The role of a sales manager is not an easy one and I have seen many fail. Some have failed because of their own abilities but most have failed due to the company they work for. So in this article I will outline the top 5 reasons why they fail. This is not by all means the only reasons but the ones that I have encountered the most over the years of training, coaching and mentoring sales teams. The list is not in any order.
- Promoted to Manager because they are an excellent salesperson – Most organisations have the misconception that if a salesperson is excellent in selling then they should naturally be an excellent Manager. While some are most aren’t and the end result is that the organisation will lose an excellent salesperson to another company. In my experience an excellent salesperson should continue to sell because that is what they are good at. In most circumstances they will normally revert back to selling and neglect the requirements of being a the sales manager.
- The sales incentive scheme – How a salesperson is motivated is critical to the success of a sales manager. If the sales team is not making their sales targets or quotas this is a reflection on the performance of the manager. But how are they suppose to help their team if the incentive scheme is counter productive. A good sales incentive scheme is essential to the success of the managers and their team members.
- Teamwork – As salespeople normally operate as individuals they find it difficult to function as a team. They will fight for the same opportunities and in some cases they act like children. It is the responsibility of the manager to bring the individuals together and this is possible in many different ways.
- Taking sales from their sales team – Normally a manager has been a salesperson in one stage of their career and it is their instinct to try and win business. For some their ego takes over and they believe that certain opportunities can only be won by them, so they take it away from one of their team members. This also occurs when the organisation forces their managers to have an individual sales quota as well as a team sales quota.
- No training – In most circumstances individuals are promoted into management with little or no training. Sales management is not the same as selling and the manager should be trained accordingly.
As you can see, sales managers normally fail due to organisational policies, procedures or lack of training. It is up to the organisation to ensure the success of their managers. Look out for a future articles on how to bring a sales team together and sales incentive schemes for more ideas and techniques.