December 20, 2019 Comments Closed

Do I really need a full-time sales manager?

Posted by:CLIFTON WARREN onDecember 20, 2019

The answer to this question is probably not.

Consider these statistics:

  • Most sales managers are unable to control over 80% of the metrics they are held accountable for
  • Approximately 66% of sales people miss their quota
  • Only 46% say their pipeline is accurate.

Someone must be in charge, of course, but it doesn’t have to be a full-time sales manager. In fact, one study of top performing financial services firms showed that those that did not employ full-time sales managers out-performed those that did.

One of the reasons for this was that full-time managers often focus on remedial activities, normally reserved for under-performers, many of whom lack the skills or drive to succeed in today’s highly competitive market.

Full-time sales managers are expensive. Using them in this way is like removing your best performer from the field. Imagine taking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady out of the game in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, so he could coach the team. The results just wouldn’t be the same.

Who should be in charge?

Top performers take a better, and increasingly popular, approach. They designate one or more members of the executive team to be responsible for sales. In a small business this shared responsibility would lie with the owner, the director and in a part-time capacity, with a producer. In fact, a producer who handles sales management on a part-time basis is almost as likely to lead sales as full-time sales manager would be.

Here’s another secret. Instead of focusing on sales management, top performers focus instead on effective sales leadership.

And how, exactly, can you achieve effective sales leadership?

I’ll tell you more in my next article.

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