If sales managers make a mistake and fail to meet their targets, they often explain that “his district didn’t make quota,” or “he never grasped how we do things,” “he followed the wrong opportunities” and the list goes on. But is this really the best way to explain the issue or is there more to think about?
Are management’s faults to the blame?
Based on my own experience I’ve observed numerous areas where the management is not doing enough in its duty to train sales managers. It is important to note that not all businesses fail in all areas. But, the majority of companies are in a state of failure, with varying degrees, in various crucial areas. I am convinced that if these issues are dealt with properly the companies will reap tangible benefits in the near term that will help them achieve long-term success.
Here are the areas I’m referring to:
1. Candidate Selection
A sales manager is chosen on the basis of a excellent sales record as well as a intuition-based assessment of their personality characteristics. But do they have the required skills to inspire others to promote their products, hire new employees, mentor under-achievers and devise broad sales strategies while juggling day-to-day management and administrative duties? Perhaps. However, are we missing out on the best option?
2. Sink or Swim Mindset
I’ve witnessed numerous situations where management fills an empty slot by making a convenient selection, believing that they have the desire to be successful. If they don’t, they’ll be fired and a different candidate will be put in the position. This strategy does not just send a negative message to the market, but can also cause lower morale , and sometimes even the reluctance of new candidates to apply for the position.
3. The First 90-120 Days
This is an extremely crucial moment in a sales manager’s growth. It’s also a moment when the manager’s enthusiasm and eagerness to learn is at its highest. In this time, management can fail the new manager if it fails to provide adequate training. In the absence of this window, it is an unintentional error.
4. Best Practices Foundation
Management is ineffective when it fails to equip sales managers with the most effective practices that are essential to sales management, regardless of the industry. Most of the time, best practices are conflated with the practices required for individual selling , such as client retention accounts, pipeline development, account penetration and so on. What’s required is a solid understanding of areas like coaching, motivation and team building, recruitment and accountability.
5. Critical Mass Syndrome
Due to a variety of reasons, most of them connected to travel costs and expense management usually puts off until they have a crucial group of new sales managers to give them the training in a group. This method does not provide new employees with the necessary training quickly to be able to get an immediate start in their new roles. Also, it fails to meet the individual needs of each employee.
6. Delayed Investment
A lot of companies put off investing in sales managers until they has achieved a certain amount of performance or has a certain amount of time. I’ve observed that sales employees in this scenario have low levels of commitment they retain only a fraction of the information they are given and tend to consider the job an opportunity to make money.
A need for modern appearance
The issues I have identified are not a good fit for a the same old business approach.
The answer isn’t in traditional training programs. They are not effective due to their price, generalized contents and less than satisfactory learning retention. What is required is a paradigm shift that incorporates these elements:
In a typical training session, the instructor will present the subject matter in a manner that is followed by questions, and students go home with a binder which is usually placed on a shelf to collect dust. It’s not a surprise that retention of knowledge is not high. The only thing that is needed is accountability from the student. In this case, the student must complete the course with an end-of-course certification process that requires an oral account of the lessons they have learned. I’ve observed that retention in learning increases significantly when this type of exam is integrated within the course learning.
What are the times when it is said that it’s hard to tell the extent to which a training program does what it says? The answer is to create a training environment where each student is assessed and reports are made regarding the progress made, such as performances in meetings that are facilitated and the ability to apply learning abilities.
The internet can be a fantastic way to deliver training when it is used correctly and when combined with both written and oral communication. It has the benefit that learners can learn at their own pace and at a time that is not in interfere with working schedules. Management-wise, it eliminates the issue of the critical mass syndrome, and offers an instrument to monitor the progress. Also, it ensures that an equal amount of instruction is given to every location.
In conclusion, managers must realize that it is vital to take an active role in the education of the next generation of sales managers. It is equally crucial to ensure that innovative ideas outside the boundaries of traditional methods are a crucial part in this procedure.