Top Pressures Faced by Sales Managers

Top Pressures Faced by Sales Managers
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Pressures Faced by Sales Managers Are Unique to Their Role
A sales leader’s average tenure is less than two years, which is far shorter than the tenure of most other managers. Why is this? We know it’s partly because salespeople are promoted into management positions without adequate sales management training or experience to handle the top pressures faced by sales managers.

Sales leaders are uniquely accountable for leading, managing, and coaching their teams (just like all other new managers) PLUS meeting revenue targets, perhaps the most important and pressure-filled success metric of any organization.

The Four Top Pressures
We know from leadership simulation assessment data that sales managers face:

  1. Revenue Pressure
    By far, the greatest pressure faced by sales managers is to meet or exceed revenue targets. The pressure to deliver against ever-increasing revenue goals is unrelenting. In fact, a recent survey by PayScale uncovered that 73% rated the role of sales account manager as “highly stressful.”

    Unlike other jobs where performance metrics can be more nuanced and subjective, salespeople are under a lot of pressure to meet highly visible and easily measurable sales quotas.  While the right amount of sales performance pressure can lift performance and motivation, the wrong amount of sales performance pressure can cause employee disengagement and unhealthy risk-taking.

    What to Do
    The right amount of revenue pressure is a necessary component to getting the most out of your sales force. Smart sales leaders know that performance pressure must be carefully monitored and balanced with enough meaning, clarity, and rewards to motivate people to lift their performance.

    To learn more about how to define the right amount of sales pressure for your team, download What is the Right Amount of Sales Performance Pressure for Your Sales Team

  2. Sales Team Pressure
    Leading, managing, and coaching any team is not easy. A typical sales leader manages 8 to 10 sales reps and each member has their own personality, strengths, and weaknesses. Each needs to be led and managed differently to perform at their peak.

    To succeed, sales leaders must be able to attract, develop, engage, and retain top sales talent that works well tougher and within the company’s unique sales culture.  That means ensuring that sales team members embrace the sales strategy and are intrinsically motivated to lift performance while holding sales team members accountable for achieving agreed-upon sales targets.

    What to Do
    Invest the time and energy to provide the sales management training to ensure that your sales leaders can effectively lead, manage, and coach their sales teams to higher performance.  The good news is that sales reps who receive effective sales coaching are four times more likely to achieve quota than their peers.

    To learn more about how to better coach sales reps, download The Truth About the Biggest Sales Coaching Mistakes

  3. Sales Time Pressure
    A sales manager’s time is precious. There are so many forces pulling sales leaders away from adding value to their team and their team’s customers. The key is minimizing non-selling tasks for you and your team.

    Unfortunately, Forbes reports that the average salesperson spends two-thirds of their time on non-selling related activities. No wonder Korn Ferry found that only 53% of salespeople are making or exceeding their quota.  Sales leaders need to increase the amount of time that sellers sell.

    What to Do
    This can be done in a number of ways:

To learn more about how your sales team can sell more effectively, download The 30 Effective Sales Questions that Matter Most

The Bottom Line
There’s no question that sales managers face enormous pressures. But they can be overcome with thoughtful and targeted approaches to sales leadership that focus on the customer and team health and performance.

To learn more about how to handle the top pressures faced by sales managers, download 3 Smart Strategies to Scale and Upgrade Your Sales Team

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