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Why Your Sales Manager needs Training?

April 29, 2014

In general, most companies will invest in sales training for their salespeople but not in Sales Management.

THE PROBLEM:  I remember when I first became a sales manager.  I thought because I was a hot-shot sales person that this would be easy.  Little did I know that the skill sets needed for sales management are quite different?  If you are a Business Owner or great in General Management you may not have the background or training to manage a sales force.  Think about how much more independent and proactive Sales people are to be effective.  Their motivation and compensation differs from your other workers.  How do you effectively manage that?

Where an accountant and lab person is precise and deals with black and white outcomes, the salespeople deal in gray and personal judgment.  Where much of the internal staff can deal with one project at a time till it’s complete a salesperson must juggle multiple possibilities and focus on the best ones.

Quite logically, many companies put their top salesperson in the role of management without training or without a clear understanding of the requirements of the job.  Do you think that by osmosis or example the rest of the salespeople will learn from the new sales manager?  Your best salespeople that are managers will often take over the sale instead of teaching your salesperson how to do it.  The result maybe that the numbers look better.  However, is this best situation for the company?  The goal of any leadership or management position is to make it less dependent on an individual and more dependant on the team.

Please review the below Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sales Managers are very highly paid, yet there is no On-the-Job Training.  We are setting them up to fail.  Additionally, coaching, training, and motivating are important part of the Sales manager’s job but that is not all that they do.

 

Quick Facts: Sales Managers
2012 Median Pay $105,260 per year
$50.60 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 359,300
Job Outlook, 2012-22 8% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 29,800

 

Here is just a short list of skills and knowledge a sales manager needs.

  • Running a sales Meeting
  • Developing a Sales Territory
  • Sales Forecasting and Budgeting
  • Analyze sales Statistics
  • Knowing the basics of a profit and loss statement
  • Writing a sales plan
  • Understanding the differences in account management and territory management
  • Hiring salespeople
  • Developing a collaborative team
  • Making a CRM a productive tool for both management and sales.
  • Working with Marketing and Aligning Marketing and Sales

ACTIONS:  So what can be done to help the New Sales Manager or Business Owner trying to manage a sales force?

  • Write a detailed Job Description listing the responsibilities and discuss thoroughly with any candidate
  • List and rank what skills are most important for your sales manager to have before you put someone in that position to fail.  Make sure that there is a training program in place for areas that are lacking.
  • If you are unsure of the priorities or any facet of this process hire a Sales Management Coach or first outsource your sales management.   In this way you can save a lot of money and time, and make sure that your decision is for the long-term.

If you would like to discuss this further or see how Sales Coach AZ can help your company in this matter, please contact me at allan@salescoachaz.com or 480.656.3565.

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