Sales Managers are Sometimes Like Cashiers

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Oct 01, 2014 @ 06:10 AM

curry

At lunchtime one day, my curry-chicken salad tasted so bad that I returned it to the deli next door.  The owner asked what was wrong and when I told him, he tasted it, said it was fine, and get this - he returned the uneaten portion of my salad into the bowl in the display case.  Yuck!  And I never went back.  Until yesterday.  I was desperate and didn't have enough time to go anywhere else, but I knew enough to stay away from the specialty salads.

The crowds that used to line up were gone.  The staff was about half the size.  The menu, and specifically, the browning chicken salads in the display case were still there.  The owner was operating the cash register, calling names when their meals were ready, and taking their payments.  Instead of working on his business, fixing what was wrong, making much needed changes and urging customers back into his deli, he was handling the money - the one thing that any unskilled worker could do.

He reminded me of so many sales managers I have met during the past 30 years.

Instead of working on the sales force, working with their salespeople, developing their people, fixing what was wrong, guiding and directing, coaching and motivating, recruiting and holding salespeople accountable, they were spending their time doing busy work, running reports, sending emails, collecting call reports, creating quotes and proposals, approving pricing, approving incoming orders, watching the sales numbers, prodding their salespeople to close more deals, and doing simple administrative tasks that a sales assistant or coordinator could do.

Of course, the most important of these sales management functions is coaching.  Coaching salespeople should account for 50% of a sales manager's time.  Coaching salespeople has the greatest impact on development and revenue.  Yet only 15% of all sales managers spend even 25% of their time coaching.  Instead of focusing on what has the greatest impact on their business, sales managers are often like the deli owner - just standing at the register and taking the money.

Speaking of coaching, next Wednesday, I'll be leading a Top Sales Academy session on "How to Master the Art of Coaching Salespeople".  It's free to register and attend and it would be terrific to have you on the webinar!  Please use this link to register for the Noon ET session on October 8.

Speaking of recruiting, last week I led a webinar/tour of the "Magic Behind OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment".  If you weren't able to attend, you can see the slides here and watch the 20-minute presentation, recorded live, here.

As long as I'm sharing links, the latest issue of Top Sales Magazine is now available here.  This issue includes an article of mine that you'll want to read on Why Sales Leaders Continue to Hire the Wrong Salespeople.

 

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, sales management functions, sales managers

More than Half of All Sales Managers Should Consider....

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, May 19, 2009 @ 09:05 AM

After posting this article two weeks ago, showing the percentage of salespeople who are not trainable, who shouldn't be in sales, and who are elite, it was inevitable that I would be asked to post similar statistics for sales managers.

While the number of salespeople we have assessed is greater than 400,000, the number for sales managers is closer to 50,000 - still a more than adequate sample size. 

(Speaking of sample sizes, I saw a promotion yesterday from a new sales assessment company and all of their claims are based on a sample size of 150 salespeople.  And of course, despite their "rigorous", "comprehensive" build, the actual assessment, despite strong marketing claims to the contrary, is based on a non-sales context.) But hey, it's 5 tests in one - that should make up for it's lack of context...

Sales Managers who should not be in sales management.....18%
Sales Managers who are not trainable................................34%
Sales Managers who are elite............................................. 7%

So there are twice as many sales managers in need of redeployment as salespeople, and 10% more sales managers than salespeople who are untrainable (they know it all?).  That means 52% of all sales managers, more than half, should consider doing something else - like selling! About the same percentage who qualify as elite.  It's such a shame that the percentage of elite is so small, but then again, if it was much bigger, they wouldn't be elite, would they?

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales, selling, Salesforce, Sales Force, sales managers, sales test, salespeople, personality assessment

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six 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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