You know a great sales manager when you see one. He or she is
driven and energetic…
well-respected throughout your company…
and consistently delivers exceptional results.
Bad sales managers, on the other hand, sometimes slip under the radar, are overlooked, or are simply cut too much slack from the CEO. After all, it is expensive and disruptive to replace your sales manager. However, we promise you that over the long term, it is much more costly to you and your company to allow an underperforming manager carry on their ways.
Look out for these warning signs that it just might be time to sack your sales managers.
1. They are not sales metrics-driven
Sales managers should be laser-focused on metrics on a daily basis. Sales today is a science: if you cannot measure it, then you cannot manage it. If your sales manager relies on gut feelings and intuition rather than the numbers, then he or she lacks insight into which metrics might help identify problems early on. For example, coaching by the data will not only help improve reps’ performance, but will also gain your sales manager respect from their reps.
Another example is in sales forecasting – if your sales manager asks reps how they “feel” about a deal, then they are likely going to get a less accurate sales forecast than one that relies on the numbers. Objective metrics will always be far more reliable than a sales rep’s intuition.
2. They don’t work one-on-one with their sales reps
Bad sales managers do not go beyond simply engaging their team. They do not work one-on-one with reps to identify weaknesses and overcome challenges. Under a sales manager who practices neglectful coaching, reps are expected to learn on their own – far from a sure bet.
It is critical to the overall health of your sales team that your sales manager trains reps consistently and individually, not just in group meetings. Your new sales manager should make one-on-one training a priority and a regular occurrence.
3. Sales rep turnover is exceptionally high
Bringing new sales reps in is a good sign that your company is growing. Having your sales reps move on to better opportunities at other companies might suggest that you are doing a good job in helping young employees reach their potential. However, these are best-case scenarios, and a high rep turnover rate typically has a bad impact on the bottom line for most companies.
Sales reps are likely leaving due to an unsatisfying work atmosphere, and that starts with your sales manager. The reps should respect their sales manager and enjoy a supportive atmosphere that also challenges them.
4. They are not aligned with marketing
Sales and marketing used to go together like oil and water, but times have changed, and today, sales and marketing alignment is not just cool – your revenue growth potential depends on it. Marketing and sales should have a harmonious working relationship where both sides help each other to achieve the company’s collective goals.
If your sales manager is stuck in their ways and refuses to maintain open communication with the marketing team, then they are severely limiting the company’s growth potential. .
5. They don’t promote a high-performance sales culture
One of the biggest red flags of a bad sales culture is a lack of transparency. If you, as a CEO, encourage transparency in your organization, your sales manager should be following suit by giving sales reps access to all their data and their colleagues’ data. Reps should be able to look at their sales performance metrics at any time and compare their performance with other sales reps. With access to everyone’s data, reps will feel pride in their and others’ accomplishments as well as a sense of friendly competition.
Another trait of a bad sales culture ties in with inadequate sales coaching. Sales teams should be involved with their sales managers on a daily basis – checking in, meeting regularly, and scheduling 1:1 sessions to coach individually. Consistent, data-driven sales coaching improves performance and creates a sense of unity among the naturally competitive sales rep.
Is your sales manager showing one – or more! – of these signs? Then perhaps it is time to let them go. It might not be an easy decision to make, but sometimes the right decisions are the toughest ones.
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