Sales is an ever-evolving landscape, with tools, techniques, and targets shifting regularly. Yet, while we often focus on training our frontline sales reps, there’s a critical group that’s frequently overlooked: sales managers.
In fact, 60% of new managers fail within the first 24 months in their role. Why? Lack of training and development. Oftentimes, companies will promote reps into management without providing critical leadership skills to prepare them for their new role.
Let’s dive into why training for sales managers is paramount and the benefits that come with it.
Why Do We Neglect Sales Manager Training?
Often, organizations operate under the assumption that a stellar sales rep will naturally transition into a stellar sales manager. However, the skills required for each role differ significantly. Managing a team, strategizing, forecasting and coaching demand a unique skill set that isn’t always innate.
The Case for On-the-Job Training for Sales Managers
- Different Roles, Different Skills: A top-performing sales rep doesn’t automatically make a top-performing sales manager. Management requires understanding team dynamics, effective communication, and the ability to inspire and lead. On-the-job training equips new managers with these essential skills.
- Rapid Adaptation to Change: The sales environment is dynamic. According to a report by CSO Insights, organizations with a dynamic sales process, which includes regular training, reported a win rate of 49% for forecasted deals, compared to those with a random or informal process.
- Consistency in Approach: With proper training, sales managers can ensure consistency in sales strategies, team communication, and performance reviews, leading to a more cohesive and effective sales team.
Benefits of Training Sales Managers
- Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. Well-trained managers are more likely to engage and motivate their teams.
- Improved Performance: With better training, managers can effectively guide their teams, leading to increased sales and higher win rates. 84% of sales reps achieve their quotas when their employer incorporates a best-in-class sales enablement strategy.
- Reduced Turnover: A report by the Sales Management Association found that improved manager training reduced salesperson turnover by up to 19%.
- Consistent Growth: A well-trained sales management team can be a game-changer for revenue growth. According to research by the Sales Executive Council, sales teams led by supportive managers are 67% more effective at closing deals than those with managers who exert high levels of pressure. This shows that the right training can significantly influence managerial styles and, by extension, team performance.
- Increased Profitability: The Harvard Business Review highlighted that companies that invest in training see a 24% higher profit margin than those that spend less on training. While this encompasses all forms of training, the impact of upskilling managers – those responsible for driving and guiding the sales strategy – cannot be underestimated.
- Stronger Leadership Pipeline: On-the-job training prepares sales managers for higher leadership roles, ensuring a robust succession plan. This is crucial for organizational stability; a study by the Gartner for HR (formerly the Corporate Leadership Council) found that organizations with proper leadership training realized a 32% increase in leadership strength, which is directly tied to financial performance.
- Cultural Cohesiveness: Trained managers foster a positive, consistent culture, enhancing team collaboration and overall company morale. According to a Gallup study, companies with highly engaged teams report 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability.
On-the-job training for sales managers isn’t just a “nice-to-have”; it’s a necessity. By investing in our sales leaders, we’re not only boosting current performance but setting the stage for sustained success in the future. It’s high time we prioritize sales manager training for those at the helm, guiding our sales teams to victory.
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