Missed your number? Struggling? Here are seven sales management mistakes. It’s likely that a combination of a few of these are what ails you.

  1. Not building a hunter’s culture. If you are a sales leader, you need to create a healthy culture. That healthy culture needs to celebrate prospecting and opportunity acquisition. It needs to reject order-taking behaviors. You aren’t going to make a difference for people if they don’t know who you are and how you create value. You need more opportunities.
  2. Not inspecting activity at all. You need to measure outcomes. But that doesn’t mean that there is no place for managing activity. Too many sales managers have decided that the long sales cycle, complex sale doesn’t require any measurement of activity. You need more activity.
  3. Not helping your salespeople improve the value they create. Your salespeople don’t come to you with everything they need to succeed. You can’t pretend they do. They need to learn to create greater value, meaning they need more business acumen and situational knowledge. Without it, they will not reach the level of success of which they are capable. You need to create more value.
  4. Not spending time in the field with your reps. I get it. We’re all spread out. We use GoToMeeting. You will never know how to help develop your salespeople if you don’t go and see for yourself how they do with prospects and clients. You need to see for yourself.
  5. Not selling the value of the sales process. Your sales process isn’t perfect. But it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye. Your salespeople skip whole stages of your sales process, and by doing so they don’t create value for your prospects or gain the commitments they need. You need to sell them on the process. Then you need to coach to the process. You need to follow the process.
  6. Spending too much time serving the organization. The organization you serve prevents you from doing the one thing that will serve them more than anything else: spending time with your sales force. If you have to make a trade off, trade time with your people for time in meetings and on conference calls. No one will miss you if you tell them you need to miss a call because you and your rep are in front of your dream client. You need to spend time with your team.
  7. Not providing enough air cover. Your company is going to make some serious blunders in the name of better sales results. If you don’t provide your sales force with air cover by arguing against bad ideas–killing as many as you can–then you are missing a crucial component of your job. You need to protect your team. But once a decision is made, you march with no complaining. You need to protect your team.

Maybe these questions will help you build an action plan.


What is keeping you from having more success with your team?

Which of the above list are you guilty of? On which are you completely clean?

Which two or three of these, if corrected, would likely get you back on track?

Sales 2014
Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 7, 2014
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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