“In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”, Laurence J. Peter from the book “The Peter Principle”. Good salespeople become good sales managers. Is that true? Not according to Laurence J. Peter. Just because you were good at sales doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a good manager. Yet many heads of companies think so. Their hope is that the new manager will teach the salespeople how to be good at sales. The idea is sound but the execution usually is not there. And why? Because we don’t train our managers to be good managers. Many industries have comprehensive training programs for different kinds of employees. They don’t throw them in the pool and expect them to be able to swim. So why does the fashion industry do that? Just as we should be teaching our salespeople to be the best they can be, we should be teaching our sale managers.
According to Vantagepointperformance.com “Most sales manager training is simply re-purposed sales person training, and sales leadership programs are often focused on generalized leadership skills. But sales leaders need more than better selling skills and an executive presence – They need targeted education on how to guide their salespeople to higher performance.”
So what are some of the things we should be teaching our sales managers?
- How to communicate the companies vision.
- How to coach salespeople for maximum results.
- How to set performance standards.
- How to be proactive rather than reactive when handling customer related issues.
- How to go from being a super salesperson to a super sales manager.
- How to lead instead of just managing.
Ironically we don’t train our sales managers because we think we don’t have the time or the money to invest in training. Keep in mind, that there is no investment that you can make that will do more to improve productivity in your company. Therefore if you really think about it finding the time and money to train is really an investment in you business.