Top 5 Sales Management Best Practices

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 @ 07:07 AM

The first problem with today's title is the "5" in "Top 5."

They are not the 5 on which most sales managers spend their time, so let's begin with the sales management practices on which most sales managers actually spend their time.  By the way, that's how so many "best practices" (that aren't) actually get published.  Authors ask (in this case sales managers) how they spend their time.  The answers that are most often reported become best practices.  So I repeat, the first list does not contain best practices, but includes those activities on which most sales managers spend their time.  

The 5 practices, which aren't best practices, on which sales managers spend their time:

  1. Selling
  2. Putting out fires
  3. Creating, reading and distributing reports
  4. Closing deals for salespeople
  5. Teaching (not coaching, but lecturing)
Let's see how those actually compare with the Top 5 Sales Management Best Practices - not the things sales managers necessarily do, but the things sales managers should  do:
  1. Coaching (should account for 50% of a sales manager's time)
  2. Accountability (to KPI's, pipeline and sales process)
  3. Recruiting (on-going process of upgrading the sales team)
  4. Motivating (more and more salespeople are not money-motivated, so this is more important)
  5. Development (grooming a replacement)
When you compare the best practices with the standard practices, you'll see that there isn't any overlap!  I'm describing two completely different sets of responsibilities, even though the role - sales management - is identical.
If you are a sales manager, how difficult will it be to change what you currently do in your role to follow best practices rather than existing practices?
If sales managers report to you, how difficult will it be to get your sales managers to make that change?
The biggest challenge to adopting these best practices is that while coaching and accountability sound familiar, Objective Management Group's data shows that 86% of all sales managers aren't effective at either.
You can learn more about these 5 sales management best practices in this free, archived Webinar.  Click here to view and listen.
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Topics: sales competencies, sales culture, Dave Kurlan, Top 5 Sales Management Best Practices, SMM Connect, Sales & Marketing Management, Top Sales Functions

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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