Sales managers are responsible for leading a team of salespeople, setting goals and targets, and ensuring that their team meets or exceeds them. However, even the best sales managers can make mistakes that can hinder their team’s performance and success. Here are seven things that research shows sales managers are commonly doing wrong, along with a checklist to help you avoid these pitfalls.
Not Setting Clear Goals and Targets
According to a survey by the Sales Management Association, only 57% of sales teams have clear, written goals and targets. Without clear goals, it’s difficult for salespeople to know what they should be working towards, which can lead to low motivation and poor performance.
Not Providing Enough Training and Support
Only 44% of salespeople felt they had received the training and support they needed to be successful, HubSpot discovered in a survey. Proper training and support can help salespeople understand the products and services they are selling, as well as effective sales techniques.
Not Giving Timely and Specific Feedback
Sales Executive Council found that a mere 25% of salespeople receive weekly feedback from their manager. Without timely and specific feedback, it’s difficult for salespeople to know how they are doing and what they need to improve upon.
Not Holding Salespeople Accountable
It’s no surprise that a study by the Corporate Executive Board found that companies with high levels of accountability had 18% higher revenue growth and 24% higher profit margins. By holding salespeople accountable for their results, sales managers can ensure that they are meeting their goals and targets.
Not Properly Managing Their Time
Poor time management can lead to rushed or unprepared sales calls, which can negatively impact the success of the sales pitch. But a survey by the National Association of Sales Professionals found that only 45% of salespeople feel they have enough time to properly prepare for sales calls.
Not Effectively Managing Their Team’s Pipeline
A survey by InsideSales.com found that just 41% of salespeople feel that their pipeline is accurately reflected in their company’s CRM system. Properly managing the pipeline can help sales managers identify potential issues and opportunities, as well as track the progress of each sales opportunity.
Not Effectively Coaching Their Team
Sales Management Association uncovered that only 25% of sales managers have a structured coaching program in place. Effective coaching can help salespeople improve their skills and increase their performance.
A sales manager’s ability to avoid these common oversights can make or break the entire team’s performance. To avoid these mistakes, sales managers can use the following checklist:
- Set clear, written goals and targets for the team
- Provide adequate training and support for salespeople
- Give timely and specific feedback to salespeople
- Hold salespeople accountable for their results
- Properly manage their own time and that of their team
- Properly manage the team’s pipeline
- Implement a structured coaching program
By following this checklist, sales managers can ensure that they are effectively leading their team and helping them achieve success.