Sales Training Isnt Just For Salespeople Sales Managers Need it, Too

By Carl C. Henry

If your sales training programs are aimed solely at your producers, then you might be missing a big part of the equation. That’s because, even though they are your front-line of attack when he comes to bringing in new accounts and revenue, they usually get their strongest impressions from the men and women sitting in the corner office.

In other words, it’s important that you train your sales managers, too. It’s easy to think that once someone has moved into a supervisory role, they’ve figured out all there is to know about selling – especially when you consider that most managers were superstar producers themselves. Surprisingly however, that’s where the trouble comes in.

As I’m fond of reminding people, it takes a lot of practice to stay current in sales. It’s not something you can improve by watching someone else from a distance. Staying sharp means going into the field, making new contacts, giving presentations, and looking for feedback; and the only way to do things better is by learning new techniques. That’s where sales training comes in.

Your managers need to be going to the same programs as their producers are. It’s the best way – other than following salespeople into the field, which they should do now and again – for them to stay connected to the issues producers are facing on a day-to-day basis. And besides, it makes it possible for the managers to reinforce the training principles during the regular sales meetings.

Even more than that, though, sales managers need training programs of their own. That’s because supervising rarely comes easy to anyone, and particularly not men and women who are used to managing themselves in their own time. Your sales managers probably got to be stars because they were very driven; they might not know how to handle members of the staff that aren’t as motivated, or work differently. Luckily, there are any number of programs that can teach basic management principles that will allow them to get up to speed.

Additionally, there are courses in public speaking, giving presentations, understanding financial statements, and dozens of other topics that could make your sales management team leader more efficient. Why not equip them with the knowledge to do their job as well as possible? Considering how much most companies have invested in their management team, it only makes sense to be sure you’re equipping them with the proper mental tools.

While most people equate sales training to front-line salespeople, businesses can sometimes get a bigger effect from bringing in training programs for their sales management team. Training managers isn’t just common sense – it’s great for the bottom line.

Key Management Point:

Becoming a great sales manager takes a lot more than just running a weekly meeting or looking over some sales figures. Chances are, most of the things you have to do to keep your sales office running smoothly weren’t on you job description when you were hired.

Carl Henry is a management consultant. He specializes in helping companies in the selection of top sales and customer service talent. Carl is also a Certified Speaking Professional and the author of several books and articles related to sales, sales management, and customer service. He conducts seminar and webinar for clients worldwide.

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You can contact Carl at 704-847-7390

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