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Just because sales managers spend their time on it...

Before I train a company or individual, I believe in having some objective data about the people being trained. I use a tool to assess salespeoples' and managers' strengths and weaknesses in the area of sales skills, “hidden” self-limiting beliefs and behaviors, as well as how they use their time. Some interesting data regarding what sales managers often do with their time has been compiled from these assessments.

There should be a big “aha” here if you’re a president, CEO or owner of a company and have sales managers working for you, or if you’re a manager yourself.There is data in the marketplace that assumes the activities common to sales managers are the ones they actually should be doing. But just because they're doing it doesn't make it right. 

When I train and coach sales managers, I recommend they spend about 85 percent of their time on accountability, coaching, supervising, motivation, growing and training their team and recruiting.We assembled some of our vast data to see what sales managers actually spend their time on. 

Here's what was learned by the assessment data compiled. Remember this is not what they should be doing – it's what they are doing:

  • Nearly 30 percent of sales managers spend less than 10 percent on motivational activities and only 10 percent spend 25 percent or more of their time on motivation;
  • 50 percent of sales managers are spending less than 5 percent of their time on recruiting activities and less than 1 percent spend more than 25 percent of their time on recruiting;
  • 30 percent of sales managers spend less than 10 percent of their time on accountability and less than 5 percent spend more than 25 percent of their time on accountability;
  • 25 percent of sales managers spend less than 25 percent of their time coaching salespeople and less than 15 percent spend more than 25 percent of their time coaching;
  • 10 percent of sales managers spend more than 40 percent of their time selling.

Is it any wonder why more salespeople aren't achieving sales success? Now don’t misinterpret my question. Success depends a great deal on the salesperson, not just their manager, and salespeople are doing many activities they too should not be doing, as I have written about in many other articles.

But ask yourself if you’re the head a company: Do you have a manager who is doing things that aren't producing sales? And if you are manager reading this, ask yourself an honest question: Am I doing things that aren't leading to sales revenue production?

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Gary Harvey

Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary.harvey@sandler.com.


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