Can Sales Managers change sales results in their staff?

I absolutely disagree that managing people differently will yield significantly different performances. They either have it or they don’t and most people who take on sales roles are earnestly trying their best, so bullying them or bribing them with awards, or tricking them with team activities into more sales results does not work.

If there is a sales person who has it in them, but they are still under-performing, then there are a few very different causes and these need to be addressed differently to allow the person to sell more.

1. Lack of skill – Category 1 i.e. the pure Hunters will eventually work it out without training but while they work it out they will make mistakes which cost them sales and your office it’s reputation. The other selling style staff will always need to be taught how best to sell a particular product before they are able to start selling alone. While selling capacity comes naturally to SIP selected people the process needs to be taught for that capacity to translate into skills and therefore sales.

Sales Management Solution:

a. Training in the specific selling techniques that suit your industry and product

b. Time to practice. This varies between industries. As an example in real estate the average learning time to translate knowledge into effective skills is two years

2. Lack of motivation – even with the very best attributed and trained sales people  they need to WANT THE MONEY. Selling takes energy and if you don’t need the money, even if you could make more, you won’t bother to exert themselves to the level required for sustained success. If they don’t want the money they need their own highly demanding reason to succeed and we (as managers and coaches) cannot give them a reason (i.e. externally set goals). It must be something they really want for themselves.

Sales Management Solution:

a. Help them identify real highly personal reasons to excel

3. Lack of available energy – people’s attention is distracted or energy can be consumed by other issues in their life (divorce, illness and even hobbies) that simply don’t leave them enough juice in the tank to fuel their selling activities. Selling cannot be done well by anyone as an afterthought or secondary focus. This is why  so called ‘selling rock stars’ lose their mojo. I’ve heard so many stories of sales people who ‘used’ to be good. If they really were any good but are mediocre or poor now then there must be something in their lives now that is consuming their energy.

Sales Management Solution:

a. Wait for the external issue to be resolved (or very significantly reduced)

b. Help them manage the external issue better. This is a very low yield solution even with a professional Coach or Psychologist.

c. Consider managing them out of the business. Your energy as a manager can be better spent

For more information on Sales Training, check out our blog here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *