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Are you asking these questions about your sales team?
• Why is our sales team not performing?
• We just seem to be in a slump; why can’t we get out?
• Is this a management issue or a sales issue?
Does your sales manager know how to truly manage? Is he or she a real leader, and knows how to lead? Even attending sales management training doesn’t seem to help—why? What is going wrong?
Research done by the Sales Management Association on management training found that, of the top seven topics trained, six are targeted to what salespeople do, and not what sales managers do. The mindset seems to be if we keep teaching managers how to sell better, they will make their sales teams better.
Bottom line: Sales managers don’t need to learn how to be better sellers, they need to know how to be better managers. The most important training for sales managers, according to the SMA, comes down to these five topics:
Hiring Properly Upfront (37 percent increase): The biggest opportunity to jumpstart sales and create true sales breakthroughs is to hire the right people first.
Assessing and Coaching Sales Performance (15.6 percent increase): Managers need to learn how to monitor the key performance indicators and shift them as necessary before they get too far down the hill.
Funnel Management (13.5 percent increase): Managers need to learn how to help salespeople build their pipelines from additional prospecting activities, to properly move them down the sales funnel and close more appropriate business while not wasting time on inappropriate prospects.
More Targeted Sales Forecasting (13.1 percent increase): Learning the sales process to create true forecast. Sales managers do not truly understand how to forecast and because of this deficit, they make educated guesses.
Planning and assessing the right things (12.6 percent increase): Sales managers’ KPIs often analyze the wrong things. Managers need to be taught how to address the correct activities and track them for optimal success.
The importance of your sales force is not underestimated by most CEOs; it often is assumed that it’s run correctly. And you know what happens when you assume.
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.