What Percentage of Sales Managers Have the Necessary Coaching Skills?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 @ 06:04 AM


I am often asked to explain what we look for when we evaluate Sales Managers.  At this point, most experts agree that a good Sales Manager will spend half of their time coaching up the salespeople.  Recently, I was asked to share some statistics about sales management coaching - the percentage of sales coaching skills that most Sales Managers have and the amount of time they spend.  So let's stop talking about the article and start sharing the statistics!

In a recent mining of data on approximately 100,000 Sales Managers evaluated by Objective Management Group (OMG), they have on average 43% of the Sales Coaching Competency and only 39% of all Sales Managers have at least 50% of the Sales Coaching Competency.  Only 7% have more than 75% of the Sales Coaching Competency and only 3% spend at least 50% of their time coaching their salespeople.

And that's just the sales coaching competency!

It gets better when we look at accountability, motivation and recruiting...

68% of Sales Managers have at least 50% of the attributes of the Accountability Competency and 16% have at least 75% of those skills.

90% of Sales Managers have at least 50% of the attributes of the Motivation Competency and 21% have at least 75% of those skills.

68% of Sales Managers have at least 50% of the attributes of the Recruiting Competency and 26% have at least 75% of those skills.

When you consider that Sales Managers with less than 75% of the attributes of any of these competencies are ineffective at the competency, that's a lot of sales management ineffectiveness.

Overall, 18% of all sales managers should not be in the role and 34% can't be trained up.

Sales Managers and sales leaders have an opportunity to get coached up themselves by attending enrolling in my online, self-directed, Sales Leadership Intensive where the training is on - you guessed it - these competencies, and we focus on the sales coaching competency.  It's the best training on how to effectively coach salespeople that you can take, anywhere!  If you would like to enroll, you can do so here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, sales management training, sales manager, sales management seminar

Just How Important is Preparation to Sales?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Aug 07, 2009 @ 06:08 AM

It was a theme on this week's edition of Meet the Sales Experts.  Whether he talked about the keys to success in the role of salesperson, sales manager, regional manager, Sales Director or VP of Sales, stressed the importance of over preparation.  Currently the VP of Commercial Lines, Marketing and Sales at the Hanover Insurance Group, Jim provided keys, tips, examples, lists, and secrets for success at every level of a sales organization.

Jim's 3 Keys to Success are:

  1. Over planning - He was the most thoroughly prepared salesperson most people ever met
  2. Ability to put himself in his customer's position - he had intellectual curiosity
  3. Extremely competitive - he hated to lose

Can all three of those keys be taught?  Jim believes he can teach two of them...

Preparation is one of the areas where Jim and I have slightly different approaches. Jim believes that you must know everything there is to possibly know about a potential customer or client, perhaps even more than they know about themselves. My theory for preparation revolves more around a salesperson's ability to be strategically and tactically prepared for every imaginable scenario that could occur in a sales meeting and cycle.  Both of our approaches depend on the salesperson being prepared to ask good, tough, timely questions.  If your salespeople combine those two approaches, they would be unbeatable.

Listen to the show to learn how Jim transitioned from successful salesperson to successful sales manager to successful sales leader. Jim not only shared the biggest obstacles he had to overcome, but he also shed some light about how he helped his salespeople overcome their obstacles through coaching, development and accountability.  Jim's knowledge of this subject runs wide and deep and if you were going to listen to only one episode of Meet the Sales Experts, this would be the one to tune into.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan


Topics: sales competencies, Dave Kurlan, sales management, Salesforce, Sales Force, sales manager, sales expert, preparation, jim griesing, hanover insurance

Former IBM Pro Lashes Out Over Sales Assessment

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Feb 17, 2009 @ 06:02 AM

A CEO of a fairly large-sized but under-performing OEM asked us to evaluate his sales force.  One of the three regional managers, who assessed as poorly as any regional manager could, called to complain about his results.  In addition to calling me a toad, Bob said that in the eighties he used to sell and manage at IBM and he led the top performing team.  He finished by letting me know that we didn't know what we were talking about and, by the way, he would be picking me up at the airport for the kick-off of their national training initiative.

It was a quiet ride (his choice) to the site of the training, where, for the first three hours, Bob stood in the back of the room, stoic, arms folded, attempting to intimidate me through his thick, black glasses. (I don't think it's possible to accomplish the intimidation thing with me but he did try really hard!)

At the lunch break Bob approached me and said, "You know, I've learned more about sales and sales management in the last three hours than I ever learned at IBM.  I've reconsidered what I said to you on the phone.  Your assessment was right on.  I don't have the skills or the strengths you've been talking about.  At IBM, we were the market leader, people wanted to buy from us and all I had to do was leverage our position in the marketplace.  I apologize for giving you a hard time.  But you're still a toad."

Even today, brand leaders, price leaders, and technology leaders all have a false sense of sales and sales management competency.  Are they truly succeeding because of their sales and sales management effectiveness?  The true tests always come when these successful sales executives leave to take a position at a company that is under performing.  Can they repeat the magic?  Can they extend their track record?  Can they add another success to their resume? 

Most find out, and rather quickly, that it ain't so easy to join an underdog and succeed without a deep set of sales competencies, disciplines, strategies and tactics.  Sadly, the executives that hire them find out too, that when they hire a sales or sales management star from a well-known company, their expectations will often fail to be met.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales competencies, sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales training, sales skills, sales strategies, Sales Tactics, sales evaluation, IBM, OEM, sales manager, regional sales manager, sales disciplines, sales assessment test, sales test

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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