UC for You: The Sales Manager

By Brian Ferguson

Having grown up professionally in the sales world, the role of Sales Manager is near and dear to my heart. In the third part of our blog series, UC For You, we take a look at how Unified Communications (UC) helps the sales manager lead the sales team (and your company) to success.

The sales team is the group that generates the revenue for your company – also fondly known as “the closers.” A salesperson is the voice and face of your company; and the sales manager is the one that guides the sales team and makes things happen. Driven by revenue, margin, growth goals, and of course, commissions, a good sales manager develops a great sales team through constant training and follow-up. In larger companies, sales is run by that dedicated manager; but in smaller companies, the role of the sales manager must be taken on by the owner or another internal leader. No matter who assumes responsibility for the job, the role of sales manager is instrumental in helping your company fuel significant growth – and having the right tools can make things more, well, manageable.

A sales manager must have tools to communicate with their sales people and with the high-profile customers they have to close on their own, and it all starts with the right UC phone system for your business. Sales managers need metrics to see whom among their sales team is succeeding and who needs some additional coaching to make the right contacts and make quota. Sales managers need training tools to help them develop their team, and they need to be mobile to sell at anytime from anywhere.

Before I show you how Switchvox can help a sales manager succeed and drive more revenue to your company, let’s take a look at three infamous salespeople in the movies. The managers knew how to make things happen! I strongly encourage you to check them out on YouTube if you haven’t seen any of the movies. (Before proceeding, please take note: neither Digium nor myself advocate the methods used by these individuals; but, let’s face it, they sure are entertaining!)

#1 Blake (Alec Baldwin)- Glengarry Glen Ross

Sales manager Alec Baldwin

Glengarry Glen Ross is a great movie that tracks two days in the life of a group of four New York City real estate salesmen. The rub is that they are told two of them will be fired in the coming week. Our friend Blake, played by Alec Baldwin, gives a great, (though profanity-laden) “motivational” speech stressing the famous ABCs of sales: Always Be Closing! If you’ve been in sales long enough, you’ve met a guy like this. The speech is a YouTube must watch.

“Go and do likewise, gents. The money’s out there, you pick it up, it’s yours. You don’t–I have no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those sits tonight and close, close, it’s yours. If not you’re going to be shining my shoes. Bunch of losers sitting around in a bar.” – Blake

Jim Young (Ben Affleck) –Boiler Room

 sales managers in movies

Many years before the Wolf of Wall Street, there was Boiler Room.   Boiler Room was a fantastic movie developed from interviews done by brokers from Stratton Oakmont during Jordan Belfort’s reign over Wall St. Yes, the same Stratton Oakmont portrayed during Wolf of Wall Street. In Boiler Room, Jim is a star broker that makes an invigorating speech to the new recruits in the firm. He’s a millionaire and drives a Ferrari, so you can probably guess how that speech goes. If you’ve not seen the movie, it’s another must-watch on YouTube, as long as you can stomach some of the harsh language.

“You Want details? Fine. I drive a Ferrari, 355 Cabriolet, What’s up? I have a ridiculous house in the South Fork. I have every toy you could possibly imagine. And best of all kids, I am liquid.” – Jim

Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) – Wall Street

 sales manager michael douglas in wall street

There’s probably no real need for a description of this classic 80’s flick. If you’ve somehow missed Michael Douglas’ portrayal of the infamous Gordon Gecko (and his giant cell phone), then you need to find time to watch it. In the meantime, his take on sales leadership can be summed up in this memorable quote: “If you need a friend, get a dog.

“The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” – Gordon

These guys are just a few of the characters that give sales a bad name, but are entertaining as larger-than-live movie characters. And, I’m sure your company doesn’t employ the same ruthless and unethical practices as the above gentleman used in their respective movies, so that’s a good thing.

Now that I’ve highlighted the anti-sales-manager hero, allow me to share some of the important tools for the real sales manager – the likable, motivating, inspiring guy that leads sales team to their goals. In particular, I want to point out some of the things that a Switchvox phone system with Unified Communications (UC) features can provide in order to help develop a great sales team, exceed your goals, and drive growth for your organization:

Visibility and Training

Sales managers must not only know what’s going on with their team, but they need to be able to listen in on calls and interact as needed. Switchvox gives them this ability.

Status- Status gives the sales manager the ability to know what’s happening with all of their employees. Whether they are at lunch, on a sales call, or on vacation, seeing status means the sales manager will always be in the know.

Monitor- Monitor allows managers to listen in on any call, on the fly. This features means a manager can verify the abilities of her team, or identify opportunities for additional sales training.

Whisper- Managers can now help a sales person out during a live call without the prospect knowing anyone else is on the call! This allows for on the spot coaching, during a live conversation.

Barge- If a sale seems to be going south or the salesperson needs help, the “barge” feature lets a manager become part of the call.

Record- The manager doesn’t always have time to listen to live calls, but still wants the ability to hear if the right types of conversations are taking place during a sales call. Switchvox gives managers the ability to record calls at a moment’s notice, or to schedule them to be recorded at any time.



Metrics are vital for sales managers. You have to be able to measure your performance to better understand why you’re successful. Switchvox has built-in reporting options to help.

On-Demand Reporting- Reports can be generated at any time to include: number of calls, wait times, abandoned calls, and more. These stats can help identify trouble spots.

Real-Time Reporting- Sometimes, running the report ‘later’ is simply too late. Managers need to know what’s going on ‘right now,’ and Switchvox can deliver those real-time insights. The Switchboard includes a panel to show real-time metrics on the performance of your queues.

Scheduled Reports – Switchvox allows reports to be set up in advance and then delivered when and where you want. Want to come in and have yesterday’s numbers ready in your email inbox? Not a problem with Switchvox.



Salespeople need to be where the sales process is happening, and often times that’s not at a desk inside the office. However, when going to client meetings, or traveling for an offsite sales call, your sales team needs to stay connected, from anywhere at anytime. Switchvox delivers this connectivity with the Switchvox Softphone for iPhone. Not only do you have complete call control including call recording, you can connect over WiFi, LTE or 3G. The softphone also helps a salesperson keep work and personal life separate by passing your company’s caller ID (and not the personal cell phone number). It also allows a sales person to change his ‘status’ at any time, directly from his iPhone.


As you can see, Switchvox is a perfect fit for the sales manager, and your sales team. Take a closer look at Switchvox and see how it can help your company deliver on its growth goals. 

don't let wrong UC vendor sink your game


Are you’re shopping around for a better phone system to give your sales team more flexibility and features? Watch our webcast, “Don’t let the wrong UC vendor sink your game: winning strategies to save time and money when choosing your next phone system.”

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