The Perfect Regional Sales Manager

The Perfect Regional Sales Manager

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The following characteristics and qualities of the “perfect regional sales manager” were developed by a “best practices” group of allied rep firm owners/presidents who asked that ERA share these with other reps and manufacturers. The reps who created this list do not necessarily feel it is complete, and ERA welcomes feedback regarding additions to the list.

Please contact Walt Tobin at wtobin@era.org with your comments and suggestions.


  • Knows the factory and helps the rep get things done. He/she is the rep’s eyes, ears and voice at the factory.
  • Isn’t afraid of management. Tells management the “way it is.” Brings reality to the factory.
  • Communciates openly and frankly with the rep. Tells the rep the “way it is.”
  • Respects the rep’s time (re: reports, visits, teleconferences, etc.).
  • Understands that commission is the rep’s paycheck.
  • Makes territory/customer visits with an eye toward moving the pebble forward, not just shaking hands and slapping backs.
  • Responds in a timely manner.
  • Follows up.
  • Knows more about the product and applications than the rep does.
  • Spends most of his/her time helping the rep “get things done” at the factory or on behalf of the customers, not reviewing history and reports.
  • Shares wins and success stories with the rep.
  • Helps the rep with ideas, solutions and leadership as opposed to, “The numbers are bad! Fix it!”
  • Shares credit with the rep for success.
  • Is honest and shares blame, where appropriate, with the rep.
  • Is a real manager and leader, not a supervisor and/or babysitter.
  • Communicates his/her and/or the factory’s territory activities that did not involve the rep.
  • Regularly updates the rep on factory happenings, personnel, poilicies, product strategy, etc.
  • Does not block the rep from having relationships/exposure “up the ladder” in his/her company.

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