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What Should a Sales Manager Work On?

What Should a Sales Manager Work On?

author: Lee Buttolph

I have seen sales managers that spend all their time traveling around with their sales reps helping them close deals.  Why do I need the sales rep when the manager does all the work, or better yet, why do I need the sales manager.

Think of it this way.  If you hit your quota selling 1000 widgets this year, next year your quota will go to 1200 widgets (a 20% increase).  What should the sales manager work on in year two to ensure his sales team hits the 20% increase in quota?

Should the sales manager spend all his/her time in year two going to MORE appointments with his/her sales reps to help them sell the 20% more?  Or, should he/she spend his/her time back at the headquarters working on making the company 20% more efficient?

I would recommend the sales manager spend his/her time making the company 20% more efficient.  Reduce the paperwork load on the sales reps.  Spend time with suppliers providing feedback on how to improve their products.  Work to design new training classes to improve closing rates.  Provide feedback to the operation team so they can better forecast future capacity.  Work with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on pricing strategies.

Remember, if the company was capable of selling 1200 widgets in year one they would have.  To make the increased quota the company has to improve by the same amount.  This is the job of management.  If your sales management team is unwilling or incapable of improving the business it may be time to look for a new sales management team.