News 2018-01-02T08:37:52+00:00

Discover news articles featuring TopLine Leadership President, Kevin F. Davis, sharing his insights on successful sales management training in leading publications.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes the difference between sales managers who fail their teams, those who do a competent job, and those who excel. Read More

Every sales manager wants to have a high-performing team. Yet too often I’ve seen sales managers who are their own worst enemies when it comes to reaching that goal. Making some simple changes in what they are doing as managers can go a long way toward creating a better sales team with stronger sales results. Read More

One of the biggest frustrations I hear over and over again from Sales VPs or Directors is the high number of peak performing salespeople who never achieve the level of success that everybody expected they would once they are promoted into management. These failures are costly to everyone: Upper management loses a great salesperson and gains a mediocre manager. The top-rep-turned-manager who is used to success can get demoralized. And an entire sales team witnesses a successful peer become an ineffective boss. Read More

Almost every sales manager was, at one point in their career, a peak-performing sales professional, top dog on the team. When promoted, everything changed—except, perhaps, them. This presents a problem because managing and leading a sales team requires a completely different mindset from selling. Yet what sales managers have to rely on are the instincts and competencies they developed when they were selling. Read More

Whenever I meet with sales managers, I ask them to do a quick exercise where they grade each of their reps on two factors: skill and attitude. After talking about the insights this gives the managers into their reps’ development needs, I challenge them this way: “This is a report card on your salespeople, right? …Wrong!  It’s actually a report card on your sales leadership.” Read More

Most sales managers I know have a love/hate relationship with the prima donnas on their sales teams. They love the star player’s passion and hard work; they hate the self-centered behaviors that demoralize or discourage the rest of the team. Read More

Most sales managers came up through the ranks and were promoted into a management position because they excelled at selling. But because they don’t know how to be an effective sales manager, a promoted salesperson can fall victim to the lure of the adrenaline rush that comes from chasing the big deals and being in on the action. Read More

There is a relative dearth of sales management books compared to sales books. By my count there has only been a couple of good entries in this category in the past few years. That’s why I was so excited to receive an advance copy of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness by Kevin Davis which I can tell you is a book every sales manager should add to their library. Read More

Kevin Davis is the president of TopLine Leadership, which provides sales training and sales management leadership training programs to companies from diverse sectors. Kevin is the author of “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness” & “Slow Down, Sell Faster! : Understand Your Customer’s Buying Process & Maximize Your Sales”. Read More

In this series of interviews, my principle objective is to enjoy dialogue with genuine sales & marketing thought leaders.  In particular, I am always keen to debate the future of professional selling because we have witnessed more advances in the past 5 years than in the previous fifty and we have no reason to suspect that the current rate of change will lose any of its momentum. Listen Here

There is no doubt that leading salespeople is one of the hardest roles in business today. Sales leaders are tasked with mentoring, coaching, training, inspiring, and motivating salespeople but have little actual time for these tasks. In this Sales Masters video, Jeb Blount discusses the biggest challenges facing sales leaders with Kevin F. Davis – author of the new book, Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness. Watch Here

I was recently introduced to Kevin Davis, the author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness, a new business book currently available on Amazon.  Kevin is the President of TopLine Leadership, a sales management training company, and is an authority on the sales management topic.  Kevin identified 10 key traits of good sales managers, summarized below.  He was kind enough to allow me to share them with all of you in this post. Read More

I’ve seen it time and again, and I’m sure you have too: a high-performing rep is promoted into sales management but never becomes as successful as a manager as they were as a rep. Why does this happen? Read More

Most sales managers want their teams to flourish, but they often have difficulty providing the help and guidance their reps sorely need. The lack of results cascades throughout the organization as poor individual performances amount to plummeting sales and revenue. In his new book, The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness, author Kevin F. Davis sets out to close the gap between good intentions and effective actions by offering sound time management and instructional advice to busy sales managers. Read More

First, a disclaimer: I was a sales manager myself for many years, and think it is one of the most critical jobs in any company. It is also one of the most demanding. And having consulted with sales managers, VPs, and directors for the past two decades, I know the job pressures have only gotten worse.

So I can imagine the gasps from sales managers when I say that companies can get even more out of them. The idea is unimaginable to people who routinely get hundreds of emails, texts, and calls every day – to people who are already working long hours, who barely have a minute to themselves on many days. Read More

I advise companies to have a standard policy that defines the first 90 to 180 days (and maybe a little longer) as a trial period. After that point, the candidate’s fit is reevaluated. You will look at the new hire, evaluate their progress, then decide whether to “invest or divest.” Read More

I have two simple questions for you:

  1. In your professional career, how many days of sales training do you think you received?
  2. How many days of sales management training have you received? (I don’t mean courses on general management and leadership – I mean training specifically on how to manage a sales team.)

I asked this question a few weeks ago during a public webinar I was delivering to a diverse group of sales managers and sales executives from across the globe. I’ve summarized the results in this graphic. Read More

For many sales managers, the approach for sales reps making their numbers is to leave them be to get on with it. But then one day they’re blindsided by poor sales from a sales rep that in the past has been a high producer. How can this be avoided?  Watch Here

Having worked his way up from sales rep, to sales manager, to general manager, author Kevin F. Davis understands the particular challenges faced during the transition from sales to managing salespeople, and the transition from managing sales reps to managing managers. Watch Here

The reality is that even organizations that value coaching still struggle to make it happen. One of the biggest reasons managers fail to consistently coach their teams? Time. Read More

One of my favorite quotes comes from the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu: “Eventually your strengths will become a weakness.” Nowhere do I see this lesson more clearly than when a great sales rep is promoted into sales management, and never succeeds as well at managing as they did at selling. The reason is tied to Sun Tzu’s insight: the instincts and habits that made a salesperson successful are often the exact opposite of what they need to succeed in sales management.

Here are three examples of sales rep strengths that turn into weaknesses when they become sales managers. Read More.

In a SMMConnect webinar I delivered to over 100 sales managers recently, I talked about eight instincts they developed as salespeople that are now harming their effectiveness as team leaders. Interestingly, about 30 percent of the participants said that the sales instinct they struggle with the most is “avoiding conflict.”

What does that mean? Read More.