Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Lackluster Sales May Be Due to Poorly Trained Sales Managers

January 27, 2014
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

There’s an old adage that if a product or service is good enough, a company wouldn’t need a sales team. Since few companies are lucky enough to be the sole seller of water in a desert, most of them have to engage in some kind of sales process.

Since we live in the real world, most companies have to engage in some type of selling. How successful they are depends on a lot of things: the quality of the product or the service, circumstantial factors such as temperature, season or current events (battery companies before a storm, for example, or air conditioning manufacturers during a heat wave), the quality and appeal of the company’s advertising programs and much more. A lot of it, however, still rests on the skills and training of the sales team. And how well established THIS factor is depends on the quality of the sales manager.

Eventually, it all comes down to the competence and skill of the sales manager.

“Many companies spend heavily in sales rep training, but are sometimes disappointed when they see little impact on sales growth,” wrote Kevin David for Business2Community. “Ironically, lack of results from sales training can often be traced to a lack of sales manager training. New skills or methods that reps pick up from sales training fall by the wayside because untrained sales managers often aren’t effective at holding salespeople accountable for implementation.”

“Train the trainers” is an old business concept, as well. Since many sales managers are often plucked from the ranks of sales teams, it’s probable that they may have skill gaps when they start. They may know selling well – after all, they wouldn’t have been promoted if they didn’t have superior sales skills – but they are likely ignorant when it comes to having the right skills and instincts for training others.

“Because they don’t know how to be an effective sales manager, a promoted salesperson may feel the adrenaline rush again of being that ‘uber-salesperson’ and want to chase the big deals,” writes David.  “Chasing the big deals means they will spend most of their time with their top salespeople. That leaves the rest of the sales team—the people who need the most help—to sink or swim on their own without a leader/coach.”

Other mistakes companies make with preparing a sales manager to properly train sales personnel include focusing all their energies on the lowest performers, rather than building the entire team, not setting or enforcing sales goals and priorities, skipping the critical step of developing individual performance goals and failing to follow up even if they do, and constantly operating in “crisis mode” rather than making time to pursue long-term goals.