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Sales Management: The Pain Point of People
Blog / Sales Management / Mar 29, 2016 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 4669

Sales Management: The Pain Point of People

In our previous blogs, we’ve covered a sales manager’s primary pain point and the technology vital to sales management.

Now let’s cover a topic near and dear to a sales manager’s heart: people.

Changing People

Have you ever really tried to change someone? Did you succeed? A “no” answer to that second one would put you in the far majority. This would be doubly true for attempting to change someone on a job level.

It is very common for sales managers to manage by attempting to strengthen weaknesses in salespeople. For example if a sales rep’s strong point is bringing in leads but weak in closing, the sales manager works frantically to make that rep stronger as a closer. In another example let us say a salesperson is a great closer, but isn’t so great it nurturing leads and making them hot–so the sales manager heavily focuses on strengthening that rep at lead nurturing.

This isn’t a criticism of that sales manager–after all, the sales manager’s motivation is to make a better sales rep. But what might make life easier for both the manager and the rep is this: if someone is truly great at something, why not simply make them even stronger at what they’re great at? Returning to our previous example, how about making your lead expert even greater, and bringing that many more leads? And you’ve got a great closer on board–why pester them about lead nurturing?

So as regards people, a sales manager would do well to not to try and change people, but instead to help them to continuously improve at being who they are, and doing what they do best.

Measuring Ability

To do so, you need to be able to accurately measure what each of your reps are doing right. For example:

  • How many leads does a rep bring in? Of what quality?
  • What percentage of leads does a rep “heat up” and make ready for prime-time sales?
  • What percentage of leads does a rep convert to opportunities?
  • What is a rep’s closing ratio—percentage of opportunities closed?

To answer such questions you should be able to turn to your CRM, through which you should be able to see how reps perform in each of these areas, and more. Pipeliner does that—and in fact we’re the only CRM that even provides an Archive through which you can instantly see why sales were won or lost, where they stalled in the sales process, and any other data you need to analyze lost sales.

A Worthwhile System

Now that you’ve got your reps moving along in areas in which they really win, you should now create a system that motivates your salespeople to sell. If you’ve ever seen a salesperson who is really happy with a particular commission structure, you know that when they are they will bend over backwards to sell. The primary benefactor is, of course, that salesperson’s employer.

This is especially important as regards your top producers. If a rep is already outstanding in performance, and you ask them to do even more, their first thought is going to be, “Why should I?” If they’re already at the top of their game, and the system isn’t something they’re totally happy with, why should they put in the effort?

But It’s Up to Them, Too

In the end, though, given a decent system, an even mildly healthy market and a worthwhile product, it is up to the reps to sell. It is their job, after all. While you’re monitoring their performance to see which area they excel in, you should also watch for those that just aren’t cutting it.

If you think they deserve it, by all means give them chances. Mentor them. Coach them. But if you do all that and still see no real improvement, you have to be willing to let them go. You cannot grow otherwise.

Building a Team

The end goal of a sales manager, through mentoring, coaching and evaluating, personnel, is to build a team. That team is constantly shifting as people come and go, so in addition to the other skills already named, hiring and firing must be in a sales manager’s skillset, too.

In summation: You hire the best you can find, get them into the position they’re great at, into a commission structure they’re happy with, and get them all fired up and selling. The ones that don’t make it, you cut loose. The ones that do, you help all you can.

Pipeliner CRM is the perfect tool for precision management of a sales team. Try it today.

About Author

CEO and partner of and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

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