Is it better to have a team of average salespeople report to an excellent manager, or an excellent sales team report to an average manager?
According to a recent webinar hosted by Xactly partner ZS Associates, a global thought leadership firm in sales and marketing, sometimes all you need is the right tools.
Do you know what tools best help average sales managers become excellent sales managers? According to the ZS Associates leadership team, that answer depends on how much time, attention, and resources you dedicate to your first-line sales managers.
Two conclusions are clear from over 30 years of experience with hundreds of sales forces and thousands of sales managers:
Excellent sales people with average managers only generate positive results in the short term.
Excellent managers will lead average (or below average) salespeople by example and give you a competitive advantage in the long term.
Despite the importance of first-line sales managers (FLMs), too many organizations under-invest in this role, choosing to focus instead on underperforming sales people, new salesperson training programs, or development of senior sales executives. When critical tools, data, and access to support personnel — all of which enable good decision making and increased efficiency — aren’t given to FLMs, suboptimal sales growth and low salesperson engagement result.
The bottom line is, a lack resources negatively impact both effectiveness and efficiency, and prevent managers from getting thing done — and done well.
- Data and tools: Managers must have access to reports, dashboards, and metrics at all times and from a number of devices, including their phones, so that they can target their efforts and focus their teams from anywhere.To that point, ZS Associates finds that leading organizations already have these two critical elements in place to best support FLMs:
Automated systems: A lot of companies struggle with territory and goal setting because their current systems don’t offer enough visibility or management insight. When you offer managers tools that provide them with proper metrics, analysis, and data, they become more effective and can better execute their responsibilities.
First-line sales managers are pivotal to sales force success. To learn more about how you can support them in their roles, read Building a Winning Sales Management Team: The Force Behind the Sales Force.