New sales managers – 6 questions to help avoid the granular trap!

New sales managers

New sales managers

New sales managers face a lot of new challenges.  Needless to say, this can lead to an initial feeling of being overwhelmed.

As they seek to develop the skills to work through new challenges, there is a tendency to gravitate back to what they know how to do – in the case of new sales managers, it’s usually selling.

When this happens what are these new sales managers doing? They’re going granular! When new sales managers go granular, they spend too little mastering their new job and too much time doing their old job. While it might be a short-term high, the long-term consequences are mostly negative.  For example, one of the more telling downsides is failing to focus on the priority that coaching their sales team requires.

We all want to do what we’re good at.  But when salespeople are promoted and become new sales managers, they need to think about the roles and responsibilities of their new position – and how they’ll they can avoid going granular.  Six questions that might provide a kick-start:

  • If I attend that sales call, am I making a unique contribution?
  • Have I developed a performance profile of my sales team?
  • Have I figured out how to maximize the time the sales team spends selling?
  • Has time been devoted time to learning how to sales coaching?
  • Have I developed the knowledge required to leverage the available institutional resources to help my sales team?
  • Have I started to develop the skills to help the sales team to think and act strategically?

Sales managers are the pivotal job for developing a superior sales force.  So there is clear and urgent need for new sales managers to master their new job as soon as possible.

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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