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Sales Wolf Blog

A Closer Look At 3 Critical Questions for All Sales Managers...

Posted by Joe Jones

Apr 25, 2012 8:30:00 AM

Sales Manager ResultsLast week, we shared a post about 3 important questions every Sales Manager should keep “top of mind” even during the busiest of times. 

As a follow up, we would like to dive a little deeper into each of the 3 questions and explore why they are important.

In case you missed out, here are the questions . . .

What is the monthly production difference between your top 10% and the bottom 10% of your sales team?

Most sales teams are made up of the “Haves" and “Have-Nots”.  The “Haves” are strong Job Fit team members that consistently produce high sales and raise the sales team’s bottom line numbers. 

The “Have-Nots” languish in mediocrity,  and at their very best,  have one or two good months  of the year.  These individuals rely on the high performers on the team to cover up their lack of production.

The typcal sales production difference between your Top 10% and your Bottom 10% range from  5x - 20x.

Let’s look at a quick example:

Company A’s average net per sale is $10,000

Jim makes 30 sales a month ($300,000), or $3,600,000 a year.

Bob makes 6 sales a month ($60,000), or $720,000 a year.

Think about that, having that low performer on your team could be costing you $240,000/month or $2,880,000/year in lost opportunity.  How many low performers do you have on your team?

Do you have measurable performance metrics that are tracked from week to week? If so, what are they and do they correspond with success on the job? 

Most Sales Managers typically have some sort of sales performance metrics that they follow, maybe because their boss told them to,  or maybe because they want to keep a close eye on specific indicators that will help them effectively lead their team.

The difference between the effective manager and ineffective managers is the effective managers track metrics that directly correlate with profit and productivity. These Managers track the data very tightly and use the information to make adjustments to their systems along the way to maximize the team’s talents and sales processes.

What happens to those team members who continually underperform or fail to follow the strategy embraced by leadership and the rest of the team?

Choose wisely, your response to this situation will have a long lasting effect, and will ultimately define what your team’s sales culture is...

Do nothing, and your team will think that low performance is tolerated. The team’s overall results will reflect that culture and you may even alienate your existing strong performers.  

Even one person who is allowed to “do his or her own thing” can cause the entire team to begin the dreaded downward spiral. 

A common example we hear from Clients is -  “Oh that’s just Jim being Jim, he has always been like that”

Wait a minute... So because that is the way Jim is or has always been, it makes it okay for him to not follow the Culture Standards of the organization?

We are not saying "change Jim", we want people to be themselves at work.  However, if the way Jim does things does not align with the vision of the company it’s best to help Jim find an organization that better suites his talents and style. 

This allows Sales Managers to bring on talent that is a better match for the job and culture of the organization.   

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