The state of sales management today is getting worse than I have ever seen it. I believe this is because sales managers have been trained so inadequately that they have basically given up on the coaching aspect of their profession. They have turned into glorified paper pushers and have gotten away completely from the essence of managing which is to change strategy and behavior that is not working and replace them with functional ones that do.
They haven’t got the faintest idea how to correct the poor performance of their sales force in real time before major damage has occurred like a REAL manager would do. They are much like watching a football team that runs the ball every time. They run the same play over and over and so the defense stops them in their tracks. In the sales world, it is your buyer that can see you repeat the same mistake again and again.
No Expectations, No Improvement
Furthermore, they set no expectations, plan no activities, blame others for their lack of results and bury themselves in distractions like reviewing expense reports to hide from the truth. They also don’t feel very good about themselves, much less their jobs. They suffer from “toxic energy” because they don’t believe the work they do as sales managers is meaningful. What should sales managers of today be doing to increase the performance of their teams? I thought you’d never ask. Here is the palate of the successful manager:
- Hiring — Always looking for replacements of the “bottom third.”
- Commitment — Evaluating the “buy in” of the individual performers.
- Training — Provide and teach the system they operate with.
- Coaching — Adjusting and tweaking individuals to get back on track.
- Accountability — Hold their team accountable to follow their commitment.
Why not recommit to becoming a better manager today? Should a manager spend any time running the reports? I say leave the paperwork and statistical data gathering for a clerk or secretarial type employee to do. The above “managing” activities will take up your time and then some.
Numbers are important, but should be easy to get and should not consume your most valuable resource which is your time. Stop pushing paper and get off you’re a** and change your teams performance now. The successful manager doesn’t wait for change to happen, they make it happen.
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