Sales Manager Blocks Improvement Attempts. Don’t Be Held Hostage.

Sales Manager Blocks Improvement Attempts. Don’t Be Held Hostage.

We were engaged by the owner of a small, but growing company to analyze his sales team and its effectiveness.  During the discussion about the different players on the team and what he was trying to accomplish, I learned that the real reason the owner was interested in outside help was because he was concerned about the effectiveness of the sales manager.  The sales manager had been in the industry for years and was quite knowledgeable so was very valuable to the organization, but the owner was concerned that the manager wasn’t doing all that was necessary to get the […]

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Dumping the Crisis Management Burden on Sales Managers Dampens Growth

Dumping the Crisis Management Burden on Sales Managers Dampens Growth

In my last article, Crisis Management Hampers Sales Managers’ Effectiveness, I discussed the shocking amount of time that many sales managers are spending on crisis management. I conducted a rough poll of business owners regarding this topic and provided a list of possible ways that the sales manager could be spending the bulk of his or her time. Much to my disappointment, the vast majority of the business owners polled indicated that their sales managers spend the bulk of their time in crisis management. This is valuable time that they could be spending coaching and motivating their salespeople to improve […]

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Crisis Management Hampers Sales Managers’ Effectiveness

Crisis Management Hampers Sales Managers’ Effectiveness

I just returned from sunny Marco Island, FL where I was speaking to a group of business owners about sales management. Actually the title of my program was “Ineffective Sales Management Kills Growth… Duh”. The group included both business owners who directly manage their sales teams as well as business owners who have dedicated sales managers.

As I usually do I discussed the 5 essential skills of effective sales managers: Coaching, Motivating, Holding Salespeople Accountable, Recruiting and Mentoring. By the way you can download my new eBook, The 5 Essentials of Effective Sales Management, on this topic. Without fail, when I […]

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CEO as Sales Manager. Do You Have What It Takes?

CEO as Sales Manager. Do You Have What It Takes?

Today’s article is dedicated to those CEOs/Owners who also manage the sales team.  My first message is:  “You shouldn’t.”  But, if you believe that you really cannot afford a dedicated professional sales manager, then read on.

You first need to recognize from the outset that you will not be as effective of a job as if you had a quality sales manager leading the sales team.  You can’t because you don’t have the time to dedicate to coaching, motivating, holding the team accountable while also dealing with all the internal company issues, and oh yeah, also paying attention to recruiting new […]

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Sales Managers Aren’t Spending Enough Time Holding Salespeople Accountable

Sales Managers Aren’t Spending Enough Time Holding Salespeople Accountable

Last time I talked about the area of accountability and what causes sales managers to be ineffective in holding salespeople accountable.  In case you missed the list of traits that competent sales managers possess I list it here.

Doesn’t accept mediocrity
No need for approval from salespeople
Takes responsibility
Manages behavior
Asks questions
Manages the pipeline
Personal beliefs support accountability

As I mentioned last time, frequently we see sales managers who have a hard time holding salespeople accountable because they have an oversized need for approval themselves.

While that is a common trait that is lacking and can be time-consuming to improve, we also see a significant number of […]

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Sales Managers’ Need for Approval Gets in Their Way of Holding Salespeople Accountable

Sales Managers’ Need for Approval Gets in Their Way of Holding Salespeople Accountable

I talk a lot about coaching, motivating and holding salespeople accountable as the primary functions of an effective sales manager.  I took an in depth look at coaching ineffectiveness a couple of articles ago.  I’d like to look at holding salespeople accountable today.   The primary characteristics that we evaluate when determining whether or not a sales manager is competent in this area are:

Doesn’t accept mediocrity
No need for approval from salespeople
Takes responsibility
Manages behavior
Asks questions
Manages the pipeline
Personal beliefs support accountability

This isn’t a very exhaustive list frankly, but surprisingly very few sales managers possess a competency in the area of holding their salespeople accountable.  […]

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Motivation Alone Will NOT Predict Sales Success

Motivation Alone Will NOT Predict Sales Success

In my last article, I wrote about the fact that it is the manager’s job to help motivate their employees.  But, I do not want any misunderstanding.  Just because a person is motivated, or even highly motivated, does not indicate that they will actually be a successful salesperson.  For instance, I know of company owners who believe that if they just hire athletes, whom they deem to be highly motivated (and competitive) they will magically have success.  Oh, if it were just that easy.  Unfortunately, there are so many factors that go into predicting success with a salesperson that motivation […]

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Motivation…Also a Sales Manager’s Job

Motivation…Also a Sales Manager’s Job

Over the years I have heard from numerous CEOs and sales managers alike that believe that they should not have to help motivate their people to do their jobs.  They believe that if they just hired “highly motivated” people they can just let them go.  Well I say “Good luck with that.”  It is an unrealistic expectation.  Even the most motivated individuals, need some help along the way in the motivation department.

Yes – hire motivated individuals but don’t rely solely on their self-motivation to be able to carry them through difficulties and adversity.  Sales managers must get to know their […]

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Improve Sales Results. Spend More Time Coaching, Motivating and Holding Salespeople Accountable

Improve Sales Results. Spend More Time Coaching, Motivating and Holding Salespeople Accountable

As you think about planning for the upcoming year, it’s likely that your thoughts turn to sales growth.  Frequently, I hear from CEOs and business owners who are concerned that their sales team will again not produce the sales growth results they would like.  But, frequently they aren’t willing to do anything different.  Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

I say, if you aren’t sure about your sales team, look to the sales manager(s) first.  Are they coaching, motivating and holding the sales team accountable to well-defined activities every single week?  Are they spending 80% of their time on these people […]

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The Common Traits Between Superstar Sales Managers and Superstar Salespeople….Not Many

The Common Traits Between Superstar Sales Managers and Superstar Salespeople….Not Many

In my last article I discussed the fact that most sales managers (82% to be exact) are not effective coaching their salespeople.  Yikes!  That is a big percentage of folks that aren’t good at doing what they need to be doing most of the time.  So why is that?  I think it is because they don’t actually know what they are supposed to be doing.  Let’s face it, the vast majority of sales managers never went to sales manager training school.  They were more than likely a good salesperson who got promoted to that role while their boss crossed his […]

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