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Poor sales performance - Is management at fault?

As I drove home from the office today I was thinking about the role sales management plays in poor sales performance and it dawned on me that sales management practices might be THE biggest reason for poor sales performance.

What do think? Am I out to lunch? - by Mikey
...and it dawned on me that sales management practices might be THE biggest reason for poor sales performance.
How so? In what way Mikey? - by Houston
As I drove home from the office today I was thinking about the role sales management plays in poor sales performance and it dawned on me that sales management practices might be THE biggest reason for poor sales performance.

What do think? Am I out to lunch?
Yes you are out to lunch. I have worked underneath some of the worst managers ever. My company promotes whatever people haven't quit or got fired, so it doesn't matter how bad they suck. With that being said, (in zig ziglar's words) you are responsible for you. If your company won't buy you what you need then buy it yourself. If your company won't train you then go out and train yourself.
You may have more obstacles to overcome, but you can do it. Every single person i work with that sells less is because of the "situation" they are in.

It may be a harder road to travel, but you could put me beneath any manager and i believe i will be successful. on the flip side you could put some people under the best managers ever and they would fail..... - by benjamin-benjamin
How so? In what way Mikey?
Salespeople, especially newbies, are going to ask their sales managers about training. The sales managers beliefs about training decides what solutions are offered.

Worse case scenario the sales manager says, "You don't need training. There's your desk, there's the phone, now hit the streets." Best case scenario the sales manager suggests formal training.

In practice the most common response is probably on-the-job training by another staff member. If the staff member helping with training knows what to do and knows how to train others then this is a viable solution. I doubt that is often the case. - by Mikey
Salespeople, especially newbies, are going to ask their sales managers about training. The sales managers beliefs about training decides what solutions are offered.

Worse case scenario the sales manager says, "You don't need training. There's your desk, there's the phone, now hit the streets." Best case scenario the sales manager suggests formal training.

In practice the most common response is probably on-the-job training by another staff member. If the staff member helping with training knows what to do and knows how to train others then this is a viable solution. I doubt that is often the case.
that is your oppurtunity to train yourself. I went out and bought magazines that were geared in my industry to help my product knowledge. I spent countless hours on the internet researching my products. I have read a ton of books and listened to cd's on motivation and selling..... i can honestly say the training that i have put myself through has helped me more then any formal training. i have had 18 people in my office in the last 2 years either quit or get transferred. I was in the same situation they were in...... so that proves that management is not the greatest factor in a salesperson success (i am not saying they are not a factor at all, because they are).... - by benjamin-benjamin
Newbies are impressionable. They pick up attitudes, beliefs and habits from others especially co-workers and authority figures. When the work environment, which is the managers responsibility, does not support training this can signal to the salesperson that training isn't necessary. After all, if training was necessary someone would have said something.

The salesperson leaves one sales job for another and sees the same environment. Before long it becomes cemented in the salespersons mind that training isn't necessary. - by Mikey
Newbies are impressionable. They pick up attitudes, beliefs and habits from others especially co-workers and authority figures. When the work environment, which is the managers responsibility, does not support training this can signal to the salesperson that training isn't necessary. After all, if training was necessary someone would have said something.

The salesperson leaves one sales job for another and sees the same environment. Before long it becomes cemented in the salespersons mind that training isn't necessary.
that would still leave the responsibility on the salesperson, right?? - by benjamin-benjamin
that would still leave the responsibility on the salesperson, right??
Yes. Every person is responsible for their own actions. - by Mikey
I don't think you're out to lunch. I agree, leaders have a responsibility to those that look up to them for guidance. - by Houston
I agree with your comment - by EmmaC
I don't think you're out to lunch. I agree, leaders have a responsibility to those that look up to them for guidance.
Parents, managers, teachers... these are authority figures others look to for answers. Challenging these authority figures is an option that is rarely exercised by those doing the looking up. - by Mikey
Well said Mikey, - by EmmaC
Well said Mikey,
Thanks EmmaC. :) - by Mikey
Absolutely they are but Management aid in the direction of the Salesteam. In saying that the new member can control the way he acts and so forth, but as mentioned earlier by Mikey they are very impressionable which makes them vunerable to slip into the "wrong" way of doing things. - by Snowboy
I agree with all of it Mikey. Well donethmbp2; - by Snowboy
As I drove home from the office today I was thinking about the role sales management plays in poor sales performance and it dawned on me that sales management practices might be THE biggest reason for poor sales performance.

