SellingBrew

Insights & Tips

Already a subscriber? Login

Become a subscriber and unlock an information arsenal focused on making your sales operation more effective.

Assuming This About Sales Managers is a Big Mistake

We often highlight how Sales Ops groups can increase their leverage by focusing much more attention on sales managers. Simply put, focusing more of Sales Ops’ limited resources and time on enabling 40 sales managers will almost always produce more “bang for the buck” than spreading a thin veneer of attention across 400 individual sales reps.

But while the basic concept is very straightforward, assumptions and projections can sometimes get in the way of effective execution…

It’s easy for Sales Ops teams to assume that because sales managers have a vested interest in performance improvement at-scale that they must have…or should have…the skills and knowledge to actually make it happen. It’s easy to think that because sales managers are responsible and accountable for a big part of the “sales machine” that they must be…or should be…much more process-oriented and proficient in data analysis than a typical sales rep.

While there are certainly exceptions, these types of assumptions tend to belie the reality of the situation in most cases. Consider these candid observations from The Sales Ops Guide to Enabling Sales Managers:

  • Virtually every sales manager will have spent a number of years in the field as an individual salesperson.
  • In all likelihood, they got into sales in the first place because they were “relationship” people by nature.
  • Very often, it was their skill and performance as a salesperson that elevated them to a managerial role

When you put these things together, you very quickly realize that a typical sales manager is not likely to be any more analytical or process-oriented than a typical sales rep. And given their personal backgrounds and career paths, it should come as no surprise that they tend identify most closely with individual reps and will often struggle to see “the system” as a whole.

Now, you could argue…and many do…that it should be different. You could make a good case that sales managers in this day and age should be very analytical, data-driven, and process-oriented. And you could say that sales managers today should have a systems view of the function, rather than seeing it as a collection of reps.

But “what should be” and “what is” are two very different things. And to be most effective, you need to design your enablement efforts around the latter.

Get Immediate Access To Everything In The SellingBrew Playbook

Related Resources

  • Reducing Losses to "No Decision"

    No Decision Webinar Splash-1

    Studies have shown that companies can lose up to 40% of their forecasted deals to "no decision". In this on-demand webinar, learn strategic and tactical approaches for dealing with prospect inaction.

    View This Webinar
  • How to Deliver Sales Training That Sticks

    tutorial_how to deliver sales training that sticks

    With the right approach, a sales training program can deliver lasting, profitable results. This step-by-step process guides you through designing effectiveness and stickiness into your sales training program right from the start.

    View This Tutorial
  • How Many B2B Sales Teams Lack Negotiation Skills?

    research_how many sales teams lack negotiation skills

    Recently, we conducted a PulsePoll to better understand the extent to which B2B sales teams were taking steps to develop and maintain skills in negotiation. Explore what we learned in this Research Brief, complete with helpful charts and analysis.

    View This Research
  • Generating More Sales from Existing Customers

    MoreSalesFromExistingCustomersNarSplash2

    Many B2B companies struggle to identify untapped sales opportunities and maximize revenue from the customers they've already acquired. In this four-part recorded training session, learn what leading sales operations are doing differently to grow share-of-wallet with existing customers.

    View This Webinar