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Your People Are Your Only Asset (A Note to the Sales Manager)

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
September 5, 2010

You’ve heard it said a million times: “Our people are our greatest asset.” You may be guilty of saying it yourself a time or two. It sounds really good, too. But walking that talk isn’t easy and it is a path that is rarely taken by management, regardless of their intentions.

I am not throwing stones—far from it. It comes down to what you care about.

People Are All You Have Got

The sales managers job is to get results through others. To succeed, you have to be able to generate results through and with the members of your team.

People are all you have to achieve these results. Caring about them and their success is the whole game.

Maybe you bought and implemented the killer sales process. Using this process helps differentiate you and your offering, and when used properly your sales process creates a tremendous amount of value for your dream client and a competitive advantage for you. Congratulations!

Now who is going to operate that sales process? How good do they have to be to ensure that your investment of time, money, and energy generates the results that you need it to?

Maybe you have invested in the most sophisticated sales force automation on the market. Your SFA is integrated with your lead generation tools and social media, it generates the reports that give you a deep dive into metrics that make a difference for you and your company, and it has your sales process completely built in to the workflow. It’s awesome, no doubt!

Who is going to use the sales force automation? How good do they have to be to take advantage of all that your sales force automation has to offer in helping with their performance?

Maybe you have the killer offering. You have innovated and you have leapfrogged your competition with a product or service that changes the game now and in the future.

Who is going to present your offering to your dream clients? Who is going to help them understand how your offering helps your dream clients produce the results that help them to leapfrog their competition?

When it is all said and done, your people are all you ever really have.

Who is it that really creates value for your dream clients? Who is it that differentiates you and your offering? Who is it that works to understand your dream client’s needs and builds the vision of a future together with your company? Who manages the outcome that you promise and that you sell?

If People Are All You Have Got, It Takes More Than Talk

If your people are all you ever really have, then you have to do more than talk. You have to treat people not like they are your greatest asset—you have treat them like they are your only asset.

If people are all you have to produce results, what do you have to do to ensure that your people don’t fail? Seriously, what can you do to ensure that they succeed?

Do you think that this is too much? What else is there?

Whether your people are your greatest asset and your greatest source of competitive advantage or not depends completely and entirely on whether or not you walk your walk when it comes to treating them accordingly. Their success depends on you taking the actions that ensure that they succeed, and taking those actions requires that you care as deeply that they succeed as you need them to care about ensuring that your dream client’s succeed.


If people are your greatest asset and your competitive advantage, then you have to care as deeply about their success as you need them to care about your dream client’s success.


    1. If people are your only asset, then what do you have to do to ensure that they don’t fail?
    1. If people are your only real asset, if they are your only real competitive advantage, then what do you personally need to do ensure that they produce the results that you need?
    1. If your success—or your survival—depended on your people succeeding, what will you personally do to ensure that they succeeded in achieving the objectives that you gave them?
    1. Do you treat your people like they are your greatest asset? Do you treat your people like they are your greatest asset when they make mistakes? Do you treat your people like they are your greatest asset when they make mistakes that cost you money or cause you to miss your goals and objectives?
    1. Look at your calendar. How much of it is filled with appointments that directly relate to helping your people succeed?
  1. Do you care as deeply about your people’s success as your expectation about how much they need to care about ensuring your dream client’s succeed with your solution?

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4279.

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Post by Anthony Iannarino on September 5, 2010

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. He is the author of four books on the modern sales approach, one book on sales leadership, and his latest book called The Negativity Fast releases on 10.31.23. Anthony posts daily content here at TheSalesBlog.com.
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