What Makes a Great Sales Coach?

TopLine Leadership Sales Management Training

While being a good coach might not be a bad thing, a positive trend that I’m seeing in the sales managers with whom I work is an aspiration for greatness. Here are five key traits that separate a good coach from a great one. 1) External focus – While a good sales coach has a … Read full article

3 Tips for Hiring Great Salespeople

TopLine Leadership Sales Management Training

With the New Year just around the corner, many sales managers are thinking about what they can do to improve team performance in 2017. And for many, the answer lies in hiring new people. Every experienced sales manager knows that a bad hiring decision is costly in many ways. If you hire the wrong person, … Read full article

Five Presidential Attributes Every Sales Manager Needs

TopLine Leadership Sales Management Training

We are currently embroiled in a divisive election where each candidate harshly criticizes the weaknesses of the other. For a refreshing change, I decided to revisit the leadership attributes possessed by arguably our greatest president — Abraham Lincoln — and discuss why a few of Lincoln’s skills are so important for today’s sales managers to … Read full article

Upgrade the Attitude of Your Sales Team Now!

TopLine Leadership Sales Management Training

What is the sales performance problem? In a webinar I gave recently, 75% of the 150+ sales managers who attended indicated that a significant portion of the performance issues they face on their team are due to bad rep attitudes—or what I call a sales rep’s “willingness problems” (to contrast them with “skill deficiencies”). Why … Read full article

What Sales Managers Can Learn from a Great Basketball Coach

TopLine Leadership Sales Management Training

Like many people, I couldn’t help but follow the exploits of the Villanova Wildcats in the most recent NCAA basketball tournament. And along with the rest of America, I was thrilled by the last-second 3-point shot that won Villanova the national championship. Their achievement impressed me so much that I decided to study up on … Read full article

4 Crucial Metrics for Measuring Your Sales Managers

TopLine Leadership Sales Management Training

As the saying goes, what gets measured gets done. How are you measuring your sales managers? One metric is, of course, “% of plan.” But you already know that.

Every sales manager wants to be provided with a clearly defined target. Give them a clear target and they will hit it. The trouble with providing them with only one metric focused on end results, such as “% of Plan,” is that sales managers can become very short-term focused. They will put their effort into chasing big deals instead of coaching. So your sales teams aren’t being built to last.

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Can Your Sales Managers Teach Your Reps to Hit Home Runs?

TopLine Leadership Sales Management Training

Financial offerings warn that past performance is no guarantee of future success. Shouldn’t sales managers carry the same warning?

Too many companies tend to shoot themselves in the foot by investing the bulk of their training resources on their sales reps and ignoring training for those responsible for managing their reps’ performances. Star results as a rep don’t automatically translate into managerial success.

The fact is, most sales managers have never received formal sales management training. Untrained sales managers are a big reason rep training itself may fail to bear fruit, or more specifically, to impact sales results. That hurts your bottom line.

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5 Reasons Why Sales Managers Don’t Coach

Sales Manager's who don't coach

Let’s do a countdown on the most common reasons I’ve observed about why sales managers don’t do enough sales coaching…

 5. They mistake “inspection” for “coaching.”

When I ask sales managers to describe what kind of coaching they do, a lot of them say they sit down once a month with each rep to discuss activity level, results, and deals in the hopper. They think that’s sales coaching. But it’s not. It’s “inspection”—looking at something after the fact!

The word “coach” is derived from the English word, “carriage” which means to transport someone from where they are now to where they want to go. Coaching is an on-going process of direction, teaching and support. It’s not a 1-on-1 conversation every now and then about numbers.

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Sales Leadership Lessons I Wish I Could Have Given to My Younger Self

Like most sales managers, I spent several years as a sales rep before promotion to a sales management position. Here’s what I know now that I wish I could have advised my newly-promoted self back in the day:

Your top sales rep may not be your best choice for promotion to sales manager

I had a sales manager opening to fill, and two quota-producing salespeople I was considering for the promotion. My top producer, Mike, was an exceptional salesperson. He had a “motor” that was 2nd to none and was consistently 120% of quota. He was highly competitive and incredibly hard-working. When Mike won a big sale he’d get very jazzed, but when he lost a sale he could get down in the dumps.

My #2 producer, Darren, consistently produced at 100-110% of quota. Darren was more even keel than Mike.

Naturally, I promoted Mike, my top producer because he sold more. It was a huge mistake!

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