In my experience as a sales performance expert, I have learned that mistakes are better teachers than successes. With that in mind, it is my hope that there will be some valuable lessons for you as we review some of the most common mistakes to building a successful sales force:
Mistake #2: There is not a professional sales manager in place. Often the owner or president will act as sales manager along with wearing several other hats. It is a common misnomer that your sales force does not need much management; that they will just go out and sell if you point them in the right direction and if they have the desire. Wrong. If you are the CEO or President and manage the sales force, consider whether or not you are giving them the required attention they need to excel. It is your job as manager to help identify what motivates them and keep that at the front of their thoughts. Remember that even the best salespeople want to be managed.
Another common mistake is promoting the best salesperson to sales manager. This situation frequently ends in disaster; you have removed your best salesperson from the street and given them management responsibilities they cannot perform.
The skills that create a great sales manager are not the same skills necessary in a great salesperson. Salespeople have different motivations, need coached differently, and have different growth paths. Effectively managing them is one of the most important endeavors a company faces if it wants to grow revenue.
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