Are You Using the Most Effective Form of Sales Management?

by | 2 minute read

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.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Research for Sales­Fu­el. She holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont and over­sees a staff of researchers, writ­ers and con­tent providers for Sales­Fu­el. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was co-owner of sev­er­al small busi­ness­es in the health care ser­vices sec­tor.