Sales managers/administrators are ineffective. The delusional that believe they are effective are usually a result of being placed through cronyism or nepotism and so protected till the company fails. Raging with understandable insecurity, these sales managers are unable to understand the selling method, that specialize in managing activities to demonstrate they at least doing one thing and otherwise pay more time telling the bosses what they wish to hear instead of what desires to be done. The fault lies with command and control company structures that a sales culture will not mix with. Managing sales performance is a responsibility of senior leadership however few understand or see the price/responsibility of this role.
Sales management has traditionally been defined with three components: recruiting, coaching and managing. Sales forces have come back beneath increased pressure to form results due to the high costs of turnover and resourcing compared to any results of real profitable growth created...whether or not a compelling product/service is out there to them or not. How is your average salaried, benefited, company automobile, expense account, company trained sales rep performing?...the reality to sold results is poor.
Little or massive company, you are merely unable to recruit the best together with your own resources efficiently or effectively. A wider net of discovery and a lot of a lot of thorough vetting can and ought to be done by a skilled recruiter familiar together with your needs. The savings in lower turnover and better profitable growth can more than acquire the price of outsourcing this function. Ineffective hires drain resources, lower morale, lose abundant less gain sales, stop a viable channel of client feedback to improve product & services and replicate poorly on senior management. If you handle recruiting internally with a ancient sales manager, your sales force will be a ocean of mediocrity and just be a matter of your time before complete failure to grow is realized.
Sales training is a more complicated issue however still has no business being resourced internally for any company. If you're smart enough to leverage a skilled recruiter and perceive the necessity to make amends for the simplest experienced out there for your wants, you avoid fundamentals training and hopefully have embraced online technical or product training for cost effective results. Books, tapes and seminars are universally a waste of your time, as haven't/don't change behaviors and at best give some expensive laughs however no leads to profitable growth...means too expensive in time or money for any company. Rent experienced related field sales agencies with successful track records, compensate them fairly and then get out of their method as they grasp where to go and what to do with the understanding and assurance of commissions rewarding their performance efforts.
Sales managers like to manage; sadly they do a lot of hurt than good. Companies typically promote an glorious sales rep, taking effectiveness off the road and then make them conform to boring the reps at meetings, require distracting/inaccurate non price reporting, induce unproductive conference calls, task forces/campaigns while not results, then train on the most recent fad...primarily something but do what they originally hired to try to to best: sell! The worst of the bunch are cronied in by inbred management with no selling skills or maybe empathy to those who will acquire results. Typically senior management is unwilling to just accept accountability so they saddle sales managers with account hundreds that fully distract resources that should otherwise help reps grow their own portfolios, further damaging morale, increase turnover and overall weaken growth prospects. With rare exceptions, sales needs to be outsourced to agencies that apprehend your markets, recognize the way to recruit experienced performers within the related field and will consistently deliver higher growth profit margins than you've got historically accomplished.
Companies typically get distracted by quick fix sales growth tactics however have any honestly worked? Name me a book, tape, seminar, CRM tool that has worked...if you think that you'll be able to than why is that this market so fractionalized with no leaders within the pack? If any were effective, actually they would be exploding in growth. Nice leaders are forever voracious readers...not the one gift book at Christmas wonderment that gets regifted to the sales reps, or the "professional" who is heaps of snickers and is hired at nice expense to "motivate" the sales team. The joke is on management as true selling professionals see through the charade, resent greenbacks being spent on the flavour of the day ideas and can not stay if compensated the identical as underperformers (also known as cronies of the cronies) with the resulting anxiety and respect from customers as well.
What then can management do to create profitable growth? Outsource recruiting. Leave sales performance to a zealous sales agency. Coaching best left online to merely your product knowledge. Let the thousands of hucksters of sales solutions feed at the trough of your competitors whereas you specialise in creating the simplest product/service for the simplest value in your markets.
The overwhelming majority of surveys and studies are merely not to be trusted when trying to quantify sales management. White papers funded by vested interest suppliers, think tank studies tainted by executives telling them what they want to listen to rather than what really happening, trade magazine articles that do not match up with any real/practical experiences. Unfortunately consumers have limited resources generally so they usually fall victim to the newest buzz, entertainment, bid, relationship, etc...therefore keeping the sorry lot of sales forces alive in these fractious markets.
Sales management may be a career fraught with frustration, caught within the squeeze between command and management bosses, fickle shopper channels and a sea of mediocrity in sales performance. Selling is definitely a noble profession, though usually maligned and for often good cause. For the few who get it, sales will be terribly lucrative, personally rewarding and differentiating as a real skilled experience. There is a restricted future in sales management or corporations who believe resourcing internally serves a cost effective growth role. What do you really wish: Sales management or sales performance?