Micromanagement Is Not A Bad Word, Particularly In Sales – by Paul Alves

Why is it that the term micromanage has such a negative connotation?  How many times have you heard, “I don’t like to be micromanaged” or “I don’t like to micromanage”.  Why not? What is so terrible about being micromanaged or micromanaging, if your productivity or the productivity of your team can be improved as a result?

Let’s face it; some people need to be micromanaged.  Not everyone is a driven self starter.  I would argue that most of us aren’t. Some job functions need to be micromanaged to get the most productivity.  For instance in my company we track stats daily, like number of outbound calls, emails, and quality conversations.  While our focus is on passing fully qualified sales opportunities that progress to forecast, it is important to know in real time that we are tracking the activities that ensure we succeed for our clients.

When I was a sales rep, I never really minded being micromanaged.  Frankly it made me work harder, and when I worked harder I made more money.  As a sales manager I experimented with several different styles.  The more interactive I was the better results I got.  I always start with a long term goal and build all the way back to the daily/weekly activity necessary to stay on track.  I would reach out to my direct reports, sometimes on a daily basis to ensure we were on track to meet and exceed our goals.  As a result, I very rarely missed my goals, most often exceeding them.

Now, I’m sure you are saying to yourself how annoying, his team must have hated to go to work. Not true, good people became great, marginal people became good and everyone made a little more, or in some cases a lot more money than we might have if we took a more relaxed approach.

It all comes down to how the process is framed, if you come off like a task master who is in it for selfish reasons, you will create a culture and results that leave much to be desired.  However if you are working as a team toward a mutually agreed upon goal, and are investing your time and expertise to ensure you all succeed, you will get the best possible results every time.

OK, I’m off to “check in” with a few of my managers…thanks for reading.


Paul Alves is Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder AG Salesworks.  He started the company in 2002 with his business partner and AG Salesworks President and Chief Operations Officer Peter Gracey.  In his current position, Paul is responsible for developing and executing long term corporate strategy and building overall company value.  He is also serving as the acting Vice President of Sales with oversight responsibility for driving corporate revenue.  Prior to founding AG Salesworks, Alves and Gracey worked together at Webhire (now Kenexa), a software firm selling applicant tracking software to companies ranging from startup to Fortune 500.

Paul began his sales career in 1980 by founding his first business as a hot dog vendor in his hometown of Jamestown Rhode Island, using the profits to finance his private high school and college education.  “Paul‘s hot dogs” is still in business today.  Since then Paul has run his families top rated restaurant, where he was executive chef, worked as a Stock Broker at Morgan Stanley, and spent several years building and managing sales teams in the mortgage industry.  Paul lives in Jamestown RI, with his wife and two children.

When he’s not at work, Paul enjoys spending time skiing and at the beach with his family, cooking and practicing Bikram Yoga. He’s also a passionate advocate for improving the education system in the United States.  His two children attend The Compass School, a charter school in Kingston, Rhode Island where Paul is currently working with the development committee to raise funds for the schools expansion plans which includes two additional buildings and 20 acres of land. Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Marketing from Plymouth State University.

“By providing an environment where our team can grow professionally, financially and personally we are able to develop and maintain a team of professionals who set the standard for excellence in this industry. Having access to this level of talent brings tremendous value through best in class process to the sales & marketing teams of our clients.”

Paul Alves,
Chief Executive Officer