Why You’d be Stupid Not to Invest in Your Sales Managers – Part 2

In our last blog, Why You’d be Stupid Not to Invest in Your Sales Managers, we showed how investment in sales managers will yield seemingly incredible ROI.  And because you’re probably skeptical, we provided you with a formula to calculate this for your own company. In this follow-up piece, we’ll show you exactly what skills your managers need.

What Makes a Good Sales Manager?

Our recently completed study of 213 companies with more than 25,000 sales managers revealed four things:

  1. Only 25% of sales managers know what they are doing.
  2. A sales manager’s skill level directly impacts a company’s revenue.
  3. Poor performing sales managers can cost a company a remarkable $3.5M per manager.
  4. There is a specific set of skills that successful sales managers need.

Let’s drill down a little deeper. The chart below delineates the specific set of skills successful sales managers need to do a good job.


Understanding the drivers of business results, assessing rep performance, managing their pipelines, creating forecasts, planning for success, leveraging technology, reinforcing knowledge, and coaching… These are the practical abilities that set apart the best sales managers from the mediocre.

How Training Correlates with Better Sales Performance

If sales managers have not been trained to do their jobs, how can they be expected to do them well?

Sales leaders need to understand that transforming frontline sales managers into change agents who create sustainable improvement will help to create remarkable ROI for the company. Sales managers are on-the-ground. They can drive and reinforce intelligent rep behavior. Or…they can be a severe drag on CRM, training, and methodology and thereby, the bottom line.

Measuring Sales Management Results

Measurement of sales management training is another important consideration. Our study showed that organizations that measure the effectiveness of their sales management training have a 19% performance advantage over those that do not. Those successful firms also spend more money training their sales managers. The organizations with the highest spending have better sales objective achievement than others– by a minimum of 8%.

Compare your own team of managers compare to the benchmarks above.  Are your managers powerful change agents?  Do they perform at a high level?  Do they possess the right skills?  Most importantly, do they lead the majority of their sellers to quota?  If not, then sales manager training is investment worth making… Now.