If you’re like most sales managers, you came to your position accidentally.  Tragically, there are very few universities that offer a diploma in sales management.  The entrepreneur that starts a business has a goal of success and wealth but, somewhere along the line, he or she recognizes the need to grow a salesforce.

Chance of Success

But, without training in how to recruit, select and onboard new salespeople, the chances of success are somewhere between slim and none.  The entrepreneur hires a poor performer and tolerates mediocre to horrible performance for a period of time and then fires the poor performer and starts the process over again.

That’s one scenario.  Another example is the top performing sales representative who gets promoted to sales management.  The assumption is that his or her sales skills transfer into sales management skills.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The sales rep to sales manager transition is a difficult one at best.

New Responsibilities and Frustrations

For their entire career, the sales representative has been responsible for his or her own success.  Now, for the first time, as a new manager they must be responsible for other people’s success; and that transition proves to be very challenging and difficult for many people.

The inability of small to medium firms to build a salesforce is, in many cases, the number one reason for business failure.  After repeated at­tempts, the entrepreneur gets frustrated, adjusts his or her goals, plans, dreams and ambitions to accommodate these challenges, and accepts that they won’t have the salesforce that they desire and earn.

Impact on Salesperson

On the other side of this relationship, the salespeople suffer also.  Quite a few studies show that the number one reason for sales representative turnover and its companion in terms of P&L impact is due to the fact that the salespeople who resign don’t feel that they have had a good relationship with their immediate manager.  In a phrase, good salespeople don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers.

Reconsider how you’re managing your team and become a coach, as opposed to a cheerleader, and you’ll see the top line improving.  Keep your eye on this space as, over the next few weeks, I will share sales management/coaching tips with you.  In the meantime, I recommend you download my whitepaper, 21 Ways Sales Managers Fail and What to Do About Them.  As always, I wish you…

Good Luck and Good Selling!!!

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