What do think? Am I out to lunch?
I think the simple answer to this is... yes, sometimes management is to blame. A bad manager who establishes a crappy sales process, demotivates his/her staff is to blame for poor performance.

Personally, I have found it tricky to find companies with good sales management. When I do, I thrive. Where they are bad it makes your job difficult and unpleasant. I read a survey (somewhere, somewhere) that said that the number one reason people people give for leaving their jobs is their manager. - by Ed McLean
Mikey - I Value Your Thoughts However You Are Out To Lunch. We Are All In Control Of Our Own Outcome In Sales And In Life In General. We Have Our Own Account And This Means You Do The Best You Can No Matter On Who Is Above You. - by Carten
As I drove home from the office today I was thinking about the role sales management plays in poor sales performance and it dawned on me that sales management practices might be THE biggest reason for poor sales performance.

What do think? Am I out to lunch?
I worked at a place selling newspaper subscriptions. The manager said to "ram" and "jam" the papers down people's throats (the place went out of business a year later).

In general I'd say management has BIG problems. - by Wonderboy
I worked at a car dealership where the manager would scream at you if you brought a low offer on a car. That guy was wearing me out. ;st - by Thomas
I worked at a car dealership where the manager would scream at you if you brought a low offer on a car. That guy was wearing me out. ;st
There are definitely those managers out there. If the owner of the dealership wants that kind of environment, that's what they'll have. At that point, it's best to leave if you feel you cannot be productive in that environment, because one thing is for sure: you're not going to change management's mind! - by Skip Anderson
An associate took on a "bag of razor blades" (personnel issues, performance concerns, etc.) and, guess what, he never made plan!

It's unlikely that the issue singularly rests with the Sales Manager. It's a team number which the team needs to make. If there is a lack of performance ...

Who's to say? Shoot the coach? Get the hook for the lowest performers?

It's somewhat more complicated.

Good luck & good Selling
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
An associate took on a "bag of razor blades" (personnel issues, performance concerns, etc.) and, guess what, he never made plan!

It's unlikely that the issue singularly rests with the Sales Manager. It's a team number which the team needs to make. If there is a lack of performance ...

Who's to say? Shoot the coach? Get the hook for the lowest performers?

It's somewhat more complicated.

Good luck & good Selling
Pat
I believe many times the gorilla theory is at play!

A bunch of gorillas live in a cage, a bunch of bananas is at the top of the cage. When they climb up to get them, they’re sprayed with water. Each time they climb for the bananas they’re sprayed. When you move one out and bring a new one in, they go for the bananas, the other gorillas don’t want to get wet, so the beat the new guy up.

After a while of this continuing to occur you have all new gorillas in the cage and no one goes after the bananas… why, because that’s how it is.

This said, some times you have to shake it up. People don’t like a stagnant environment, some times because is why. Change that. Keep your environment fluid and ever chaining. Accept advice from the sales floor. Encourage advice of the sales force!

Lance - by Lance_Best
As I drove home from the office today I was thinking about the role sales management plays in poor sales performance and it dawned on me that sales management practices might be THE biggest reason for poor sales performance.
It depends. When we're talking about a team, then the sales manager can bring out the best or worst in the salespeople. Now, most companies don't have sales teams. They have individua performers who are competing with each other. And lots of moron sales managers actually encourage this internal competition.

In the traditional set-up the sales manager is a role because the salespeople "manage" themselves for maximum short-term personal gain. The manager thing only works when there is a team to manage.

Referencing to David Maister's article, I can say that most sales departments are mountain lions. Short-term individual performance. You eat what you hunt, right now. Expect no help, expect no mercy.

Very very very few salespeople want to be the part of something bigger than them and building the future. They work individually on instant gratification (personal income) with no regard for the future or the company's success. That's why many salespeople are wililng to drop the price to the point where the company has zero margin, but the commission is still to be paid.

Thoughts? - by Bald Dog
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