Ten mistakes sales managers make

by. Ned Miller

To improve sales performance, avoid the following ten mistakes that sales managers commonly make:

  • They don’t spend enough time with average performers. Sales managers like to hang around with their best people; high performers remind them of themselves! (They also have massive recognition needs—“Hey, boss, let me tell you what I just did . . . .”) Chronic low performers also command attention—often an exercise in futility. Who gets left out? The 70% of the sales team whose performance could probably benefit most from coaching.
  • They don’t orient new employees well. Sales managers often leave this up to HR or to a departmental secretary. No matter how much time they’ve invested in recruiting somebody, sales managers need to make orienting a new team member a priority for the first 4 to 6 weeks. That involves blocking out time to review such things as the bank’s target market, sales process, and sales tools. It also involves making sure new colleagues get the training and coaching they need from Day 1.
  • They don’t talk to people before sending them to training sessions. Many sales managers “trust” trainers to explain why somebody is going to a session and what she should get out of it. Take it from a trainer who has stood in front of thousands of bankers over the last 20 years: Don’t abdicate your responsibility. Tell your people what they need to focus on. Be sure to follow up within 48 hours of the session to find out what they learned.
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