How to Develop Better Sales Managers

The importance of strong leadership is not even a question. When leadership is weak, it hurts everyone.

When it comes to sales organizations trying to drive growth, it involves behavior change and transformation. This is a big challenge, particularly at the frontline sales manager level.

Promotions with Equipment

What’s happened in the past several years is that most organizations would promote their best individual performers, without necessarily equipping them with the tools to be effective managers. What tends to happen is that they learn on the job, starting a Darwinian process. They either learn to succeed or they fail, and failure usually results in their departure from the organization. This is very unfortunate because the organization then loses a good salesperson and a potentially good sales manager.

Give them the Right Tools

When training a good salesperson into a good sales leader, you must develop the necessary skills and abilities that they probably didn’t need as salespeople. This includes things such as:

  • Quality and quantitative ways to interview, identify, and hire the best talents – how to get beyond the resume and find out if the person will truly be a good fit and salesperson for your organization
  • How to do performance coaching, which is something that salespeople typically don’t do – how to identify performance problems and then coach those individuals to develop their skills in the areas that they may be lacking
  • Develop them into good deal coaches – how to really add value in a deal strategy or deal review session, and develop and drive good strategies with their individuals reps and team members

These are all keys to success for sales organizations. What research shows and what we’ve seen in our own experience is that a consistent sales process that’s aligned with their buyers, plus consistent coaching, can develop as much as a 15%-25% improvement in sales effectiveness. The cost of a bad hire – someone who leaves the organization – can cost one to two and a half times quota for the organization. That includes lost revenue that doesn’t usually show up in your books.

Don’t suffer any longer from bad hires and the loss of good salespeople who might have been great leaders. Equip your sales leaders with the right tools and reap the benefits, today.

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