10 questions to help sales managers assess their performance and adapt! – An STC Classic

A Classic - '63 Corvette

A Classic – ’63 Corvette

As the first quarter ends, it’s a good time for salespeople to take a look at their performance to date – and looking towards the end of the year. The same is true of sales managers.

If you believe front-line sales managers are the key to a team’s sales success – and we do – the end of Q1 is a good time to look at what’s working, what isn’t working and why.

As mentioned in a HBR blog,  “All of us fall into unproductive habits, sometimes unconsciously. Good managers are always asking themselves and others about what they could do better or differently. Finding the right time and approach for asking these questions in a way that invites constructive and candid responses is critical.”

Applying to sales … it’s important for sales managers to take an assessment of their performance and consider what worked, what didn’t and what they will do differently. This can be done anytime, but it is especially pertinent during Q1. Yet, under the banner of getting off to a quick start, action often takes precedents over a few moments of self-assessment.

This is short-sighted. Sales managers should take a few moments to assess how they will manage their sales teams during the year  beginning with how well it’s going so far. A good starting point is to reflect on their performance as a sales manager.  In addition sales managers need to realistically assess the composition and capacity of their sales team.

Here’s a starter list of 10 questions to get started on that self-assessment of the sales team.

  1. With whom on my sales team should I be spending the most time coaching? least time?
  2. What skill sets does my sales team as a whole need to develop further in order to succeed this year?
  3. How can I conduct sales strategy review sessions more efficiently – more effective than the ones held last year?
  4. How can I improve the quality of feedback I share with my sales team?
  5. How can I help my sales team leverage institutional resources?
  6. Under what conditions should I participant in sales calls – how does that differ by the individual team member?
  7. What can I do specifically for top performers?  Low performers?
  8. How can I increase the percentage of time my team spends selling to customers?  What is the major time sink?
  9. What can I do to increase the over all excitement and motivation of the team?
  10. What is one innovative idea I should try to increase the sales productivity of the team?

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2016 Sales Momentum, LLC

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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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One Response to 10 questions to help sales managers assess their performance and adapt! – An STC Classic

  1. Pingback: Retooling and improving performance reviews at the end of 1Q | Employer Solutions Blog | Sage HRMS

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