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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Great Sales Managers Understand the Power of Restricting Freedom


If you open an underwater door and let a fish out of an aquarium into the ocean, he is free. Free to swim around the sea! But if you let him out of the water completely, he is not really free. The fish needs water to live — this restriction is a good one. The fish also needs room to swim — the restriction that keeps him caged is not a good one.

Freedom comes not from being unrestricted, but from being restricted from harmful things.

If you manage a sales team, you need to make good decisions about what to restrict and what not to restrict. For example, I think it’s smart to remove restrictions about where salespeople work and when they work. The world is changing fast and you’ll hold your people back if you are too restrictive in these areas. An area where I would build in some restrictions would be lead generation. Your salespeople and the organization as a whole will be more effective if you have a clear plan to identify leads, qualify them, and then get the first appointment. There are systems that make this entire process more efficient, and anyone on your team who wants to be a lone ranger in this area will not be as effective.

Use your power wisely! Think through what restrictions will help your team and what restrictions will hurt.

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Topics: Sales leadership