You might be surprised to realise that many sales managers pick up management skills on their own.
The most recent international study on sales training and sales force effectiveness found that many sales managers receive little to no assistance in becoming competent, effective managers. In fact, a large number of sales managers claimed that neither before nor during their employment, they received any official training in sales management techniques.
According to the survey, sales management training is the area of sales training that is handled the least frequently—actually, it happens less frequently than once a year or not at all.
According to the study, sales teams had superior performance and results if sales managers received more frequent, better training, and coaching. There was a stronger positive link between training frequency and sales performance in relation to any other sort of sales training. Interestingly, study also showed that formal classroom environments are not required for the delivery of sales training.
Similar to how many salespeople don’t follow a logical process while making a deal, many sales managers wing it and are frequently left to their own devices. These global statistics confirm our views from the Australian market over the past 15 years that Sales Management performance and development are not given the attention they need.
Would we permit a head coaching position with a top-tier football team to a football coach with no prior experience or formal training in coaching? No chance! We would anticipate them to complete an apprenticeship in coaching, at the very least. In order to qualify for senior coaching positions, many of the current crop of elite sporting coaches also completed formal schooling and training.
To provide the maximum value to your company, your team, and yourself, sales managers require help.
How do we begin? Let’s examine some of the broad, fundamental skills they require to succeed in the modern sales environment:
Understanding the Business environment and the organisation; taking strategic action
Role modelling, feedback, and trust-building in coaching
Creating a supportive environment while constructing and managing teams is known as “team building.”
Developing self-awareness, moral character, self-control, and decision-making abilities are all aspects of self-management.
Worldwide vision, cultural sensitivity, and a global selling strategy
Understanding new technologies, automating the sales staff, and customer relationship management
As you can see, the job of a sales manager requires a lot of knowledge and application. How then may we aid them in their growth? Formal classroom instruction on critical subjects is a good place to start, but it’s crucial that these sessions are spaced out at regular intervals. For instance, running over a few months with one or two sessions and follow-ups is preferable to being crammed into a week with no follow-ups. The traditional classroom sessions should be supplemented with much more frequent activities, such as group and one-on-one coaching locally or remotely, as well as regular access to guidance and information on relevant subjects including personnel management, time management, and business trends. People who work in sales management or who want to work in sales management need to incorporate this kind of help into their growth plans.
Sales managers and their teams can benefit greatly from the intentional use and support of formal and informal growth in the workplace.
For instance, in addition to classroom sessions, the managers share and discuss their needs, challenges, ideas, and strategies for effective sales performance in their teams, as well as their own needs and development as leaders, in regular tele-coaching sessions (monthly 1-hour group sessions with up to 4 Sales Managers) for several companies. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We have already heard the following from them:
The only time we get to genuinely work with each other and share ideas without another agenda overwhelming the talks is in this collaborative learning setting, where excellent ideas are exchanged, and we learn a lot from one other and from each other’s peer support.
no underlying motives; feels secure, helpful, and safe
unbiased opinion from the coach focuses on finding ways to combine with the “fully managed” element and other priorities while keeping ideas fresh and on the sales agenda piece.
ensures we are correctly utilising the tools and information and keeps the concepts and programme we are operating in the forefront of our minds.
One supervisor said: “This has helped me by giving everyone a constant frame of reference to work within. Instead of “another message from above,” the entire crew has been involved in this initiative. The phone follow-ups with the other Sales Managers have been the greatest part. It has been incredibly helpful to learn from their experiences and to put some of their perspectives on the concepts into practise. The ideas have also been reinforced and used more frequently, which has made them much more ingrained in my team’s conversations.”
These discussions are more than simply idle banter; they are grounded in the vital information that Sales Managers must understand and put to use. So, don’t think that a straightforward, unstructured monthly “conversation” will be able to solve the issue.
After talking about how crucial it is to develop sales managers, it’s important to keep in mind that the individuals you select to provide training, coaching, and mentoring for your managers should also have experience in sales and sales management. For managers to flourish, both personally and professionally, they will require the theoretical and practical support of a profound subject matter expert.
Even while it may not seem like much, a lot of sales managers require support and assistance, especially in these challenging markets right now. If you spend some time training your sales managers, you can significantly improve your sales outcomes.