Sales Managers are Key to Unlocking Peak Sales Performance

by Mike Hunter

“Forecast accuracy” is an oxymoron, according to the recently released Sales Management Optimization Study from CSO Insights. Key findings show that only 45.7 percent of forecast opportunities are being won as projected. The report also shows that, while process and coaching are considered important areas for sales management time allocation, these functions are disconnected from how managers are measured and compensated.

“The data clearly support the value of investing in your sales managers and the return paid when they effectively coach their reps,” says Jim Dickie, managing partner and co-founder of CSO Insights, a sales and marketing effectiveness research firm that specializes in measuring how companies are leveraging people, process, technology and knowledge to improve the way they market and sell to customers. “Once again, we see [that the] companies developing their people, implementing higher levels of sales process and leveraging technology — for example, analytics and networking in addition to CRM — are outdistancing firms that ignore or half-heartedly include these in their day-to-day selling and managing activities.” Data indicates the advantage seems to lie with companies whose sales managers actively work at developing the individuals in their sales teams to be sales “heroes” rather than concentrating their efforts on being the hero themselves.

Noting the survey’s detailed look at sales manager time allocation and focus, Barry Trailer, who, like Dickie, is co-founder and managing partner at CSO Insights, says, “The best-in-class companies’ managers spend less time selling and more time coaching. They also focus their coaching less on specific deals and more on their reps’ development — using metrics, not hunches, to do so.”

How Do Sales Managers Allocate Their Time?


CSO Insights’ 2013 Sales Management Optimization Study © 2013 CSO Insights


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