Sales manager is a leadership role, not a sales role. A sales leader is a coach, a counselor, a strategizer and an executor. A sales leader achieves sales results through the team he or she leads. The best sales people do not necessarily make the best sales managers. The skill sets, behaviors and tools are entirely different. The focus is also different. The salesperson’s focus is the customer, whereas the sales leader’s focus is his or her people.
Some common sales management pitfalls include:
- Promoting the wrong people. Many sales people have the potential of being superb sales leaders, but may require coaching help to make the transition.
- Giving sales quota to sales managers, so they continue to handle accounts directly detracting from their ability to lead the team.
- Using sales managers’s time to support weak sales people, while strong ones are left on their own. The reality is that a sales leader’s time is much better invested in helping their best A and B+ players become even better. There is far greater ROI than spending the same time shoring up the B- and C players on the team.
We help our clients develop outstanding sales leaders who keeps salespeople focused on what is important, making their best people even better, cultivating the next generation of sales leaders, and empowering salespeople to do sales rather than doing sales themselves.