Sales Management is Not Easy

Anytime someone is new to sales management, there is an adjustment period to figure out how to be effective. When that transition is from being a direct seller to a manager, that adjustment can be even more jarring. We all know the typical story with sales managers – they were a top performing salesperson, had ambitions to move up in their career, and then a position opens up and they are managing a group of salespeople.

High performing salespeople are often successful for reasons they do not fully understand. They have an attitude of “getting it done” to beat their quota, but in reality they naturally have the discipline to consistently execute the actions that lead to success. They are regularly prospecting, networking, building pipeline, qualifying that pipeline, and maintaining momentum with current opportunities. They follow a defined process, but often do not realize that they are doing it – it just comes naturally to them.

Building a great sales management team is key to a sales team’s success. Sales managers are the front line leaders that make or break an organization because they are the ones who have the most influence on a given sales person’s performance. Research from Vantage Point Performance shows that top performing managers generate $3.5 million more sales per year compared to low performing managers. Let me say that again, $3.5M more sales per manager! I will let you do the math based on how many sales managers you have – it adds up fast.

Every sales manager can go from good to great as they progress in their career by following a tried-and-true path.

Here is an outline of the 5 common stages of sales management:

5 Stages of Sales Management

Sales Management is a Journey

An experienced sales manager uses all aspects of the stages listed above, and none of these stages are bad. Rather, these 5 stages provide a framework that you can apply to your sales team so you know where you stand, what you need to work on, and build a plan to improve.

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