Are you wondering why your sales team has not reached its revenue goals? Are you frustrated that your sales team is not achieving revenue goals? These seven reasons sales managers fail are what you need to know.
1. Inability to transfer skills
Because of their ability to win new business, sales managers often go on to become sales managers. If you are unable to transfer your selling skills to your team, then your selling skills will be of little use to the company.
Jack Welch, a former CEO of GE, said that “When you assume a leadership position, it’s not about you; it’s about the people.” It doesn’t really matter how skilled you are; it is only how effective you can make your sales team.
2. White House Syndrome
Sales managers can easily fall prey to this illness and lose touch with reality. How much does a carton of milk cost? Sales managers begin to camp out at the corporate office (“white house”), getting lost in the minutiae of meetings, reports, and firefighting. They forget why they were hired to manage sales teams. This cannot be done in the “Whitehouse.”
Coaching and training can be achieved by riding along with your sales team, calling on the real world, your prospects, and clients. Corporate is more comfortable, but the car seat is more profitable.
3. Manager of the field, corporate manager, or all-around manager
In my previous corporate life, I had seven salespeople reporting to me. I quickly learned that there were three types of managers: corporate manager, field manager, and all-around manager.
Field managers stand firm behind their teams, defend all actions, and refuse to endorse corporate goals. Corporate managers are only interested in moving up the corporate ladder and leaving their sales team without a voice. All-round managers get it. The all-around manager is able to strike a delicate balance between presenting issues to senior management and communicating with their sales team to enforce corporate goals.
Field managers enjoy a lot of love but limited growth. Corporate managers create a culture of distrust and leaders.
4. Love is not hard
You accept the responsibility to grow people and profits when you accept the position of sales manager. A great sales manager can be likened to a great parent. Good parents establish expectations for behavior and character in their children and hold them accountable. They know they are not in a popularity contest. They refuse to accept excuses and cave into comments like “none of their other kids’ moms expects them to …..”.
Sales managers who are great at setting clear expectations for their team will not back down if the team is pushing the boundaries of excellence. They understand that they need to be respected and not liked. They know that hard love is the key to high-performance sales cultures.
5. No Duplicable Sales Process
An example of an athletic coach with their playbook is the one I used. Every NFL coach has a playbook. Each player must study, learn, and execute the plays.
No matter how many years they have been playing football, professional players are not allowed to create their own playbooks. Sales managers, on the other side often don’t have a playbook and will excuse themselves by saying, “Well, we hire people with sales experience.” This results in a sales manager having to manage 20 different playbooks that are outdated and ineffective.
6. Insufficient Prospecting
Prospecting is a crucial skill for sales managers—however, the target market changes. Sales managers should not be prospecting for businesses but must continue prospecting to find top sales talent. Sales managers often make the mistake of looking for top talent after someone leaves, resigns, or moves.
Sales managers are often under pressure to meet a sales goal. They settle for second-best candidates and expect first-rate results. Sales managers who are great at prospecting for top talent every month will keep their pipeline full.
7. The Sales Team is both Stroke-Deprived & Fun-Deprived
Because of their ability to achieve goals, high-achieving types are often promoted to sales managers. They are highly motivated and don’t require a lot of effort. High-achieving sales managers have to manage salespeople who are highly motivated and need recognition, interaction, and fun.
A sales manager who fails to realize the importance of their new sales activity plan doesn’t know that it includes giving a pat on the back, setting up recognition programs, and organizing events to reach the fun quota.
Colleen Stanley, founder and president, SalesLeadership, Inc. Before starting SalesLeadership, she was vice president of marketing and sales at Varsity Spirit Corporation. Sales grew from 8M to 9M during her ten years with Varsity.
EI Selling System was created by her. This unique sales program combines emotional intelligence with consultative selling skills. These services include training and consulting.
Benchmarking, Selection, and Hiring Top Sales Talent
Consultative Sales Training
Leadership Training for Sales Managers
Major Account Sales
Prospecting and Referral Training
Customer Relationship Management