19 Hard-Hitting Insights On Sales Force Management Everything alright in your side of the camp?

Managing a sales force is not easy. Nobody will say it’s easy. You have strong personalities, low performers flying under the radar, forgotten quotas and disengaged sales pros. Sometimes, it’s too much.

Know what? Maybe you need a nudge. Read up on what these sales experts say about management. It’s not all pretty. But what do they say: the truth hurts, right?

Take some time to reflect on your operations today. Wear your humility hat and see your process as what it really is.

Sales for management insights from the experts:

To be fair, it is hard to focus in the chaotic world of sales. But it is the most critical thing that we see missing in many sales forces. And we don’t mean focusing on quota or compensation – that will happen regardless. We mean focusing on what the salespeople actually do between Monday morning and Friday afternoon. Making sales calls, pursuing deals, growing accounts, mining territories, and managing their sales pipeline. The stuff that drives engagement and consequently boosts revenue. Sales managers need to be better and identifying, measuring, and coaching these things.

Jason Jordan
What Makes a Great Sales Manager?  http://www.vantagepointperformance.com


Your company’s sales “problem” is a leadership problem stemming from the company’s sales culture and the executive(s) and managers over sales.

Mike Weinberg
Lame Sales Leadership from Companies, Executives and Managers is THE Problem, http://www.newsalescoach.com


That said, you should treat your sales people as business operators…real business operators. After all, your company is funding their business. Your sales people have an obligation to present their plan to make that business profitable. In essence, you are the primary investor in their business.

Lee Salz
How Sales People Want To Be Managed…And How They Should Be Managed https://www.salesarchitects.com 


As a manager, you need to be aware of what it takes to meet your requirements.If you ask your salespeople to make a certain number of calls per day, be sure it’s not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally possible.

Butch Bellah
Sales Management: How To Avoid Burnout, http://www.dummies.com/


Breakthrough outcomes come from how well activities get done. Everyone can swing a bat, those that swing well score. The same applies in sales management. Doing activities well really does matter. Getting great requires knowledge of and focus on what must be done well, passion to make a measurable difference, and the means and commitment to develop the skills required to be effective.

Business Efficacy
Breaking Through Sales Management Mediocracy, www.businessefficacy.com


Sales managers are the backbone of every sales organization. They make it happen. They are the unsung heroes of corporations wearing so many hats.

Elay Cohen
The Sales Manager Manifesto, https://saleshood.com/blog/


The best chefs try several variations of a dish before they add it to their menu.  They try different ingredients; vary the amount of each ingredient until they get just the right taste and consistency.  The effort they put in upfront on a new dish pays off when it produces word of mouth reviews of happy diners.

The best sales managers challenge themselves to always be looking at how to get the best results from their sales team.  Their ingredients are the processes they add or remove, what they measure or don’t measure, how leads are generated, reporting they add or remove, what they need to train or coach every salesperson on and countless other options at the disposal of every sales manager.

David Domos
Develop Your Sales Management Recipe, http://www.whybuyfromyou.com/


When you are in management role it is easy to think that some problems will just go away and sort themselves out. This is a fool’s errand and will just make you look weak. Think about the rules of what is known as Human Robotics.

  • When you see a behaviour you like, reward it. This will help this behaviour to continue.
  • When you see a behaviour you don’t like, reprimand it. Nip it in the bud; this will stop it in its tracks.
  • Timing is crucial, to both of these above points act quickly so that good behaviour doesn’t feel ignored, and that bad behaviour doesn’t fester and grow out of control.

Simon Hares
Management – Making the Move from Mate to Manager, http://serialtrainer7.com/


Huddle on strategic opportunities or competitive situations.

A “team brain” is better than a single brain in these situations. You as the manager can point reps to a peer, “I remember Kathy had a deal like that. We should ask her how she handled it.” Or you can use Chatter or other collaboration tools.

Sally Duby
6 ideas For making Your sales team warriors http://blog.bridgegroupinc.com/


We complain about bad, clueless sales people.  But are they really at fault?  Could so many be failing so consistently because of their own ineptness?  After all, they are doing exactly what they have been told to do. They’ve been trained, scripted, measured on selling poorly by their management.

