Role Discrepancy

February 3, 2017 || POSTED BY Chad Reischl || Managing your Sales Operations

DEI Central has been dedicated to helping Senior Housing providers manage their census since 2008.  And what started our decision to dedicate our resources to Senior Housing is an interesting story, and one that still speaks to many providers. But see what you think.

One of the many DEI published texts on the subject of sales and sales management is the coaching text:  THE #1 SALES TEAM:  Superior Techniques for Maximum Performance by Stephen Schiffman.   In 2008 a senior housing provider picked the book off the shelf while shopping at a local book store because she was preparing for a corporate sales summit and was contemplating how to create just that:   A #1 Sales Team.  Her company had invested six figures in ‘traditional’ selling skills training the prior year and found that, while the training did create an initial bump in census,  the census improvement didn’t prove to be sustainable.

After reading the book she was drawn to chapter 19:  The Role Discrepency Exercise .    She  decided to do the exercise at their upcoming meeting.   Was there a discrepancy between sales and management in how each viewed each other’s roles?

The outcome for this first application of the exercise was a discrepancy akin to the Grand Canyon as it was relayed by this VP of Sales when she called DEI corporate and asked for our help.

But here is the exercise and it may be fun, and enlightening, to do this exercise with your team.


This exercise is designed to help managers and salespeople alike get a fix on how widely their perceptions of each other’s roles can vary.The exercise is simple.  Give the following print out to each sales person and each ED or administrator on your team and ask them to fill in their portion of the grid.  Sales will fill in the ‘1’s” and management the ‘’2’s”.

1. Team member’s view of team member’s role.

2. Manager’s view of team member’s role.

1. Team member’s view of manager’s role.

2. Manager’s view of manager’s role.

Notice that the first box asks for a few thoughts on how your salesperson views his or her role in the company.   (I like to tell them to write down 5 bullets for each of their respective columns).  The second box asks the manger to write down their view of the sales person’s job.  The third box is where the salesperson writes down his or her view of the manager’s role.  The fourth box is where the manager highlights his or her role within the company.

NOW, be prepared to be enlightened!*

This exercises has been given to and compiled for 1000’s of industry participants.  If you’d like to see how your team compares you will find the industry statistics in the blog titled:   Are they marketing or sales?  And do they know their role?