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Training Sales Managers

As we know, the skills required to be a great sales rep are much different than the skills required to be a great sales manager. Often times we reward successful reps by making them managers. I am working on pulling together a training program for new sales managers. This program is not about teaching them recruitment, selection or performance management skills - it is more about teaching them how to develop a sales plan, how to create goals and objectives for their staff and then the discipline of managing daily, weekly, monthly activity to get the desired results. It will also include analyzing the numbers to see what areas in the process need more training emphasis. Does anyone have or know of anything in this area that we can reference? Thanks. - by lizcorey
Biggest problem you usually see with managers is they not sure how to deal with different personality types. What I would do is throw in some basic personality profiling to help them adapt to the different reps they deal with. D.I.S.C. works well IMO. - by jrboyd
Thanks - great point - we have that built into another part of the training curriculum - the other parts focus on coaching skills, coaching to streghths, personality type and other management 101 topics. The missing ingredient is the discipline around the sales process. - by lizcorey
Does anyone have or know of anything in this area that we can reference? Thanks.
That is a very worthwhile and ambitious initiative on your company's part. It's too broad to cover here. I'll give you one thought that you might want to throw into the mix.

One of the most successfully run sales organizations I know has instituted a format that calls for REVIEWING activity among representatives at intervals. At that time, a key component is that the rep is asked to IDENTIFY business that will be or should be forthcoming within a particular time period.

That impressed me. Most formats seek to measure rather than to identify. I believe an entire system of sales management could be built around that format at every level from the top down. - by Ace Coldiron
Thanks. Like the idea and will be sure to include. Hoping to do this in some sort of simulation format with real world numbers and examples. - by lizcorey
You may be off base. Its really important to know how to manage each sales person. That means getting under the obvious and understanding the sales person's core behavior.

Sales managers often think that their title gets respect. It doesn't. Data is essential but its a status and directin tool, not a people management tool. - by Guest123
Why is that surprising? Sales is about knowing whats happenning in your sale process. A great rainmaker can tell you where every prospect is in the sales process. They can also predict fairly well on close dates.

If a sales person isn't on top of things like that, why would you want them around? If a Sales manager is not reliably on top of that why would you want them around?

Remember, reliable timetables are the measurement. If a sales person is consistantly wrong withing a month or so of their predicted closes, then there is real trouble with that sales person.

So, since running the business so it grows is what Companies do, why is having sales predict reliably where each prospect is in the sales cycle a surprising thing? - by Guest123
Studies show that The least effective way to learn is by reading and by lecture, whereas the most effective way to learn is by actually doing. Therefore the next method you must implement is through simulating the real experience. - by dowal1
If you are not a real sales type in your core being, NOTHING makes you a salesperson. Doing will not work.

Thats why wasting time trying to train in the ability is so costly. Please consider my ideas re how to identify a sales person that is a perfect match for your job, market, customer types. We all are not "created equal" as sales people and its never automatic that we can simply transfer our skill to any sales job.

Please, be very honest and if a "sales person" is struggling, maybe its not worth investing time to "fix" the unfixable. Field work will not help if selling is not in the persons real traits core being as a natural activity. - by Guest123
This program is not about teaching them recruitment, selection or performance management skills - it is more about teaching them how to develop a sales plan, how to create goals and objectives for their staff and then the discipline of managing daily, weekly, monthly activity to get the desired results. It will also include analyzing the numbers to see what areas in the process need more training emphasis. Does anyone have or know of anything in this area that we can reference? Thanks.
Hmmmm sounds so familiar to my sons MBA. It seems like that was exactly what he had to do for his graduation paper or finals or whatever it was to get his degree.... :)

Companies like CIGNA used to track their sales force. I don't know if you could contact them and ask them if you could maybe find their syllabus for Connecticut General for ideas, but it was one of the most intense sales tracks I've seen. It took the agent from ground zero through an intense 6 week training course that involved every aspect of your carreer, from how to sell, to role playing the buyer the seller, prospecting, referrals and product. Some good ideas might evolve for you from something like that.

Xerox also had/has and intense sales track, so I'm led to believe anyway, and I don't know if that would be available to you for ideas either, but I'd at least call and find out... maybe get laughed at but hey.... :)

Much Aloha... shds; ;bg - by rattus58
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