David Brock
Sales Managers Are Killing The Sales Organization!, http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/


Too many times I’ve seen sales managers turn their work with the low-performer into a personal mission that overpowers everything else. It’s good to be passionate about helping people, but not to the point of being blind to the team. Also, you have to be careful the low performer doesn’t suck you into believing the only reason they’re not successful is due to you not spending enough time with them or some other issue where they can place blame. If the low performer is not willing to step up and be responsible and take ownership, you have only one choice — You must terminate them as rapidly as possible.

Mark Hunter
What You Ultimately MUST Know About Low Performer, http://thesaleshunter.com/


If my sales manager expected to know my activity numbers regularly (daily in a sales huddle or in some other manner) I was ready and worked to exceed his or her expectations. If not, I have to admit, I’d phone it in. I thought less of them for not caring about how I’m doing and for not asking me anything other than about deal activity.

Lori Richardson
Sales Reps Succeed When Leaders Lead, https://www.scoremoresales.com

If you are a sales leader, you need to create a healthy culture. That healthy culture needs to celebrate prospecting and opportunity acquisition. It needs to reject order-taking behaviors. You aren’t going to make a difference for people if they don’t know who you are and how you create value. You need more opportunities.

Anthony Iannarino
7 Sales Management Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make, http://thesalesblog.com/

A conference room full of salespeople and sales leaders just might be the biggest time waste of the week. Add up the opportunity costs of each of the 12-15 sales people, 1-5 functional managers and possibly a vendor or guest gathered at that table. How long do your weekly sales meetings usually last? 45 minutes to an hour on average. Then add up the time for each of the attendees to drive to the office, park their car, fill up their coffee cup and get settled in. It becomes clear that there is a significant money drain, productivity black hole and a financial loss involved with each meeting.

Miles Austin
Sign Of A Healthy Sales Team Is An Empty Conference Room, http://www.fillthefunnel.com/ 


If you want to thrive in this new era of sales, it is now up to you as a sales manager to view territories, customers and products as if assessing a financial portfolio that you are responsible for investing. The people involved, the marketing dollars spent and the efforts expended are all for you to decide. It is your responsibility to make your investments wisely.

Since the time and attention of your salespeople are part of that investment, it is your responsibility to own their calendar, their workflow and where they spend their time. You may be of the old mindset that this is micromanagement, but in today’s marketplace, the investment belongs to the company, not the sales rep. This means your role as sales manager must adapt if you want to succeed in life after the death of selling as we know it. Y

Tom Searcy
7 responsibilities sales managers must own, http://www.huntbigsales.com/


Sellers need to be constantly encouraged to believe that it is not an uphill task to achieve sales quotas as long as they adopt effective and timely measures to hit the ‘number,’ the right way. Making or missing sales quotas is largely determined by how the sales quota message is communicated to the sales team.

Neal Polachek
5 Ways to Successfully Communicate Sales Quotas, http://www.buzzboard.com/


You will hurt your team if you push them too hard without enough training.  They need time and encouragement and a good leader showing them the pace.

Dan Waldschmidt
5 Leadership Lessons I Learned While Pacing Myself, http://danwaldschmidt.com/


Avoid the temptation to become complacent. Actively look for new ideas, approaches, markets, uses for your product, partnerships, ways to wow your customers, charitable endeavors, and other opportunities. Experiment, adjust, adapt, discard, improve. Just keep moving. Because in business, if you sit still, someone’s going to outperform you.

Don Cooper
To Boost Your Sales, Don’t Sit Down, http://www.doncooper.com/


How much time do you spend listening to platitudes and corporate lip service that not only have no relation to the reality but that actually attempt to cover up the reality? Often these come in the cloak of the latest buzzwords, key phrases from the latest management fads: fads that were frequently excellent ideas to begin with—sometimes revolutionary ideas—until they were misused, misunderstood or just plain co-opted in the service of something very different from what the experts who developed them intended.

Barry Maher
How to Live Forever: Speaking of Leadership, Management and Corporate BS, http://www.barrymaher.com/

Some of this hit a nerve or two?



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Dan Sincavage

Dan Sincavage

Dan is a Co-Founder of Tenfold and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. Dan oversees the Tenfold sales organization, manages strategic partner relationships and works with key enterprise accounts to ensure their success with the Tenfold platform.

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