Under Control: 5 Main Management Principles

Joseph McLean

When you manage a sales team, your main purpose is motivation. You have to encourage these people to do their best. Day by day, you’re implementing important management tools in practice. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re relying on various methods and models of management that help you get everything under control.

If this is your first time managing a team, it’s best to reflect on your previous experience with managers. How did they perform when you were part of the sales team? Have you ever worked with a really talented manager who managed to get the best out of you? Have you worked with a manager who wasn’t motivating enough? You can learn from both examples.

There are great and not-so-great managers. The difference is the principles they rely on. When you understand how these management principles work, you’ll be able to use them more efficiently. The following five principles, in particular, are especially important for sales team managers:

Division of Work

The five principles we’re going to mention are extracted from Fayol’s 14 principles of management. This is the first one, and it’s the most common principles that sales team managers forget about.

Division of work is a different concept when compared to division of labor. When we talk about division of labor, we mean separating small tasks, so that the workers could specialize. Division of work means division of a large task into smaller tasks, all of them with their own timeframe within the overall schedule for the project.
The point is to assign the worker with the most relevant skills to a particular part of the project. That boosts the efficiency of the team and increases the speed and accuracy of performance.

The sales process goes through several stages: prospecting, qualifying, presenting, handling objections, closing and nurturing. When you divide the tasks between the members of the team according to their specialization, you’ll manage the whole thing way better.

Unity of Direction

Many modern managers are delusional about flexibility. Yes, flexibility is important and you have to allow all team members to be creative. Still, proper management is about focus and a healthy level of control. All directions have to comply with the instructions given “from above.”

A manager takes directions from the higher levels of leadership and translates them into an action plan. You must control the process, so there’s no confusion. If, for example, you outsource content marketing to a thesis writing service, you’ll provide clear directives and expectations. The writers will still have some flexibility and space for creativity, but their work must comply with the directives.


The manager has to provide equal treatment to all team members. Fairness is one of the core values of successful leadership. When you award a bonus, for example, it should be granted on the basis of precise rules. Your employees will get a bonus when they reach a certain level of sales.

When such guidelines exist, everyone will try harder, knowing that when they reach a particular goal, they will get a fair award.

Authority and Responsibility

The manager is not just a random figure. They have authority and responsibility to give directions to the team. According to Henri Fayol, who developed these principles, authority and responsibility always go together. With the authority to give directions, you have a responsibility to give them properly. In case the higher leadership is not happy with the performance of the team, they will trace the responsibility back to you and your authority.

Subordination of Individual Interest

The interest of the organization is above all personal interests of the manager. The manager may have any personal beliefs and opinions about gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and anything else. When the organization has non-discrimination policies, the manager has to set those personal considerations aside and out the company’s objectives first.    

It’s not easy to become the best manager your team has ever had. But all great managers start from the same point: the very beginning. The good ones are different because they continue learning and practicing proper management principles. The five principles we mentioned above are the foundation, but that’s not where you’ll stop. It’s an ongoing process of development towards greatness.

Joseph McLean is a project manager and a freelance writer. His main focus is on personal and professional development not only for himself, but for his team as well. When not writing papers and managing writers, he spends his time traveling and learning psychology.