Are You Using the Most Effective Form of Sales Management?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Sales management. Can there be a more intense work experience? You’re being asked to lead more people with fewer resources these days. And the higher-​ups are probably telling you that you’re not spending enough time developing your team members. Maybe your reps are kind of hinting that they need more from you, too.

The Negative Effects of Poor Sales Management

Back in the day, sales reps dutifully sat through lengthy classroom training. These ‘head-​shaping’ sessions trained them on how to represent their new employer, how to sell their product or service. Today, Gartner research results reveal that “66% of sellers report they expect most learning and development to occur outside the classroom.” That expectation puts tremendous pressure on overworked managers.

The Voice of the Sales Rep survey, from SalesFuel, shows the impact on sales reps when managers can’t do their jobs effectively. At least 30% of sales reps have left a position because they were incompatible with their manager or unhappy with their manager's performance. Gartner’s research echoes these findings and emphasizes that management style significantly impacts rep success.

A Path to Success

Gartner’s analysts also reported that mangers have successful, and some not so successful, methods of coaching their reps. Analysts divided their findings into several management styles. For example, some managers use a teaching approach, while others believe the ‘always-​on’ style serves employees best. In fact, when measuring effective management styles in terms of impacting employee performance, the best approach is labeled the connector. The “connector” managers “take a hands-​on approach…give empowering, positive feedback…and enable their employees to direct their own development.”

One reason connector managers succeed is because they “tailor development to employee needs and interests.” This kind of management sounds labor intensive and time consuming. It certainly can be. 

But you don’t have to do all of the work yourself. You can increase your effectiveness by using a system like SalesFuel COACH, which includes five-​minute quick-​coaching sessions. The tool is personalized to the needs of each of your reps based on their answers to surveys. Instead of waiting for you to meet with them, reps can review videos or read case studies on how to improve their techniques in the areas where they need the most help, whether it’s prospecting for new leads or closing a deal.

When you combine a connector sales management style with a tool like SalesFuel COACH, you and you reps will see great results.