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A Shift in Sales Resource Allocation: Why Managers?

by Pat Rodgers

Do you ever stop and think, what are we doing wrong? 

Sales teams have more data and information at our fingertips than ever before. 

Our Sellers have intelligence tools that identify not only their target personas, but when they are in the buying process. These tools are connected to productivity tools that drop them into a predetermined outreach sequence of their choice. 

We automate their data entry and use templates and content categorized, tracked, and analyzed based on every interaction. 

Our Sellers have every piece of technology we could have ever imagined. Yet somehow quota achievement has never been lower and incredibly sophisticated organizations are missing their forecasts by 10% or more. 

So I ask again, what gives?

Over the last four years, I led a sales organization focused on providing technology in the sales enablement and productivity space. 

As with any sale, there were numerous objections and reasons why timing or budget didn’t quite align. Yet the objections that just kept repeating themselves came from a source that I could never wrap my head around — Sales Managers. And their reasons ranged from managers not having enough time, to managers not knowing what to coach, or the idea that the managers just didn’t care. 

It was astounding. Do you know what else these companies didn’t invest in? Sales Managers. 

Deal after deal, company after company, no one was investing in their managers. Now a new database tool? E-mail sequencing and outbound productivity app? No problem. 

Stop over indexing on your Sellers at the expense of your Managers.

What I’ve come to realize is that we’ve over invested in our sales people. Now don’t get me wrong, they are the boots on the ground, and we need to invest in them. 

But who is leading the boots on the ground? 

Frontline Sales Managers have the hardest job in the organization. Most frontline managers are in their first year of managing people (let alone sales people). They not only have to embrace true leadership and management for the first time, but also re-learn sales altogether. 

They must shift from only focusing on what worked for them and learn what works for every person on their team. They have to identify strengths and weaknesses and learn to fill in the gaps.

Not to mention new skills like budgeting, recruiting, hiring, firing, and, the toughest of them all, identifying risks they can’t see while forecasting their business accurately. Oh, and did I mention data analysis? Which dashboard should I focus on? What is the data telling me? Is that good or is it bad? 

Each of these skills impacts the decisions and priorities of your managers. They are the accountability layer to the boots on the ground and the information valve up to senior leaders. 

Sales Managers are the greatest lever we have to empower, enable, and drive our Sellers to success. 

Yet they are left in a constant reactive state. Chasing one fire after another, inputting meaningless data into any number of spreadsheets with no way to understand or identify where to focus their time. 

We have one lever left to pull and it’s the frontline leaders that execute the strategy of the entire sales organization. 

This is why we have focused on building a platform that provides managers with the answers they need to be successful, the ability to be proactive, and the opportunity to achieve higher attainment than ever before. 

An investment in a single Seller provides a 1X result. The investment in a leader provides a multiplier that enhances every member of their team. We’re investing in managers. How about you?

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