Is He or Isn’t He?

A company that wanted to evaluate their sales organization was having a not so uncommon identity crisis: their sales managers don’t have any salespeople reporting to them. What’s wrong with that you ask? Five things:

1) It sends the wrong message to these sales managers who are supposed to spend most of their time selling but who spend way to much time ‘managing’. Managing what you ask? Exactly. They are managing the ‘what’ because they don’t have any ‘who’.
2) In most cases like this, the manager was actually supposed to develop an organization but either doesn’t know how, hasn’t been authorized to recruit; or doesn’t care.
3) Our research shows that sales managers who sell and manage too are generally ineffective at both; they don’t have enough time to maximize their sales and they don’t spend nearly enough time developing their people.
4) The companies employing ‘sales managers without salespeople’ (a distant cousin of parents without partners) become top heavy in management.
5) When companies support a salesperson’s desire to be sales manager without determining if the individual is both qualified and likely to be effective in a sales management role, they are often taking the first step to a decline in sales. The salesperson, who is more interested in sales management, begins to sell less and is often clueless when it comes to developing a sales organization. Our statistics show that most sales managers, even when they have said clues, don’t spend enough time and are generally ineffective at developing a sales organization.
Streamline the sales organization.
Do more with less
Make sure we have the right people in the right roles.
Clearly define those roles.
Expect more.
Don’t accept mediocrity.
Have more than a strategy.
Have people who will (not can) execute your strategy.
Develop great leaders.
Have sales managers manage salespeople.