a role for which they are responsible. If your operations team doesn’t work to obtain the outcomes that you sold, you fail and you lose your client. If you don’t acquire the next client, your company doesn’t grow and the operations team never does as well as it might. Each of you must play your part on the team.

You owe your company a laser focus on sales. You owe them your best effort. You owe them prospecting and nurturing clients. You owe them new clients and new sales.

The outcomes that you owe your organization will not be obtained if you don’t do your job. In the future, should a client be lost (even through no fault of your own), should growth targets be missed, should profitability suffer, it will be because sales weren’t made and new clients weren’t obtained.

Just as your operations staff isn’t responsible for new client acquisition, you aren’t responsible for operational tasks. This isn’t being harsh, and it doesn’t mean that you are a prima donna who is above any of the work that it takes to serve your clients. Take the trash out and clean the toilets, if you must.

But your team would better served by acquiring help from someone other than you. So would your organization. Most of all, your clients and dream clients are better through your strengthening your organization by acquiring new clients.

If you want to help your team, go sell. If they need help and can’t acquire it on their own, sell inside and get them somebody that isn’t primarily responsible for selling to assist them.


Does it make you something less of a team player if you don’t spend your time helping your operations and sell instead?

What does it cost you in future sales to spend your time on tasks that unrelated to sales?

How do ensure you deliver for your clients without managing or completing operational tasks yourself?

If you don’t sell now, is it possible you can make up for lost time later? Why or why not?

What do you do that no one else in the company can do? What happens if you don’t?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on September 3, 2011
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
salescall-planner-ebook-v3-1-cover (1)