Sales manager coaching is the management No. 1 activity that drives sales performance. The only problem is that managers have not been taught how to effectively coach. Coaching is a skill that takes time to perfect and unless effectively coached or trained managers can make all types of blunders.
If your goal is to be the #1 area/district then the question
is how are you going to make that happen?
Ask yourself, what do the best managers do better than the
average sales manager? What sales management activity drives sales performance?
Sales reps make their calls and sales managers do their field visits. That works as long as the business grows. Everyone gets high fives and there is no need to dig any deeper. But when sales are off, senior management starts asking questions. Sales managers struggle to come up with the answers and reps get nervous.
Why do you keep spending money on sales training? Every year you invest in programs to improve your reps’ skills but over and over again you see diminished returns. Will you be budgeting the same amount of dollars as you did last year?
Yes, you read it correctly, 85% – as Dave Stein highlighted in his recent post – Promoting Your Best Salesrep to Manager? Not So Fast…
I have said it often enough, but it worth repeating – the single most common mistake that organizations make is promoting their number one salesperson into the role of sales manager, thereby depriving themselves in a single stroke of their best producer and hamstringing their sales force with an ineffective manager.
The skills required for managing, mentoring and developing a sales team are totally different from those required for selling.
The past year was very challenging for many sales managers and we need to look ahead. Have you increased your sales targets? How will you ensure that your team delivers the goods?
A few years back, in a piece in the Harvard Business Review, it was stated that an 8% improvement in the productivity of your existing sales team will result in the same sales growth as if you were to add 27% more reps. I am sure the numbers may have changed in the three years since it was published, the underlying reality has not. In fact what has changed is the ability of organizations and managers to add headcount, in the post-Lehman Brothers-era, cost restraint is the overriding mantra. So with the added stress and demands on the average sales rep and team, the question becomes how to achieve this productivity without distracting the team or breaking the camel’s back.