Over the years, I have had the privilege of leading and working with some great sales support leaders; the unsung heroes of large outsourcing providers, telecom carriers and consulting firms alike. Often, these individuals are underappreciated and underpaid, even though they are the glue that holds a services company together throughout each critical stage of a sales pursuit. They can make a clumsy salesperson look polished and credible; or a rude salesperson look stupid (not very often; only when it’s deserved). Yet, these brilliant staff members are often left to linger in the shadows, while others step into the spotlight.
I recall working with an incredible sales support superstar who was the magic behind many of our wins one year. He made everyone he worked with look smart, he ensured the company always appeared professional, and could articulately answer a complex set of client questions that ranged from intricately detailed to mind numbingly tedious.
After a big pursuit and subsequent win, his boss not only acknowledged this vital employee’s contribution, but recognized him in a very real way by flying him and his wife to Europe. The recognition was unexpected, which made it even more significant and special for this very deserving individual. In the great scheme of things, it was a small investment, compared to what he had enabled the company to achieve. But, to him, it meant the world.
Now, I ask you: Who are the best sales support leaders in the industry today?
If the answer is someone who works for you, then I strongly suggest that you go out of your way to thank him or her for what they do. If you have the power to do something special or something totally unexpected, do it. Show that employee that he or she is valued. Motivate that person to keep doing what he or she is doing. I guarantee you, your entire team—as well as the sales support leader—will be very happy you did.