What Percentage of Your Sales Managers Receive the Training They Need?

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “What Percentage of Your Sales Managers Receive the Training They Need?”

Is one of your newly promoted sales managers floundering? If they are complaining that their reps aren’t delivering, the root of the problem may be with you. That’s right. If you haven't given your new hire or promoted employee specific sales manager training, how can you expect them to excel in their new position?

One finding of the Sales Manager Training survey from the Sales Management Association is that about 60% of organizations have a dedicated budget for sales manager training. However, in about half of those companies, sales managers only receive general manager training.

That’s a great strategy for making sure your sales managers understand details like the company policy on PTO and how to handle erratic behavior or insubordination. But your sales managers need more. These folks play a critical role in the success of your organization. They must accurately forecast the numbers their team can reach in the next quarter and for the year. And, they have to keep their team members engaged and performing at a high level, despite constant rejection.

Revert to Selling

Kevin Davis reports that sales managers without proper training often fail to achieve what you’ve asked them to do. When they see their reps aren’t going to make their number, they turn to what they know how to do: sell. Most sales managers have several years of successful selling on their resumes. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be in a management position. If your managers are busy selling, they’re not paying attention to morale issues in their department. Instead of coaching a struggling rep, they’re off feeding their own need for their next adrenaline fix.

Skills and Behavioral Assessment

If your managers haven't reverted to selling, they could be failing their reps in other ways. One task many new managers undertake is a skills assessment. They want to know which employees have a skills gap that can be closed with coaching or training. Sales managers should go through the same process regularly. Your sales manager might understand why they personally have been successful in closing deals. But do they understand each of their rep’s specific strengths and weaknesses? 

Similarly, a manager should understand the basic workplace behaviors of their sales reps and how specific tendencies will impact their output. It's your job to give sales managers the tools they need.

With the right kind of training and resources, — for example, access to an adaptive sales coaching platform like SalesFuel COACH — you can help your sales managers. Instead of spending time selling, they'll be using their new wisdom to help their reps achieve maximum success.